Our Readers' Opinions
January 31, 2014

Rent out your palace, your majesty

Fri Jan 31, 2014

The first of this series, SIGN OF THE TIMES, made reference to the British royal family. We make a brief return there today.{{more}}

In the past the monarchy was above public scrutiny, Kings, Queens and Lords did as they liked, their royal palaces for their own consumption, and, many allege, corruption. But times change, and so have the fortunes of the royalty. Bit by bit the powers of monarchs the world over, Britain included, have been whittled away and in many countries, the monarchy itself has been confined to the dustbins of history.

The United Kingdom is one of the dwindling few where the monarchy is still intact, with its rule even extending to supportive subjects in St Vincent and the Grenadines. But even there, the royals are no longer unchallenged; The royal purse is now under the scrutiny of parliament and more and more there are demands for accountability.

The latest example has come from the House of Commons where parliamentarians have been expressing concerns over the state of the royal finances and insisting that steps be taken to put them in order. Last year net expenditure for the royal household amounted to approximately EC $140 million and one MP even said that the royal family is living “hand to mouth”. Most of us would be quite content with a $140 million “hand to mouth” budget.

The “poor” Queen Elizabeth is said to have only just over EC$4 million in the bank. So, the advice of the Commons to Elizabeth’s family is, as headlined in the British DAILY MAIL, “Rent out your Palace, Ma’am” in order to raise funds for repairs.


Renwick Rose