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Queen Elizabeth II will cut costs as COVID-19 reaches revenue

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her family are facing a £ 35m ($ 45m) blow from the coronavirus pandemic, in part due to a shortage of tourists, the monarch’s money manager said on Friday.

Publishing the royal household’s annual accounts, Keeper of the Privy Purse Michael Stevens said the lack of revenue from visitors to the royal buildings was likely to lead to a total funding shortfall of £ 15 million ($ 19 million) over three years.

He said the pandemic impact is also likely to lead to a £ 20m ($ 25.4m) shortfall in a £ 369m 1

0-year program to replace obsolete heating, plumbing and wiring at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s London home. .

Officials said the palace’s aging infrastructure, which had its last major upgrade since World War II, was in danger of catastrophic failure if not replaced.

Stevens said the royal household would not want more government money, but would “seek to manage the impact through its own efforts and efficiency”.

Buckingham Palace has already introduced a freeze on staff salaries and a suspension of hiring.

Accounts show that the monarchy cost British taxpayers £ 69.4 million ($ 88.2 million) in the year to the end of March, an increase of $ 2.4 million ($ 3.1 million) from the previous fiscal year.

Accounts also show that Prince Harry and his wife Megan paid an undisclosed amount to rebuild the state purse to rent and renovate their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle. The exact amount will appear in the bills for next year. The cost of renovating the home alone is £ 2.4 million ($ 3.1 million).

Harry, 36, and former 39-year-old Megan Markle were married at Windsor Castle in May 2018. The couple announced earlier this year that they were relinquishing their royal duties and moving to North America, citing unbearable raids and racists. attitudes of the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California.

This month, Harry and Megan signed a lucrative deal to produce nature series, documentaries and children’s programs for the Netflix streaming service.

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