Queen Elizabeth, royal family facing estimated $45M decline in future finances due to coronavirus pandemic

A lack of income from visitors is contributing to the shortfall

Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family are facing an estimated $45 million dollar hit due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the royal family's 2019-20 financial report was released by royal treasurer Sir Michael Stevens, also known as the Keeper of the Privy Purse. While a majority of the expenditures included in it come from before the global health crisis surged around the globe, he did explain how the pandemic will leave a lasting effect on the British royal family's income.

Stevens said a lack of income from visitors to royal buildings was likely to bring a general funding shortfall of 15 million pounds ($19 million) over three years.

“If we look at our core Sovereign Grant and the income that we generate to supplement the Sovereign Grant, both of which support the official duties of The Queen, we are expecting a significant reduction in income from the Royal Collection Trust due to the impact Covid-19 has had on their visitor numbers," Stevens said. "This forms the bulk of a projected shortfall in income, which we estimate will be around £5 million per year for the next three years.”

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks out during a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Saturday June 13, 2020

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks out during a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Saturday June 13, 2020 (Toby Melville/Pool via AP)

He added that the impact of the pandemic is also likely to cause a 20 million pound ($25.4 million) shortfall in a 10-year, 369 million pound program to replace antiquated heating, plumbing and wiring at Buckingham Palace, the queen's London home.

Officials have said the palace's aging infrastructure, which had its last major upgrade after World War II, is at risk of a catastrophic failure if it's not replaced.

Stevens emphasized that while the pandemic will cause a decline, the royal family is not seeking financial assistance from the government.

"In responding to these challenges, we have no intention of asking for extra funding but will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies," he said.

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The Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on November 20

The Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on November 20 (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Buckingham Palace has already introduced a staff pay freeze and a halt to hiring.

The accounts show that the monarchy cost British taxpayers 69.4 million pounds ($88.2 million) in the year to the end of March, an increase of 2.4 million ($3.1 million) on the previous financial year.

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Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square 

Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square  (Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

The accounts also show that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle paid an undisclosed sum to reimburse the public purse for rent and refurbishment of their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle. The exact sum will appear in next year’s accounts. The renovation costs alone for the home were 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million.)

Earlier this year, Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The announcement included the couple's plans to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America. Most recently, the two, along with their son, Archie, purchased a home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Stevens concluded that, despite the many changes the pandemic has brought to future royal events, the royal family's dedication to citizens in the United Kingdom has not changed.

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“Although Covid-19 has temporarily changed the format of engagements and events, it has not changed the sense of continuity, reassurance and recognition they provide. Her Majesty’s programme, supported by Her family, will continue to develop meaningful ways to lead the nation through this time,” Stevens added.

Buckingham Palace has been closed for public tourism since April, impacting the royal family’s income that isn’t granted from the U.K. Treasury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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