Author Topic: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy  (Read 107177 times)

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Offline mcdnab

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Re: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy
« Reply #330 on: December 23, 2008, 09:26:34 AM »
Its a fairly murky issue - Firstly everything might be owned by the Monarch but can't be disposed of - technically its the property of the nation though with some exceptions the nation doesn't really get to use it - apart from her personal investments, jewellery, artworks, objet d'art and private estates (Sandringham bought for Edward VII as Prince of Wales, and Balmoral bought by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria - although it would be pretty unthinkable that the Queen or her successors would dispose of them though they could)

To understand the breakdown:

The Historic Royal Palace is a charitable Trust which was established by parliament - it receives no Government aid whatsoever and relies entirely on revenue it generates - that covers the unoccupied bits of Kensington Palace, The Tower of London, Kew Palace, Whitehall (the Banqueting House), and Hampton Court Palace.
The government became responsible for their management in 1851, the Government passed control over the day to day running of them to the Trust in the 1990's - they are run by trustees - the Chairman appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Culture Secretary, four trustees are directly appointed by the Queen and three further are automatic - director of the Royal Collection, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, and the Lord Chamberlain a further six are directly appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture who must include the Constable of the Tower of London in those six. The Trust is legally responsible to Parliament for the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and ensuring public access etc.

The Occupied Royal Palaces Estate covers Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace, Windsor Castle, the Occupied Parts of Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Mews and the Home Park (Windsor). Responsibility for upkeep remains with the Department of Culture but in 1991 it delegated that responsibility to the Royal Household who receives grant in aid of Ģ15 million - unfortunately the grant has hardly changed in the last decade unlike the costs (despite the savings and additional revenue raised by the Royal Household) hence the current arguement over the backlog of maintenance.

The Private Estates - Sandringham House and Estate in Norfolk and Balmoral in Scotland - their maintenance and running costs are met by the Queen out of her private income. They are regarded as her personal property inherited from her father (who bought them from his brother Edward VIII after the abdication).

The Crown Estates - now worth over Ģ7 billion - these are the monarch's hereditary land and property holdings that were surrendered by George III to the Government in return for a fixed income (the Civil List) - the revenues of these estates are around Ģ200 million a year and go directly to the Government.

The Duchy of Lancaster Estate - The Duchy is administered on behalf of the Sovereign by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (a cabinet minister) - management of the Duchy's assets lies with a body called the Duchy Council. The members of the Duchy Council are appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Chancellor. established by Royal Charter -  The Monarch has no right to the assets or any capital increases in value merely the net income.

Works of Arts etc - The bulk of the Queen's Art Collection etc is now under the control of the Royal Collection which again receives no Government grant-in-aid or public subsidy.  It is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity.  The Trust was set up by The Queen in 1993.

Jewels etc - the rest of the assets would primarily be the Queen's collection of Jewellery which is probably the most difficult part to dissect between "held by the Queen for the nation" and personal property - Undoubtedly The Crown Jewels would be regarded as the property of the nation, arguably though the Royal Family could claim that certain of the stones used in the crown jewels would be their personal property for example the Cullinan II which is in the Imperial State Crown and the Cullinan I which is in the sword of state - the Cullinan was given to Edward VII on his birthday and apart from "the greater" and "lesser" Stars of Africa in the Crown Jewels the other bits of it are still worn by the Queen in the other pieces of jewellery made for Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. Arguably some of the most famous pieces would certainly be regarded as private property.  The vast majority of the Queen's Jewellery was commissioned and made in the last 100 to 150 years and its size is partly due to the collections of Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. Most gifts of jewellery to the Queen from foreign heads of state are now considered to be gifts to the nation and as such the nation technically should own them however similar gifts made before the second world war are far more likely to be considered family gifts and private property - it would also be very hard for the state to claim the many pieces made and purchased by Queen Mary.


Offline mcdnab

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Re: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy
« Reply #331 on: December 23, 2008, 09:27:23 AM »
There are a few probable scenarios if the monarchy were abolished however in most circumstances its unlikely that mass confiscation and exile would be likely.

Option 1 - an independent Scotland votes for a Republic - in which case the Scots Government would almost certainly insist on any Royal Assets in Scotland being transferred to them - that would probably include Holyrood House (only used occassionally by the Queen anyway) and possibly the transfer of any property administered by the Crown Estates which would reduce its income.  There might be future tax issues for the "Queen of England" as a foreign resident with property in Scotland - but the Scots Government would probably have had to give tax undertakens to the many English nationals who also own property north of the border.

Option 2 - Britain as a whole becomes a Republic (with Australia almost certainly following suit) - The former monarch would still technically be King or Queen of Canada, New Zealand etc - however an abolition here would probably snowball elswhere
I suspect the Crown Estates and the Duchy of Lancaster would be abolished with the assets transferred to the state given the technical fact that the Crown Estates are still the monarch's property (though held by the state) a small financial settlement might be reached.  The Monarch would probably agree to waive any claim to the historic gems set in the crown jewels - the Koh I Noor, The Cullinan 1 and 2, the Stuart Saphire etc. 
The entire jewellery collection including gifts of jewellery made during the reign would be regarded as private property. The Royal Collection transferred to state and would probably continue as it does now - private art work not part of the Royal Collection regarded as part of the private fortune of the monarch.
Balmoral and Sandringham private property all the rest of the Palaces transferred to the Historic Royal Palaces Trust (with a new board and arrangements for its governance).
The Duchy of Cornwall estates also abolished and transferred to the state with a possible small financial settlement made to the former heir to the throne.
It is also possible that the State would give the family permission to retain occupation of possibly Royal Lodge at Windsor and Clarence House paying either a commercial or peppercorn rent as part of any deal regarding the contents of the Royal Palaces in occupation, its also likely that those members of the Royal family and the Royal Household using houses at some of the Royal Palaces would be allowed to continue living there providing they were paying a commercial rent for them - though over time i suspect that would cease.  It would be in the State's interest to deal fairly with the former Royal Family to avoid lengthy and expensive law suits to try and establish what was and wasn't private property. The bigger issue would be taxation - whilst the current monarch pays tax on her private income, property left by one reigning monarch (or his spouse) to the next reigning monarch is exempt from death duties - the risk of abolition and the abandonment of that rule is that within a couple of generations we might be seeing Sotheby's auctioning off gems like the Cullinan 3 and 4, the Cambridge Emeralds, the Cambridge Tiara, or the Vladimir Tiara to help the family meet their liabilities.

Offline toddy

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Re: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy
« Reply #332 on: December 23, 2008, 10:44:54 AM »
My feeling is  if the Monarchy was ever abolished  Scotland would want to be independent and I am sure if Scotland went Wales would want to follow  i feel the Monarch is the glue that holds the United Kingdom together  I predict the day they abolish the Monarchy  the UK  will come apart ...  anyone else thoughts on this are welcome :)

Offline CHRISinUSA

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Re: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy
« Reply #333 on: December 23, 2008, 11:03:09 AM »
Very interesting mcdnab, you are probably quite right in most cases.  The one thing I question is the Duchy of Lancaster, which is separate from all other crown assets - confirmed many times over the years.  I would think that any settlement with the former monarch would involve her (?) retaining the Duchy - she is, after all, the Duke.  That would provide her the necessary income to maintain her lifestyle appropriately.  Naturally the Duchy's palentine-like rights would revert to the state, but would the lands?

Oh, and it's odd to think about it, but yes, if Britain ended the monarchy, the Queen might just end up remaining as Queen of Canada.  Not because Canadians necessarily want a monarch, but because the Queen's status in Canada is deeply entrenched in the constitution - altering it would be exceedingly difficult to do the way it is written.

Offline mcdnab

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Re: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy
« Reply #334 on: December 29, 2008, 07:00:58 AM »
The Duchy of Lancaster is odd - but under the original charters establishing it the Monarch has absolutely no rights to the assets of the Duchy merely the income created by those assets. With the abolition of the monarchy it is one of the things that might cause considerable tension over who has the right to control those assets.

Offline Margot

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If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #335 on: April 11, 2010, 05:10:38 AM »
Apropos the question, 'If Charles were to ascend the throne next week' how many here would NOT be happy should Camilla become Queen rather than Princess Consort and why?

Ooops I forgot the e in 'prsent' sorry!!!!!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 05:19:46 AM by Margot »

Offline Grace

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #336 on: April 11, 2010, 05:21:44 AM »
I will not be happy when (I no longer think it's 'if') Camilla becomes Queen Consort because of the very unpleasant circumstances leading up to her marriage with Prince Charles...the two of them caused a lot of problems for a lot of people to stand where they stand today.  I don't bear any malice towards the lady, but that's the way I feel!!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 05:25:20 AM by Grace »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #337 on: April 11, 2010, 05:26:44 AM »
I am not a UK citizen, but more or less an ex-pat American.. However, I agree with Grace. Ultimately, it will be up to Charles [ guess what he wants?] the Church and Parlaiment.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #338 on: April 11, 2010, 05:59:07 AM »
I am going to stick my neck out and say that Camilla should be Queen Consort. The only reason that she isn't officially Princess of Wales is sentimentality over Diana.

On a practical level, the longer the Queen continues to reign and the longer Camilla has to establish herself and demonstrate her good qualities before Charles succeeds, the better.

Ann

Offline darius

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #339 on: April 11, 2010, 06:48:51 PM »
I agree and I believe that Camilla has shown herself to be a decent person - and no I donīt think it is spin. She seems to be well accepted by the other members of the family including her two step sons.
I believe that if Charles ascends the throne then Camilla should be crowned as his Queen Consort. Whether that is something that Camilla will want to do is another matter - I donīt think that she ever hankered after being royal, Princess of Wales or Queen for that matter.

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #340 on: April 11, 2010, 07:10:57 PM »
Apropos the question, 'If Charles were to ascend the throne next week' how many here would NOT be happy should Camilla become Queen rather than Princess Consort and why?

I would not like it, because I'd love to see that amazing institution: morganatic marriage finally triumphant in "liberal Britain"! Apart from that I don't care. :-)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 07:14:17 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »

Offline ilyala

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #341 on: April 12, 2010, 05:15:56 AM »
I highly think this is a morganatic marriage type of situation. Camilla is old enough to assume that there will be no children, and even if there were, Prince William and Prince Harry pretty much ensure that none of her offspring will be a monarch.

So the only problem is whether or not Camilla should receive the title - since no other person (besides her husband) will be affected.

I personally see no problem with her being Queen. In the end, English monarchs do not have the influence they used to, it's not like Camilla will influence politics or anything like that. I find her dignified and fit enough to do her duty (in many ways more than Diana - who was a bit impulsive) so I really don't see why not.
'loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making'
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #342 on: April 12, 2010, 05:28:36 AM »
What is  "moganatic" in| Britain ?There has not been an "equal"  marriage  since Queen Mary,  consort of George V. The only equirement is consent of the sovereign and  not a Roman Catholic. Other than that,  the Windsors can mary from any class they choose.Queen Victoria once said that they did not have morganatic marriages, the concept  did not  exist in  her realm.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline Adagietto

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #343 on: April 12, 2010, 06:50:57 AM »
I think if she were not Queen there would be a certain awkwardness in the situation which would be best avoided.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #344 on: April 12, 2010, 07:10:34 AM »
On the other hand, if she were queen consort, it would damage  Charles & the monarchy's credibility- going back on  what he  promised.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.