Man, it’s good to be queen — if you’re Queen Elizabeth II, at least.
The royal palace is not royal enough, or so the thinking behind a 78% pay bump for Her Majesty goes. Buckingham Palace is in need of a face lift, and the cushy new influx of cash for the queen is allocated to the work.
So how much exactly is a 78% bump? The already lofty Queen Elizabeth II net worth includes an annual “sovereign grant,” which amounted to roughly $54.6 million of tax-free income last year. With the Buckingham refurbishing bump, that number swells to cool $97 million for the queen.
Wires and pipes in the palace are now over 60 years old and due for replacement in the facelift. Access for visitors will improve, according to CNN Money, but they report that “the overall design and exterior of the 775-room London palace will remain the same.” It’s not just about age, but also overall safety. "The project seeks to prevent a serious risk of fire, flood and damage to both the building and the priceless Royal Collection of art belonging to the nation," according to the U.K. Treasury.
But Queen Elizabeth II net worth lower than you would think
Despite multiple sources of income, the queen isn’t able to save much. A vast majority of the money goes to covering the cost of holding the crown, like travel, staff, security and the upkeep of the estates like Buckingham Palace, reports CNN.
Queen Elizabeth II only managed to put away $1.1 million last fiscal year after paying for property maintenance and the extensive staff. And, yes, the royal family has a rainy-day fund where this extra income goes, officially called the “Sovereign Grant Reserve.”
Rest assured, though, that the UK is getting the sovereign at a steal — at least according to Sir Alan Reid, the official Keeper of the Privy Purse (yes, that’s what it’s called). Reid claims that the queen’s grant in the last fiscal years works out to just 65 pence, or 83 cents, per person in the UK. “When you consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money,” he said.