Queen Elizabeth II to trim costs as COVID-19 hits income

Queen Elizabeth II to trim costs as COVID-19 hits income
Posted at 6:30 AM, Sep 25, 2020

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her family are facing a 35 million pound ($45 million) hit from the coronavirus pandemic, partly due to a shortage of tourists.

Keeper of the Privy Purse Michael Stevens said Friday that a lack of income from visitors to royal buildings was likely to bring a shortfall of 15 million pounds, or $19 million, over three years.

He said the impact of the pandemic is also likely to cause a 20 million pound shortfall in a 369-million-pound program to replace antiquated heating, plumbing and wiring at Buckingham Palace.

Officials have said the palace’s aging infrastructure, which had its last major upgrade after World War II, is at risk of a catastrophic failure if it’s not replaced.

Stevens said the royal household would not ask for more government money but would “look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.”

Buckingham Palace has already introduced a staff pay freeze and a halt to hiring.

The accounts show that the monarchy cost British taxpayers 69.4 million pounds in the year to the end of March.

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