Reader letter: 'The Royals are major players in our tourist industry' so why should they pay for Buckingham Palace repairs?
PUBLISHED: 13:37 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:37 06 December 2016
It's good to know people donate to charitable causes like Children in Need, but people are barking up the wrong tree when they suggest the Queen should pay for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen owns Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House and these are not publicly funded, she doesn’t own Buckingham Palace so why should she pay for the repairs?
Buckingham Palace is the property of the Crown Estate as is No 10 Downing Street, Windsor Castle and a few other items, rather like (bizarrely) all of the UK’s seabed.
We know there are those of a republican mind who believe the Queen and her entourage are a waste of money and they are entitled to their opinion, but I believe the majority view is we would be a poorer nation without them.
If we’re talking value for money, numbers, let’s look at tourism.
Like it or not, the Royals are major players in our tourist industry, all those Americans, Chinese, Japanese, et al don’t come to London to gawp at our politicians.
Tourism generates over £106 billion, yes that’s right, £106,000,000,000. Every year.
It employs over two million folk and supports thousands of organisations, ergo it is a very important part of the UK’s business.
Thus a spend of £379 million spread over several years on a key tourist attraction looks like a good investment.
This anti-Royal view is the same one that says we should not have a Royal Yacht.
Most would agree with that in the old sense of the word, ie a large ship purely for transporting members of the Royal Family about.
However, post-Brexit there is a good case for saying such a ship would tour the world (most of the time without the Queen) acting as a unique British floating conference centre promoting British business interests and expertise where it counts.
No doubt we’d have the doomsayers demanding the spend should be on this or that worthy cause but — we need to make money, lots of money, before we can spend it.
Paul Milner, Holway Road, Sheringham.