Scotland’s nationalist government has been accused of refusing to pay its share of the costs of funding the monarchy, as royal sources revealed the Queen may have to move out of Buckingham Palace while a massive refurbishment takes place.
The Scottish government wants £2.1 million of revenue that traditionally finances the monarchy to stay north of the border, with a royal source telling the Times they were “not aware of” any other way Scotland would meet its commitment.
The snub will be seen by many as revenge for the Queen’s apparent support of the ‘no’ campaign during the Scottish independence referendum. Although she rarely makes any political statement publicly, Prime Minister David Cameron was later overheard telling former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg that she “purred down the line” when he told her Scotland had voted no.
The monarchy is currently funded by the Sovereign Grant, based on 15 per cent of the profits from the Crown Estate – a multi-billion pound property portfolio owned by the British monarch that includes London’s Regent Street, various agricultural lands and the entire UK seabed.
Most of the money goes to the UK’s Treasury, but the monarchy last year took a cut of the profits worth £37.9m.
Yesterday, the Crown Estate announced £285 million worth of profits, of which some £14 million comes from Scottish holdings, which amounts to £2.1m of funding from Scottish assets towards the monarchy.
However, from April next year the Scottish government will likely keep all the money for itself.
The news comes as royal sources also revealed Buckingham Palace is in urgent need of a £150 million overhaul, with old wiring and plumbing in need of replacement as well as significant amounts of asbestos that need to be removed.
The Queen may even have to move out of her official residence, which has not been redecorated since the 1950s, while the work is carried out.
Speaking on the Scottish government’s decision, Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell said: “It’s shameful that [the SNP] are using the Queen and the monarchy as a political football by doing this. The Queen is the head of state for the whole of the United Kingdom.
“Scotland is getting greater autonomy in a number of areas, but they should not be using that autonomy to undermine the monarchy which has widespread support in Scotland.”