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    英國王室的開支猛增,原因何在

    Phil Boucher 2019年07月03日

    想過英國王室的生活,一年8520萬美元也打不住。

    2019年6月8日,英國女王伊麗莎白二世和家人在白金漢宮陽臺上觀看皇家閱兵式,慶祝女王93歲生日。圖片來源:Xinhua/Ray Tang via Getty Images

    像英國王室一樣生活要花多少錢?根據白金漢宮上周公布的數據,每年至少6700萬英鎊(8520萬美元)。

    更重要的是,費用還在不斷升高。最近一個財年,成本比上一年增加了1960萬英鎊(2500萬美元),增幅達44%。

    費用猛增的真正原因是什么?簡單來說,裝修皇宮可不便宜。

    皇家資金

    首先:錢從哪里來?

    1760年,英國皇室與英國政府達成特別協議,國王喬治三世同意交出凈收入,換得每年固定款項。此后歷代人對條款多次修改,最新一次談判是在2011年。

    具體如此運作:皇室成員讓出皇家地產的全部利潤,皇家地產是英國最大的資產組合之一,包括溫莎大公園、阿斯科特賽馬場,以及從倫敦到蘇格蘭和北愛爾蘭邊境遍布的住宅和商業地產。

    然后,英國政府通過“君主撥款”將約占總收入15%的固定款項返還給皇室。要不然該筆錢會作為公款,用于皇室維持費用,包括員工工資、官方訪問、招待和家政,以及各處皇家宮殿的維護等。

    2019年,伊麗莎白女王二世收到4930萬英鎊(6300萬美元)的君王撥款,以及3290萬英鎊(4200萬美元)的專項撥款,主要用來貼補白金漢宮維修,總共是8220萬英鎊(1.04億美元)。其中皇室花了6700萬英鎊。加起來今年的總花費超過了去年的7610萬英鎊(9680萬美元),凈支出達到4740萬英鎊(6030萬美元)。

    搖搖欲墜的宮殿

    今年的最大一塊新增費用是修復白金漢宮。2016年由首相和財政大臣等皇家受托人提交的報告稱,宮殿有墻壁倒塌和屋頂漏水問題,而且自20世紀50年代以來,電氣、管道和供暖系統一直沒有翻新。總成本為4700萬英鎊(6000萬美元),占到年度總預算的57%。

    How much does it cost to live like British royalty? At least £67 million ($85.2 million) a year, according to figures released by Buckingham Palace last week.

    What’s more, it’s becoming more expensive: in the most recent fiscal year, costs jumped by £19.6 million ($25 million), or 44%, on the previous year.

    So what’s behind the bump? Put it this way: palace renovations don’t come cheap.

    The royal purse

    But first: where does the money come from?

    The British Royal Family has had a special deal with the U.K. government since King George III agreed to surrender his net income in 1760 in return for a fixed annual payment. This has been amended many times over the generations and was most recently renegotiated in 2011.

    It works like this: The Royals hand over all of the profits from their vast Crown Estate property portfolio, which is one of the U.K.’s largest, and includes assets such as Windsor Great Park, Ascot racecourse, and a mixture of residential and commercial properties stretching from London to the farthest ends of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    The U.K. government then returns to the family a fixed payment of around 15% of this total income through a ‘Sovereign Grant.’ This money, which otherwise would’ve gone to the public, funds the running of the Royal Household: staff payroll, official visits, hospitality and housekeeping, and the upkeep of the various royal palaces.

    In 2019, Queen Elizabeth II received a Sovereign Grant of £49.3 million ($63 million), plus a special additional grant of £32.9 million ($42 million) towards the extra costs of restoring Buckingham Palace—a total of £82.2 million ($104 million). Of that, the Royal Family spent £67 million. Those sums eclipse the previous year’s: £76.1 million ($96.8 million) in grants, with a net expenditure of £47.4 million ($60.3 million).

    A crumbling palace

    This year’s largest additional cost is currently fixing up Buckingham Palace. Along with crumbling walls and a leaky roof, a 2016 report from the Royal Trustees—who include the prime minister and chancellor of the Exchequer—found the Palace’s electrical, plumbing and heating systems had not been updated since the 1950s. At a total cost of £47 million ($60 million), that amounts to 57% of the total annual budget.

    白金漢宮需要大量翻新推進現代化,打造新辦公空間,更新電力系統。圖片來源:Photo by Pawel Libera/LightRocket via Getty Images

    為了解決問題,本次制定了十年整修計劃,將基礎設施升級至21世紀的標準,還打算安裝電梯方便殘障人士參觀。皇宮還將配備新電力系統,辦公空間也更寬敞。為此,工作人員、皇室成員和3000多件藝術品都要搬出東翼,為裝修騰出空間。

    哈利和梅根也要裝修

    皇室的另一個花錢無底洞,便是2018年5月女王送給哈里王子和梅根·馬克爾的五居室弗羅格莫爾別墅。別墅位于溫莎莊園,田園詩般幽靜,而且有點類似于馬克爾家鄉加州的紅杉林。但有個大問題,別墅修建于19世紀中期,后來改為宿舍風格的五間房,要做大量翻修才能變成一座現代化住宅,配上蘇塞克斯公爵和夫人的身份。

    裝修花費了英國納稅人240萬英鎊(300萬美元),主要因為天花板梁和地板托梁大多需要更換,供暖、供水和燃氣系統也得重新安裝,才能適合一家人居住。雖然英國媒體報道過,但裝修里并不包括瑜伽練習室。

    To address the situation, a ten-year renovation plan was mapped out to upgrade the Palace’s infrastructure to 21st century standards and make it more accessible to the disabled through the creation of extra elevators. It’s also getting a new energy system and more office space. This has seen staff, members of the Royal Family, and over 3,000 works of art move out of the Palace’s East Wing, in order to create a vacant space for the renovation work.

    Harry and Meghan get a fixer-upper

    Another Royal Family money pit: the five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage gifted to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by the Queen in May 2018. While it sits in an idyllic, secluded corner of the Windsor Estate—and close to a collection of giant redwoods from Markle’s native California—it had one major problem. Since its creation in the mid-1800s, the cottage had been repurposed into five small dormitory-style units, meaning that extensive construction work was needed to turn it into a single, modern home fit for the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

    These renovations have cost the U.K. taxpayer £2.4 million ($3 million), largely because most of the ceiling beams and floor joists had to be replaced, while heating, water and gas systems also had to be relaid to suit a single home. Despite reports in the U.K. press, the work did not include a yoga studio.

    弗羅格莫爾別墅是哈里王子和梅根·馬克爾的住所,經過大規模翻修才適合一家人居住。圖片來源:Photo by GOR/Getty Images

    現在別墅的外門、窗戶和墻壁正在維護,預計下一步將整修花園,不過這部分費用將由蘇塞克斯公爵和夫人支付,其他一些裝潢和家具,以及普通人看來相當奢華的改進也都由他們買單。雖然英國納稅人可以為并不會倒塌的別墅翻修買單,但他們肯定不愿意為公爵裝修廚房掏錢。

    當皇室要花錢

    那么裝修廚房的錢誰來出?查爾斯王子,廚房可以算作他的資產。

    皇室并不是所有的收入都要經過英國納稅人。康沃爾公爵領地就是英國王位繼承人持有的私有財產,在英格蘭東南部從農田到海岸占據大片土地,包括很多住宅和商業地產。這塊地的進項主要用于親王和夫人也就是配偶卡米拉,以及兒子威廉和哈里兩家的私人開支。

    如果女王想裝修廚房,其實也有自己的小金庫,就是蘭開斯特公爵領地,在威爾士、倫敦和英格蘭北部土地的收益。

    這些都算作私人資金,雖然女王和查爾斯王子自愿繳納一些稅,但還是有相當可觀的資金來維持私人生活。

    這意味著,如果想過得像皇室一樣,8520萬美元可能只是賬單里的一小部分。(財富中文網)

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    The home is now undergoing maintenance on its exterior doors, windows, and walls, and further works on the garden are expected—though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pay for those themselves, alongside décor, furniture, and any upgrades considered too expensive for the public purse. So, while the British taxpayer may foot the bill for a cottage that won’t crumble, they won’t be paying the bill for updating the kitchen.

    It pays to be royal

    Who does pay for that kitchen? Prince Charles, or at least his estate.

    The Royal Family don’t have to ask the British taxpayer to sign off on all their income. The Duchy of Cornwall, a private estate held by the heir to the throne, has a vast portfolio of land in southeast England, stretching across farmland and coast, and containing residential and commercial properties. The profits from that land are used to pay the private expenses of the Duke and Duchess, wife Camilla, as well as his children, William and Harry, and their families.

    If the Queen wants to update her kitchen, she too has a private source of funds: her own portfolio of land under the Duchy of Lancaster, which owns land across Wales, London, and northern England.

    These are all considered private funds, and while the Queen and Prince Charles voluntarily pay some tax, it still leaves them with a tidy sum to fund their private lives.

    That means that when it comes to living like a Royal, $85.2 million is likely just a fraction of the bill.

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