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As said above I'm not a US citizen looking disadainfully on the UK. I'm English. Having just read a book by the RH Norman Baker (former MP and Privy counsellor) called "And what do you do" I can say with some confidence I stand by what I said regardless of the downvotes.
It's as enlightening of the royal family as our parliamentary system. I strongly recommend it. If you don't think we live in an elective dictatorship then read it. Read about the powers of The Crown and therefore the government and therefore the Prime minister.
Having just read a book by the RH Norman Baker (former MP and Privy counsellor) called "And what do you do" I can say with some confidence I stand by what I said regardless of the downvotes.
It's as enlightening of the royal family as our parliamentary system. I strongly recommend it.
It is correct.
First, the majority of her estate belonged to her crown, as she put her personal wealth in trusts for her grandchildren in order to avoid taxes. The reason that her private art collection was put into a national trust was because of a deal with Queen reached in 1993 to avoid paying taxes on the Queen Mother's private collection. (It is also argued wasn't private at all because it was given to her as gifts or were purchased through non-transparent ways. This is one of the reasons the Sovereign Grant was created in 2013.)
Here is another article, also from the Guardian (2002):
>The gamble that foiled the taxman
>The Queen Mother's longevity has cost the taxpayer millions in lost inheritance tax revenue, it was becoming clear yesterday. It is likely that the public purse, which part-subsidised an extravagant lifestyle to the tune of £643,000 a year, will receive little from her estate.... In 1994 the Queen Mother placed two-thirds of her money fortune - an estimated £19m - into a trust fund for her great grandchildren, a gamble, at the age of 94, that she would live for another seven years and so avoid paying 40%. That hurdle was cleared last year.
>Her stewardship of the Castle of Mey, the one home she owned, in Caithness near John O'Groats, is an example of royal acumen. The pile was derelict in 1952 when she bought it with money bequeathed by her husband George VI.
>The 1,800 acre estate costs at least £500,000 a year to maintain, but in 1996 it was placed in the possession of a charitable trust and the Queen Mother subsequently paid rent only for her annual stay each August.
But if you're interested in royal finances, there's a new book (out last month) called And What Do You Do? What The Royal Family Don’t Want You To Know by a former MP. The author has written about these issues:
>[T]he Queen Mother’s reputed £70 million legacy raises serious questions. Take the case of the valuable jewellery that she had supposedly given to her grandchildren back in 1993. This was more than seven years before she passed away, which meant that no death duties were payable.
>All these items were found in one of her cupboards after her death, which might be construed as deception, yet the Inland Revenue decided to let it go. So where did the Queen Mother’s £70 million come from? Perhaps part of the answer to the mystery can be found in a 1942 windfall, when she was left a large hoard of jewels by an heiress to the McEwan brewing fortune, a collection known as the Greville inheritance. Was this hoard given to her personally or as consort to George VI? Did the jewels truly belong to her, or to the State? And why were no death duties paid on the £70 million? It could be, of course, that there is nothing untoward in these wills. If so, why seal them?
Finally, if the royal family is RICH RICH, then why was Prince Andrew so hard up for cash that he arranged for an oligarch from Kazakhstan to buy his house for 15 million pounds, well over the asking price? (The oligarch never moved in, btw.)
I'm currently reading this which has a pretty good chapter dedicated to it:
Spoiler: the answer is "be an upper-class privately educated Tory"
All in Norman Baker's book 'And What Do You Do'