Windsor Bills a Royal Pain for Taxpayers
Monarchy subsists on $80M in public money each year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 30, 2008 7:49 AM CDT
In this photo released by the RAF, British WWII aircraft take part in the flypast over Buckingham Palace to mark Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday, in London, June 14, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Britain’s royal family is facing the effects of tough financial times, ABC News reports—but it's easier to cope when you have taxpayers to foot the monarchy's $80 million in annual expenses. While that’s just $1.30 per taxpayer, Buckingham Palace says, critics note unnecessary expenses, like a $44,000 helicopter trip to the Kentucky Derby.

Still, some subjects think $1.30 is “quite good value for money. It could be worse,” said one. And though travel costs jumped 10% this year, the royals are working to save money elsewhere: the queen shrunk her electric bill 11% and her gas bill 26% this year by making sure lights were turned out. Overall, the monarchy’s real costs have dropped 3% in the past 7 years.