The chief of the biggest firm in Britain, Her Majesty was worth £67.5 billion (US$90 billion) to the British economy in 2016. Yeah, that’s right, Lizzy has outperformed Vodafone, Barclays and Tesco. Paying for their goods and services is optional, of course. But funding Her Majesty’s foreign holidays and fancy frocks is not.
It’s probably the strangest transaction you’ll ever make – paying for a castle but not being allowed inside, and sending an elderly couple off in private jets, while scrimping all year to fly easyJet.
They do get a pretty sweet deal.
Anti-monarchy campaign Republic estimates royal security costs £106 million, while another £30 million goes on the buildings used by the royal family. Cash-strapped local councils also splashed out an estimated £22 million last year on royal visits.
On Monday, a new report claimed the monarchy actually costs taxpayers as little as £4.50 per person per year. What do Brits get out of this exactly?
The Queen brings in £42 billion in benefits to the nation, according to Brand Finance. The other £25 billion comes from assets like royal castles and residences. Tourism makes an estimated £550 million a year.
While most giant corporations have leaders barely recognized off Wall Street, the Queen has people from all over the world lining up outside her HQ to catch a glimpse of her in her jewel encrusted hat. The boost for trade is believed to be around £150 million a year, raised by royal overseas visits.
And those crumbly old castles? The ones that need the million-pound refurbishments? They count, too. The Crown Estate, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall, and the Royal Collection, including the Crown Jewels – they’re worth billions.
Without Balmoral and Sandringham, which are private estates, those assets add up to £25.5 billion. Consultancy firm Brand Finance claims the Queen and her entourage boosted the UK economy to the tune of £1.7 billion last year.
While we’re all here fretting about the financial interests of the billionaire US president, it turns out Her Majesty’s worth dwarfs Donald Trump, who is valued at $3.8 billion. Peasant.
“It may be a quirky, anomalous, slightly unfair organization, but economically it is definitely a beneficial one,” said David Haigh, Brand Finance chief executive. “The monarchy is Britain’s national treasure, both symbolically and economically.”
The Queen and the Duke celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Monday. And what better way to please your fans than give them a picture of yourselves, that they paid for.
The constant, guaranteed publicity in royal-loving rags like the Daily Express is also worth millions. Literally just having their faces in the papers earns the industry an estimated £50 million a year, Brand Finance claims.
“The mystique surrounding the monarchy adds to the popularity of shows like ‘The Crown’ and ‘Victoria’ that offer a glimpse of the private lives of the royal family,” the report adds.
Meanwhile, regular people desperate to look like the royals are apparently spending hard-earned cash on replicating their outfits. The so-called ‘Kate effect’ sends women into a frenzy to buy the same shoes and dresses, netting shops an estimated £200 million.
Brand Finance said £42 billion was worked out by adding the intangible benefits — an estimated £1.766 billion this year.