Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images
A new report has calculated that the Monarchy is ‘worth’ £44.5 billion, and that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will add about £2.4 billion to the UK economy – more than making up for the £1.2 billion estimated to be lost through the extra bank holiday.
But can it really be worth so much, and does the commemorative teapot industry really make such a difference?
The report is from Brand Finance, which weighed up the assets of the monarchy in much the same way it does for any other brand.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, was bullish about the value of the monarchy, He said: “The Monarchy is one of the most valuable of all British brands. Whatever one thinks about the constitutional principle, there seems little doubt that the institution of Monarchy adds significant annual earnings and long term economic value to the UK.”
The report found that in all, the tangible assets – things like castles and crowns – were worth around £18 billion, and the remaining £26.4 billion came from intangibles such as tourism.
The value comes from a huge variety of sources. The biggest chunk is the crown estate – which was valued at £8,285 million, followed by the £4,057 million value of Royal Warrants. The next category is more controversial – putting a figure on the advertising value of Monarchy coverage – at £4,039 million.
Other significant contributions were calculated from the leisure, tourism and accommodation, the £513 million retail value of special events, the leisure and accommodation uplift specifically for the Jubilee, special events merchandise and the value of coats of arms.
This was offset against significant expenses, including £1,140 million for the cost of the bank holiday, £3,249 million for security, £845 million cost to councils and £461 million civil list cost. Other expenses include travel, the loss-making Duchy of Cornwall and Lancaster, government expenditure, PR and property maintenance.
The report concluded that the monarchy makes a vital and significant contribution to the UK economy. Haigh added: “It would be foolish to suggest that members of the Royal Family are not rich and privileged. The mystique of the institution relies on the fact that they are. Some are richer and more privileged than others and some flaunt the fact less tactfully than others. Is it a price worth paying?”