Graham Smith, the CEO of the anti-monarchist group Republic, told Express.co.uk that Queen Elizabeth II is the only member of the Royal Family that should have accommodation provided by the UK as she is the head of state. He added that the UK taxpayer does not owe the Queen’s children large luxurious royal residences and that they can get their own homes.
Mr Smith said: “Balmoral and Sandringham are arguably private property, but we do not need to provide them with two large estates which we then have to fund in terms of security and travel.
“There are more than 20 homes given to the royals by the state, we need to return all of them to the state.
“The smaller less important ones can be sold off or turned into commercial operations and the rest can be museums or parks that everyone can enjoy.
“This would allow them to bring in funding to cover their upkeep.
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“We do not owe them houses, we do not owe them a living, we do not owe them anything.”
He continued: “The only person we need to provide accommodation for is the head of state which is the Queen.
“The idea that we provide them with more than 20 large luxurious homes is obscene.”
The Republic CEO also singled out the Monarch’s children and their current living arrangements.
However, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams strongly disagreed with this view.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “It’s a very curious assertion that a head of state and his or her family should receive no money from the taxpayer as is common practice.
“Also, any reasonable look at this area should stress that the taxpayer needed to pay for security and, in addition to that, for the upkeep of buildings used, for staff and for travel.
“The Civil List, dating from George 111 who handed over his income from the Crown Lands in exchange for it in 1760, lasted until 2011 and has since been replaced by the Sovereign Grant which sensibly covers these costs and, excluding security, it is estimated that the cost of the monarchy is £1.24p per person per year including the cost of refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, the core cost is just 74p per year.
“There is no mention of the benefits from having the world’s most high profile monarchy as we do, in which there is such vast media interest, the revenues accrued from tourism, from royal trips abroad for British business and for charity given the 2000 engagements which, in a normal year, the royals undertake and the over 3,000 organizations which have royal links and value these greatly.”