Britain's Queen Elizabeth gets 18% boost in income
Queen Elizabeth II is due to get an 18 percent increase in income from her vast Duchy of Lancaster estate this year, accounts released on Thursday showed.
The private empire of property, land and investments began as an inheritance in 1265, and is one of several sources of funding for the monarchy.
The royal household will receive £16 million ($24.8 million, 22.3 million euros) this year, a rise of 18 percent from the previous year, according to accounts released by the Duchy of Lancaster.
The estate's net operating income increased over the past year to £16.6 million, "the highest level ever recorded", according to the accounts.
"The strong performance for the year has been spread across all the portfolios," the report said.
British press coverage contrasted the income bump with a cap on public sector pay rises announced in an austere government budget earlier this month, which follows a long squeeze on average wages in the wake of the economic crisis.
The queen will also receive £40 million from the proceeds of the semi-independent Crown Estate, which is paid through the British government -- a 5.7 percent rise from last year.
The Crown Estate funding covers the cost of running the queen's household as head of state, while the Duchy of Lancaster pays for Elizabeth's private expenses and the upkeep of her family.
The Duchy includes blocks of property in central London, ten castles, as well as farmland, homes, quarries, golf courses and commercial premises across England and Wales.
The queen is not required to pay tax, but she has contributed an unknown amount since 1993.
The queen's son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, has his own large private estate dating from 1337 to support him -- the Duchy of Cornwall.
© 2015 AFP