Strapped Queen Surrendered Royal Finances to Gov't
Government gains veto power over how $60M allowance is spent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2010 4:32 AM CDT
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks up as she delivers a speech in the House of Lords within the Palace of Westminster, London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

(Newser) – The British government now has the final say over how Queen Elizabeth II spends her annual $60 million allowance from the government. The monarch signed over official control of her spending in 2006, following cash-flow problems that saw her borrow another $3 million from the government, reports the Independent, which discovered the agreement through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The queen uses the cash to cover the costs of her staff and palaces, but the agreement states that in the event of any disagreement with the government, ministers can step in and administer the funds directly. Constitutional law experts say the deal could be used to force the monarch to make spending cuts, or even to spend some of her own fortune—believed to be in the neighborhood of $500 million—to pay for the upkeep of her palaces.