Royal Family Faces Privatisation
In a leaked memo from the Treasury, it appears that moves are afoot to publicly float the Royal Family and sell stock shares in the Windsor brand. Coming amidst a swathe of austerity measures and cuts, it transpires that one of the more controversial options in the recent spending review was the prospect of turning the Royal Family into a publicly limited company and offer shares to off-set the increasing amounts required by the Crown from state funds.
Last year, almost 40 million pounds was allocated to the Royal Household, with a further estimated 50 million pounds in security costs alone. Although the money given out to the Civil List has been restructured by the Coalition government, George Osborne has faced increasing pressure from both critics and internal backbenchers to reduce costs on high profile areas in the wake of recent demonstrations against public sector cuts.
Initial soundings from the City were positive. If shares from “Windsor Group PLC” were to be announced, insiders felt that this would help stabilise the national economy and give a much needed boost to morale and the stock market.
“From a timing point of view,” said one trader, “this would be very savvy with the forthcoming wedding of William and Kate. Windsor is already a world-renown brand and this April will be an excellent time to launch it into the market”.
Another stated the recent success of the Duchy Farms brand, the organic food business run by the Prince of Wales, as a potentially worthwhile investment.
“They can clearly run a business at a profit,” he said. “The Duchy Estate pulled in over 16 million last year, and enjoys huge tax perks as a result of being removed from the Civil List. It’s a goldmine opportunity.”
Some critics have voiced concern at the image of the Royal Family being devalued as a part of the move to turn them into a business venture, however others think this would be a key move to show support for citizens across the UK who are currently feeling the weight of the economic crisis.
“I think it’s nice we can own a bit of the Royals,” said Maud Eddingly, 67. “It’s just like the war and that, it makes them seem a bit more normal.”
Westminster sources expect the Treasury announcement by Georg Osborne this Friday at 12:00.