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英国王室的开支猛增,原因何在

Phil Boucher 2019年07月03日

想过英国王室的生活,一年8520万美元也打不住。

2019年6月8日,英国女王伊丽莎白二世和家人在白金汉宫阳台上观看皇家阅兵式,庆祝女王93岁生日。图片来源:Xinhua/Ray Tang via Getty Images

像英国王室一样生活要花多少钱?根据白金汉宫上周公布的数据,每年至少6700万英镑(8520万美元)。

更重要的是,费用还在不断升高。最近一个财年,成本比上一年增加了1960万英镑(2500万美元),增幅达44%。

费用猛增的真正原因是什么?简单来说,装修皇宫可不便宜。

皇家资金

首先:钱从哪里来?

1760年,英国皇室与英国政府达成特别协议,国王乔治三世同意交出净收入,换得每年固定款项。此后历代人对条款多次修改,最新一次谈判是在2011年。

具体如此运作:皇室成员让出皇家地产的全部利润,皇家地产是英国最大的资产组合之一,包括温莎大公园、阿斯科特赛马场,以及从伦敦到苏格兰和北爱尔兰边境遍布的住宅和商业地产。

然后,英国政府通过“君主拨款”将约占总收入15%的固定款项返还给皇室。要不然该笔钱会作为公款,用于皇室维持费用,包括员工工资、官方访问、招待和家政,以及各处皇家宫殿的维护等。

2019年,伊丽莎白女王二世收到4930万英镑(6300万美元)的君王拨款,以及3290万英镑(4200万美元)的专项拨款,主要用来贴补白金汉宫维修,总共是8220万英镑(1.04亿美元)。其中皇室花了6700万英镑。加起来今年的总花费超过了去年的7610万英镑(9680万美元),净支出达到4740万英镑(6030万美元)。

摇摇欲坠的宫殿

今年的最大一块新增费用是修复白金汉宫。2016年由首相和财政大臣等皇家受托人提交的报告称,宫殿有墙壁倒塌和屋顶漏水问题,而且自20世纪50年代以来,电气、管道和供暖系统一直没有翻新。总成本为4700万英镑(6000万美元),占到年度总预算的57%。

How much does it cost to live like British royalty? At least £67 million ($85.2 million) a year, according to figures released by Buckingham Palace last week.

What’s more, it’s becoming more expensive: in the most recent fiscal year, costs jumped by £19.6 million ($25 million), or 44%, on the previous year.

So what’s behind the bump? Put it this way: palace renovations don’t come cheap.

The royal purse

But first: where does the money come from?

The British Royal Family has had a special deal with the U.K. government since King George III agreed to surrender his net income in 1760 in return for a fixed annual payment. This has been amended many times over the generations and was most recently renegotiated in 2011.

It works like this: The Royals hand over all of the profits from their vast Crown Estate property portfolio, which is one of the U.K.’s largest, and includes assets such as Windsor Great Park, Ascot racecourse, and a mixture of residential and commercial properties stretching from London to the farthest ends of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The U.K. government then returns to the family a fixed payment of around 15% of this total income through a ‘Sovereign Grant.’ This money, which otherwise would’ve gone to the public, funds the running of the Royal Household: staff payroll, official visits, hospitality and housekeeping, and the upkeep of the various royal palaces.

In 2019, Queen Elizabeth II received a Sovereign Grant of £49.3 million ($63 million), plus a special additional grant of £32.9 million ($42 million) towards the extra costs of restoring Buckingham Palace—a total of £82.2 million ($104 million). Of that, the Royal Family spent £67 million. Those sums eclipse the previous year’s: £76.1 million ($96.8 million) in grants, with a net expenditure of £47.4 million ($60.3 million).

A crumbling palace

This year’s largest additional cost is currently fixing up Buckingham Palace. Along with crumbling walls and a leaky roof, a 2016 report from the Royal Trustees—who include the prime minister and chancellor of the Exchequer—found the Palace’s electrical, plumbing and heating systems had not been updated since the 1950s. At a total cost of £47 million ($60 million), that amounts to 57% of the total annual budget.

白金汉宫需要大量翻新推进现代化,打造新办公空间,更新电力系统。图片来源:Photo by Pawel Libera/LightRocket via Getty Images

为了解决问题,本次制定了十年整修计划,将基础设施升级至21世纪的标准,还打算安装电梯方便残障人士参观。皇宫还将配备新电力系统,办公空间也更宽敞。为此,工作人员、皇室成员和3000多件艺术品都要搬出东翼,为装修腾出空间。

哈利和梅根也要装修

皇室的另一个花钱无底洞,便是2018年5月女王送给哈里王子和梅根·马克尔的五居室弗罗格莫尔别墅。别墅位于温莎庄园,田园诗般幽静,而且有点类似于马克尔家乡加州的红杉林。但有个大问题,别墅修建于19世纪中期,后来改为宿舍风格的五间房,要做大量翻修才能变成一座现代化住宅,配上苏塞克斯公爵和夫人的身份。

装修花费了英国纳税人240万英镑(300万美元),主要因为天花板梁和地板托梁大多需要更换,供暖、供水和燃气系统也得重新安装,才能适合一家人居住。虽然英国媒体报道过,但装修里并不包括瑜伽练习室。

To address the situation, a ten-year renovation plan was mapped out to upgrade the Palace’s infrastructure to 21st century standards and make it more accessible to the disabled through the creation of extra elevators. It’s also getting a new energy system and more office space. This has seen staff, members of the Royal Family, and over 3,000 works of art move out of the Palace’s East Wing, in order to create a vacant space for the renovation work.

Harry and Meghan get a fixer-upper

Another Royal Family money pit: the five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage gifted to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by the Queen in May 2018. While it sits in an idyllic, secluded corner of the Windsor Estate—and close to a collection of giant redwoods from Markle’s native California—it had one major problem. Since its creation in the mid-1800s, the cottage had been repurposed into five small dormitory-style units, meaning that extensive construction work was needed to turn it into a single, modern home fit for the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

These renovations have cost the U.K. taxpayer £2.4 million ($3 million), largely because most of the ceiling beams and floor joists had to be replaced, while heating, water and gas systems also had to be relaid to suit a single home. Despite reports in the U.K. press, the work did not include a yoga studio.

弗罗格莫尔别墅是哈里王子和梅根·马克尔的住所,经过大规模翻修才适合一家人居住。图片来源:Photo by GOR/Getty Images

现在别墅的外门、窗户和墙壁正在维护,预计下一步将整修花园,不过这部分费用将由苏塞克斯公爵和夫人支付,其他一些装潢和家具,以及普通人看来相当奢华的改进也都由他们买单。虽然英国纳税人可以为并不会倒塌的别墅翻修买单,但他们肯定不愿意为公爵装修厨房掏钱。

当皇室要花钱

那么装修厨房的钱谁来出?查尔斯王子,厨房可以算作他的资产。

皇室并不是所有的收入都要经过英国纳税人。康沃尔公爵领地就是英国王位继承人持有的私有财产,在英格兰东南部从农田到海岸占据大片土地,包括很多住宅和商业地产。这块地的进项主要用于亲王和夫人也就是配偶卡米拉,以及儿子威廉和哈里两家的私人开支。

如果女王想装修厨房,其实也有自己的小金库,就是兰开斯特公爵领地,在威尔士、伦敦和英格兰北部土地的收益。

这些都算作私人资金,虽然女王和查尔斯王子自愿缴纳一些税,但还是有相当可观的资金来维持私人生活。

这意味着,如果想过得像皇室一样,8520万美元可能只是账单里的一小部分。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

The home is now undergoing maintenance on its exterior doors, windows, and walls, and further works on the garden are expected—though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pay for those themselves, alongside décor, furniture, and any upgrades considered too expensive for the public purse. So, while the British taxpayer may foot the bill for a cottage that won’t crumble, they won’t be paying the bill for updating the kitchen.

It pays to be royal

Who does pay for that kitchen? Prince Charles, or at least his estate.

The Royal Family don’t have to ask the British taxpayer to sign off on all their income. The Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate held by the heir to the throne, has a vast portfolio of land in southeast England, stretching across farmland and coast, and containing residential and commercial properties. The profits from that land are used to pay the private expenses of the Duke and Duchess, wife Camilla, as well as his children, William and Harry, and their families.

If the Queen wants to update her kitchen, she too has a private source of funds: her own portfolio of land under the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns land across Wales, London, and northern England.

These are all considered private funds, and while the Queen and Prince Charles voluntarily pay some tax, it still leaves them with a tidy sum to fund their private lives.

That means that when it comes to living like a Royal, $85.2 million is likely just a fraction of the bill.

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