Her Majesty The Queen is set to lose £18 million amid the current Coronavirus lockdown according to the Lord Chamberlain. At the moment, all Royal palaces and attractions are closed to tourists and visitors as the United Kingdom enters its ninth week in lockdown.
In an email to staff, the Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel, warned that royal income is set to fall by a third this year and that workers should expect a pay freeze as well as there being a recruitment ban. In 2019, tourism earned the royals more than £70 million in ticket sales and souvenir sales. The Crown Estates bring in millions of pounds worth of revenue for The Royal Family though this will now significantly fall as the lockdown continues.
It is estimated that Windsor Castle is The Queen’s biggest earner, bringing in around £25 million a year. Buckingham Palace brings in £12 million, the Palace of Holyroodhouse brings in around £5.6 million while the Royal Mews brings in £1.6 million. Clarence House, which only opens for four weeks in the Summer, brings in £132,000.
The Sovereign Grant, which is paid to the Royals annually by the taxpayer to fund official duties, was £82.4 million last year.
The email sent by the Lord Chamberlain to staff read, “The crisis has already tested our resilience, adaptability and preparedness in many ways and at all levels across the organisation. It has also had a significant impact on the activities of the whole Royal Household. Although the UK appears to be over the peak of the infections, it remains unclear when measures such as social distancing will come to an end. We must therefore assume it could be many weeks, if not months, before we are able to return to business as usual. There are undoubtedly very difficult times ahead and we realise many of you will be concerned.”
It is thought ‘property spend’ will also be reduced through this period, which could mean the £33 million renovations of Buckingham Palace could be affected. The bulk of the loss of money will come from closed palaces this Summer with refunds already being given to those who had purchased tickets.
While many staff have been asked to work from home and not been furloughed, they have been warned of a pay freeze and a recruitment freeze for some time.
The crisis has also led to royal aides reviewing The Queen’s engagements and visits right up until 2022.