The profits of the Crown Estate, a vast public property holding, increased to £343.5m in 2018. Its assets totalled £14.3bn.
But instead of benefiting taxpayers much of the income was squandered on the super-rich Windsor family.
A quarter of the Estate’s annual profits are given to the Windsors. This happens regardless of the state of public finances in general or of the wishes of the people.
Publication of the Windsor clan accounts for 2018 have exposed how some of this money has been wasted.
Members of the family have taken more than £7m in the last seven years to renovate their homes. The most expensive Windsor project in 2018, a £2.4m renovation of a “cottage” for a Windsor couple to live in. The cost could increase to £3m by the time all work is complete. The average price of a house in the UK is £229,000.
Before that £1.4m had been spent to replace the roof of an apartment in Kensington Palace. Reportedly that was to make it comfortable for the same couple before they opted to live in the “cottage”.
In 2012 – 2014 £4.5m was spent on an apartment for another Windsor couple.
Improvements to the Buckingham Palace in London have cost £369m.
The Sunday Times has reported that council planning documents related to the “cottage” renovation have been censored. But the newspaper did report that the Windsors had “dodged a council ban on turning multiple homes into one property”. An exemption for this policy for the benefit of the Windsors was “quietly permitted” by the head of the planning department.
When they were not spending our money on extravagant homes the Windsors were spending it on travel. £4.6m was wasted in this way, including
£110,000 – Five trips on the Windsor train.
£362,000 – Trip by Charlie Windsor and wife to Asia.
£69,000 – Trip by Anne Windsor to Africa.
£62,000 – Trip by William and Kate Windsor to Poland.