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Cost of maintaining British royal family drops

world Updated: Jul 05, 2010 21:31 IST

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Maintaining the British Queen and the royal family cost 62 pence per person last year, down 7 pence as compared to a year before, Buckingham Palace accounts show.

The total expense on the monarchy decreased by 3.3 million pounds (7.9 percent) to 38.2 million pounds during 2009-10, The Telegraph reported.

The fall equated to a drop of 12.2 percent in real terms and was mainly due to a reduction in commercial charter flights and a refund of lease rentals from the Queen's helicopter, which was replaced last year, according to a royal family spokesman.

The accounts also showed that the Queen dipped into a reserve fund to boost her Civil List by 6.5 million pounds in 2009. This is the highest amount ever drawn from the reserve, which comes from surplus Civil List money accumulated in the 1990s.

The total cost of the Queen's Civil List - which pays for the running of the royal household including staff salaries - was 14.2 million pound in 2009, up 300,000 pounds.

Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said: "The royal household is acutely aware of the difficult economic climate and took early action to reduce its Civil List expenditure by 2.5 percent in 2009.

"We are implementing a headcount freeze and reviewing every vacancy to see if we can avoid replacement. Property services funding will be reduced by 0.5 million pound this year," he said.