Royal family security costs 'will continue to go up' says Smith
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Graham Smith has claimed during an interview with Express.co.uk that the Royal Family costs will remain consistently high due to the number of royal residences that need 24/7 security even when left unoccupied. Republic is an organisation that campaigns for Queen Elizabeth II to be replaced by an elected, democratic head of state and the monarchy to be abolished. Prince Charles has been a long-time advocate for a streamlined monarchy and has made no secrets of his plan to slim it down when he becomes king.
Mr Smith said: “The security costs are a consequence of them having something like 23 different houses which have to be guarded 24/7 all year round.
“Obviously, even if they are not in there you cannot just leave it empty, so that is part of it.
“On top of that the cost of security for the main palaces and castles like Windsor and Buckingham Palace and for major events they do.
“Slimming it [the monarchy] down is not going to make a whole lot of difference to that.
“The other costs, the Sovereign Grant has no bearing whatsoever on what they need, it just goes up every year regardless.
“It is linked to the promise of the crown state.
“That will still go up regardless of how many of them there are.”
He added: “The cost of the royals has very little relationship with what they need and what they spent on engagements so slimming it down is going to make no difference whatsoever to the cost.”
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However, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams has previously criticised Republic’s views on the monarchy.
Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk that the Royal Family is Britain’s greatest soft power asset.
He said: “The taxpayer gets an extraordinary bargain from the Crown Estate which brought in £345 million in 2019/20.
“These are surrendered at the beginning of a reign and in return the Sovereign Grant, 15 percent of their value, is now returned to the monarch.
“Over a decade an extra 10 percent is being spent on refurbishing Buckingham Palace, which had not been done for decades.”
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Mr Fitzwilliams continued: “It is important to stress that though the monarch theoretically owns the Crown Estate, he or she cannot sell it or derive revenues from it, other than that voted by Parliament.
“Since the amount of the Sovereign Grant, excluding security, is some 74p per person per year, which rises to £1.24p whilst Buckingham Palace is being refurbished, it makes the institution a bargain.
“It benefits Britain financially in several other ways, through tourism, the benefits from royal trips abroad to British business and the interest from the international media is simply vast, something Republic cannot ever explain.
“The monarchy is Britain’s greatest soft power asset.”
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