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Landlord Paid £2.4m To Fix Up House Shock!

Public paid £2.4m to renovate Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Frogmore Cottage

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new home of Frogmore Cottage has cost £2.4 million of public funds to renovate so far, according to this year’s Royal accounts. The cottage has been remodelled from five separate living quarters into one large official residence for the couple and their son Archie, paid for largely by the Sovereign Grant.

OK who owns the Cottage?

The Queen put a whole bunch of properties that were officially “owned by the current monarch” into a formal organisation called The Crown Estate. It includes a load of commercial land and buildings which generate revenue as well as places used for the business of kinging or queening like Buck Palace. So although it is going to be Harry & Megans new home, it’s not “their house”. It is a Crown Estate property that they will be using for a while.

Since Crown Estates owns the house, as landlord they are responsible for necessary maintenance otherwise they would risk be appearing on Slum Landlords TV on C5. So that is all fine and dandy.

Where is the money coming from?

Instead of paying tax at 19% like a normal business, Crown Estate gives all 100% of it’s profits each year to the treasury. The government then gives back a percentage (currently 25%) to the monarch as the Sovereign Grant. This is to pay for staff, maintaining the buildings, and everything they need to do as part of being monarch. So not really the public paying, except in the most tortuous way.
It’s a bit like those “EU funded” projects in Scotland that are UK money being sent back. The Queen could chose to ask The Crown Estates not to give the profits to the Government of course, just pay the tax and trouser the remaining 81% to spend on decorating cottages or orange smarties if she really wanted to.

So to recap

The owner of a building has paid for it’s maintenance using the funds it has available to do so. It is a residence that will be used by some royals.  There was no effect on the taxpayer.

Have a row about whether Harry & Megs should pay rent, or who should own The Crown Estate if you want to but not that it spends it’s money doing what it is specifically there to do.

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Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
1 year ago

All money belongs to the government, therefore someone spending £2.4M of their own money is depriving the government of that cash – so is a cost.

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Ryan

The government is the Cabinet and Ministers of State, all money definitely does not belong to them, although quite a few are wealthy.

Q46
Q46
1 year ago
Reply to  Leo Savantt

I hate to be picky, well not really, but Government formerly consisted of the Executive, Parliament, Judiciary – the three independent branches, so-called separation of powers.

However this centuries old convention recently changed: Parliament and judiciary merged and now form the Government, the Executive now has a ceremonial role, planned to be phased out, the intention being to move this new arrangement to an unknown location in Continental Europe where it can only be contacted: Treachery, Poste Restante, Brussels.

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 year ago
Reply to  Q46

Technically parliament is not the government, it is the legislative who hold the government to account and technically the judiciary isn’t either. The government is the executive, Ministers.

However, parliament have recently attempted to become the government by trying, with the Speakers connivance, to take control of the business of the HoC and judicial activism highlights that judges see themselves in the role of governors, incorrectly.

However, you are most certainly correct in stating that our government to a great extent lies in Brussels and that indeed is treachery.

Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
1 year ago
Reply to  Leo Savantt

Strictly speaking, Government is a committee of Parliament. Parliament is sovereign, in normal day-to-day business it delegates almost all of that soverignty to a committee of itself headed by a member of itself.

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 year ago

You can be in the government, i.e. a government Minister without being a member of either Houses of Parliament. In fact you can be the head of the government, the Prime Minister, without being elected as an MP; although the last time this occurred was 1902, when the Marquess of Salisbury was PM. You can also be PM without being leader of a political party (Churchill 1940). It is Parliament’s role to to hold the government to account, not to be the government. The government is HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) and the PM is Her Majesty’s first minister. That is… Read more »

GR8M8S
GR8M8S
1 year ago

Renovation is more than maintenance. But as you say, Crown Estate money so no impact on taxpayers.

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