Officials insisted that the royal household (above) were 'acutely aware of the difficult economic climate' and had taken action including freezing the number of employees. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Jul 5, 2010 - Royal Family Costs $64m
LONDON - THE royal family cost Britain's taxpayers 38.2 million pounds (S$64 million) in the last financial year, according to accounts released by Buckingham Palace on Monday.
The figure, which represents 62 pence per person, was released with Britain facing deep public spending cuts as the new coalition government led by David Cameron bids to cut the country's record budget deficit.
Officials insisted that the royal household, which includes Queen Elizabeth II and her family, were 'acutely aware of the difficult economic climate' and had taken action including freezing the number of employees.
The figure for 2009-10 represents a 7.9 per cent drop on the previous year, a fall attributed in part to royals taking fewer commercial charter flights.
But opponents of the monarchy are demonstrating outside the palace Monday to demand more clarity on how the royals spend public money.
Finance minister George Osborne announced in last month's emergency budget that the royal household would face a funding shake-up and in future undergo the same audit scrutiny as other areas of government expenditure. -- AFP.
Jun 18, 2010 - Swedes Turning Against Royals
STOCKHOLM - LESS than half of Sweden's population now supports the monarchy, and a quarter thinks it a bad thing, a poll showed on Friday amid preparations for Crown Princess Victoria's nuptials this weekend.
Since 1996, the number of Swedes who consider the monarchy a good thing has dropped from 70 per cent to 46 per cent, the FSI poll published in the Dagens Nyheter daily showed.
At the same time, the number of Swedes saying they think the monarchy is a bad thing has soared from just 10 per cent 15 years ago to 25 per cent today, according to the poll of 1,800 people aged 18 to 79 conducted in March and April.
The royal family itself has seen its support dwindle from 69 per cent in 1996 to just 40 per cent today, the same poll indicated, while the number of Swedes disliking the royals shot up from 13 per cent to 28 per cent.
'It is probable that the increased scandal coverage in magazines and tabloids has led to the increase in negative attitudes,' FSI opinion analyst Joachim Timander told Dagens Nyheter. 'That would explain why support for the royal family, that is mainly to say the family members themselves, is declining faster than support for the monarchy as an institution,' he added.
But the royal fever predicted in the run-up to the wedding has only partially happened, and the blanket coverage also appears to have fueled anti-monarchy sentiments. 'There is a risk of oversaturation of all the scandal and party reporting,' Mr Timander said. -- AFP