A leading financial scholar has noted that the British royal family has cut spending, reducing the cost of the monarchy to the tax payer.
In his sixth international report on the costs of European heads of state, Herman Matthijs – professor of administrative science and public finances at Ghent University – revealed that the cost of the British royals has been reduced by 16 per cent.
The figure for the monarchy – praised as one of the most open in Europe about their finances - has fallen from £35.5 million to £29.7 million.
Much of the income comes from Parliament, in the form of public funds known as the civil list and grants-in-aid.
In addition, the Queen - widely recognised as one of the richest women in the world – generates income on admission prices to Buckingham Palace.
The royal residence, as well as Windsor Castle, does not belong to the monarch personally, neither do the crown jewels or the royal collection of art, which are state owned.
The sovereign does, however, own Sandringham House in Norfolk and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.
Further income is generated by the Duchy of Cornwall – a property portfolio held in trust to meet Prince Charles' expenses.
Queen Elizabeth II's austerity measures have been deeper and faster than reductions to the annual bill of the Dutch royal family, who are now the most expensive in Western Europe.
Queen Beatrix's family cost £30.7 million – with £14 million in personal allowances.
This is four times the cost of the royal family of Spain, one of the worst hit countries of the Eurozone's debt crisis.
Spain's King Juan Carlos has announced that he is cutting his allowance by 7 per cent. This will take about £16,262 off his annual £227,204 salary But Queen Beatrix said she saw "no reason" to reduce her own £647,000 annual allowance.
Cost of European monarchies
- Netherlands - £30.7 million
- Britain - £29.7 million
- Norway - £19.6 million
- Belgium - £11 million
- Sweden - £10.8 million
- Denmark - £10.3 million
- Luxemburg - £7.2 million
- Spain - £6.4 million