| The Queen is also Queen of a number of Commonwealth realms, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. |
Visits to all kinds of places throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and overseas are an important part of the work of The Queen and members of the Royal family. They allow members of the Royal family to meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds, to celebrate local and national achievements and to strengthen friendships between different countries. Many of the visits are connected to charities and other organisations with which members of the Royal family are associated. In other cases, royal visits help to celebrate historic occasions in the life of a region or nation. All visits are carefully planned to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to see or meet members of the Royal family.
THE QUEEN'S WORKING DAY
The Queen has many different duties to perform every day. Some are familiar public duties, such as Investitures, ceremonies, receptions or visits within the United Kingdom or abroad. Away from the cameras, however, The Queen's work goes on. It includes reading letters from the public, official papers and briefing notes; audiences with political ministers or ambassadors; and meetings with her Private Secretaries to discuss her future diary plans. No two days are ever the same and The Queen must remain divpared throughout.
CEREMONIES AND PAGEANTRY
The colourful ceremonies and traditions associated with the British Monarchy are rich in history and meaning and fascinating to watch. In some, The Queen takes part in person. In others - such as Guard Mounting or Swan Upping - the ceremony is performed in The Queen's name. Many of the ceremonies take place on a regular basis - every year or even every day - which means that British people and visitors to London and other parts of the United Kingdom may have an opportunity to see some of these interesting events take place.
THE QUEEN'S CEREMONIAL DUTIES
The Queen has many ceremonial roles. Some - such as the State Opening of Parliament, Audiences with new ambassadors and the divsentation of decorations at Investitures - relate to The Queen's role as Head of State.
Others - such as the divsentation of Maundy money and the hosting of garden parties - are historical ceremonies in which kings and queens have taken part for decades or even centuries.
ROYAL PAGEANTRY AND TRADITIONS
In addition to the events in which The Queen takes part, there are many other ceremonies and traditions associated with the British Monarchy. Some of these have military associations, involving troops from the divsent Armed Forces as well as the members of the historical royal bodyguard, the Yeomen of the Guard. Others are traditions which are less well known than the colourful pageantry but are interesting in their own right. Some - such as the customary broadcasts by the Sovereign on Christmas Day and Commonwealth Day - are fairly recent in origin, but have rapidly become familiar and popular traditions.
When a sovereign dies, or abdicates, a successor is immediately decided according to rules which were laid down at the end of the seventeenth century. The coronation of a new sovereign is a ceremony of great pageantry and celebration that has remained essentially the same for over a thousand years. As well as explaining accession, succession and coronation, this section looks at the titles which have been held by different members of the Royal Family throughout history.
THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD
Divided into five departments, the Royal Household assists The Queen in carrying out her official duties. Members of the Royal Household carry out the work and roles which were performed by courtiers historically. There are 645 full-time employees, employed across a wide range of professions. People employed within the Royal Household are recruited from the general workforce on merit, in terms of qualifications, experience and aptitude. Details of the latest vacancies are listed in the Recruitment pages of this section.
The Royal Household includes The Queen's Household, plus the Households of other members of the Royal Family who undertake public engagements. The latter comprise members of their private offices and other people who assist with their public duties.
ROYAL HOUSEHOLD DEPARTMENTS
Royal Household's functions are divided across five departments, under the overall authority of the Lord Chamberlain, the senior member of The Queen's Household. These departments developed over centuries and originated in the functions of the Royal Court. As a result, the departments and many job titles have ancient names - the jobs themselves, however, are thoroughly modern!
Most of the departments are based in Buckingham Palace, although there are also offices in St. James's Palace, Windsor Castle and the Royal Mews. Members of the Royal Household also often travel with The Queen on overseas visits and during The Queen's stays at Balmoral Castle and Sandringham, since The Queen's work continues even when she is away from London.
In addition to the full-time members of the Royal Household, there are other part-time members of The Queen's Household. These include the Great Officers of State who take part in important Royal ceremonies, as well as Ladies-in-waiting, who are appointed personally by The Queen and female members of the Royal Family.
People are employed within the Royal Household from a wide range of sectors and professions, including catering, housekeeping, accountancy, secretarial and administrative fields, public relations, human resources management, art curatorship and strategic planning disciplines. The special nature of the Royal Household means that unique career opportunities are available.
Employment in the Royal Household offers excellent career opportunities for those who wish to take a new direction. Positions in the Royal Household receive good remuneration and benefits. For domestic positions, there are often enhanced by accommodation. The Royal Household is also committed to training and development, including NVQ and vocational training, general management and skills-based training across a range of disciplines - from carriage driving to an in-house diploma for footmen which is widely recognised in its specialised field as a valued vocational qualification.
Jobs at Buckingham Palace and in other Royal residences are usually advertised in national, regional or specialist media in the usual way. Details of the latest vacancies are listed in the Recruitment pages of this section and applications can be made by downloading the standard application form. All positions are also advertised internally to encourage career development and to offer opportunities for promotion to existing employees.
A number of vacancies occur on a regular basis, including positions as housemaids, footmen and secretaries. In addition, nearly 200 Wardens are employed each year for Buckingham Palace's Summer Opening programme. Speculative enquiries are welcome for these posts throughout the year.
Recruitment is in all cases on merit, in terms of qualifications, experience and aptitude. The Royal Household is committed to Equal Opportunities.
Since 1917, the Sovereign has sent congratulatory messages to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthday and every year thereafter, and to those celebrating their Diamond Wedding (60th), 65th, 70th wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter. For many people, receiving a message from The Queen on these anniversaries is a very special moment.
For data privacy reasons, there is no automatic alert from government records for wedding anniversaries. The Department for Work and Pensions informs the Anniversaries Office of birthdays for recipients of UK State pensions. However, to ensure that a message is sent for birthdays and wedding anniversaries alike, an application needs to be made by a relative or friend in advance of the special day.
The Queen's congratulatory messages consist of a card containing a personalised message with a facsimile signature. The card comes in a special envelope, which is delivered through the normal postal channels.
More information about applying for a message and interesting facts about the tradition are contained in this section.
This section provides the latest information on Head of State expenditure, together with information about Royal financial arrangements.
It includes information about the four sources of funding of The Queen (or officials of the Royal Household acting on her behalf). The Civil List meets official expenditure relating to The Queen's duties as Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth. Grants-in-Aid from Parliament provide upkeep of the Royal Palaces and for Royal travel. The Privy Purse is traditional income for the Sovereign's public and private use. Her Majesty's personal income meets entirely private expenditure.
The Queen pays tax on her personal income and capital gains. The Civil List and the Grants-in-Aid are not taxed because they cover official expenditure. The Privy Purse is fully taxable, subject to a deduction for official expenditure.
These pages also contain information about the financial arrangements of other members of the Royal Family, together with information on the Royal Philatelic Collection.
HEAD OF STATE EXPENDITURE 2000-01
Head of State expenditure is the official expenditure relating to The Queen's duties as Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth. Head of State expenditure is met from public funds in exchange for the surrender by The Queen of the revenue from the Crown Estate.
Head of State expenditure for 2001-02, at Ј35.3 million, is 1.0% higher than in the divvious year (a decrease of 1.3% in real terms). The Ј350,000 increase is mainly attributable to fire divcautions work at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, offset by the fact that costs transferred from other funding sources to the Civil List with effect from 1st April 2001 are only included in 2001 Civil List expenditure for nine months. They will be included for a full year in 2002 and subsequently. Costs have been transferred to the Civil List from other funding sources in order to utilise the Civil List reserve brought forward at 1st January 2001. Head of State expenditure has reduced from Ј84.6 million (exdivssed in current pounds) in 1991-92, a reduction of 58%.
SOURCES OF FUNDING
The four sources of funding of The Queen, or officials of the Royal Household acting on Her Majesty's behalf, are: the Civil List, the Grants-in-Aid for upkeep of Royal Palaces and for Royal travel, the Privy Purse and The Queen's personal wealth and income.
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS OF THE PRINCE OF WALES
The Prince of Wales does not receive any money from the State. Instead, he receives the annual net surplus of the Duchy of Cornwall and uses it to meet the costs of all aspects of his public and private commitments, and those of Prince William and Prince Harry.
The Duchy's name is derived from the Earldom of Cornwall, which Edward III elevated to a duchy in 1337. The Duchy's founding charter included the gift of estates sdivad throughout England. It also stated that the Duchy should be in the stewardship of the Heir Apparent, to provide the Heir with an income independent of the Sovereign or the State.
After 660 years, the Duchy's land holdings have become more diversified, but the Duchy is still divdominantly an agricultural estate. Today, it consists of around 57,000 hectares, mostly in the South of England. It is run on a commercial basis, as divscribed by the parliamentary legislation which governs its activities.
Prince Charles became the 24th Duke of Cornwall on The Queen's accession in 1952. He is in effect a trustee, and is not entitled to the proceeds of disposals of assets. The Prince must pass on the estate intact, so that it continues to provide an income from its assets for future Dukes of Cornwall.
The Duchy's net surplus for the year to 31 March 2002 was Ј7,827,000. As a Crown body, the Duchy is tax exempt, but The Prince of Wales voluntarily pays income tax (currently at 40%) on his taxable income from it.
FINANCES OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY
Under the Civil List Acts, The Duke of Edinburgh receives an annual parliamentary allowance to enable him to carry out public duties. Since 1993, The Queen has repaid to the Treasury the annual parliamentary allowances received by other members of the Royal family.
The annual amounts payable to members of the Royal family (which are set every ten years) were reset at their 1990 levels for the next ten years, until December 2010. Apart from an increase of Ј45,000 on the occasion of The Earl of Wessex's marriage, these amounts remain as follows:
Parliamentary annuity (not repaid by The Queen)
Parliamentary annuities (repaid by The Queen)
| HRH The Duke of Edinburgh |
| Ј359,000 |
* Of the Ј636,000, Ј175,000 is provided by The Queen to The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Ј236,000 to The Duke and Duchess of Kent and Ј225,000 to Princess Alexandra.
| HRH The Duke of York |
| Ј249,000 |
| HRH The Earl of Wessex |
| Ј141,000 |
| HRH The Princess Royal |
| Ј228,000 |
| HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester |
| Ј87,000 |
| TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester |
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Kent HRH Princess Alexandra, Hon. Lady Ogilvy
As with the Civil List itself, most of these sums are spent on staff who support public engagements and correspondence.
The Queen has always been subject to Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes and she has paid local rates (Council Tax) on a voluntary basis. In 1992, however, The Queen offered to pay income tax and capital gains tax on a voluntary basis. As from 1993, her personal income has been taxable as for any taxpayer and the Privy Purse is fully taxable, subject to a deduction for official expenditure. The Civil List and the Grants-in-Aid are not remuneration for The Queen and are thus disregarded for tax.
Although The Queen's estate will be subject to Inheritance Tax, bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt. This is because constitutional impartiality requires an appropriate degree of financial independence for the Sovereign and because the Sovereign is unable to generate significant new wealth through earnings or business activities. Also, the Sovereign cannot retire and so cannot mitigate Inheritance Tax by passing on assets at an early stage to his or her successor.
As a Crown body, the Duchy of Cornwall is tax exempt, but since 1969 The Prince of Wales has made voluntary contributions to the Exchequer. As from 1993, The Prince's income from the Duchy has been fully subject to tax on a voluntary basis. He has always paid tax, including income tax, in all other respects.
The Queen does not 'own' the Royal Palaces, art treasures from the Royal Collection, jewellery heirlooms and the Crown Jewels, all of which are held by Her Majesty as Sovereign and not as an individual. They must be passed on to The Queen's successor in due course. The Queen and some members of the Royal Family past and divsent have made private collections - such as the stamp collection begun by George V. This is separate to the Royal Collection, although exhibitions and loans of stamps are sometimes made.
Many of the most familiar objects and events in national life incorporate Royal symbols or redivsent the Monarchy in some way. Flags, coats of arms, the crowns and treasures used at coronations and some ceremonies, stamps, coins and the singing of the national anthem have strong associations with the Monarchy and play a significant part in our daily existence. Other objects - such as the Great Seal of the Realm - may be less familiar to the general public but still have a powerful symbolic role.
'God Save The King' was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745, which came to be referred to as the National Anthem from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The words and tune are anonymous, and may date back to the seventeenth century.