Recession-hit UK gifts queen a big pay hike

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has another reason to be cheerful in her Diamond Jubilee year – her annual pay is about to jump by 20% to 36 million pounds. Her property holdings, the Crown Estate, posted a record profit of 240.2 million pounds, a net rise of 4% in the year largely due to strong tenant demand for its shops in the upmarket Regent Street and St.Jame’s districts of London. At a time when Britain is in recession and many families are feeling the pinch of higher household costs and taxes, the Queen’s allowance will rise to 36 million from 30 million pounds, the level at which it was frozen in October 2010 under new laws which peg her pay to the estate’s profits.

The 85-year-old queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne this month with a 1000-vessel flotilla on London’s river Thames and nationwide street parties. She has been paid by taxpayers through an allowance set by parliament and via other government grants since King George III ceded all property profits to the treasury in 1760. Under new laws that come into effect in 2013-2014, the Queen’s pay is 15% of the estate’s profits from two years prior.

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