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PostA "Gold Filling in the Mouth of Decay": Britain's Monarchy (Paul Levine, Denmark, 09/22/22 4:40 am)
Thinking about monarchies, I remember John Osborne's immortal description of the British Royal Family: "The gold filling in the mouth of decay."
Recalling recent revelations about suitcases stuffed with Pounds Sterling being delivered to the former Prince Charles for his "charities," Osborne's old description still seems prescient in post-Brexit Britain.
In a time of economic decline it is estimated that Elizabeth II's funeral cost £9 million. I hope the British public thinks it got its money's worth.
Two recent articles in the UK press bring home Osborne's point. Happy reading!
JE comments: Look no further than King Charles' exemption from Britain's 40% tax on estates over $380,000. This alone saves him a cool $200 million from the Queen's personal treasury. But this $500 million of Elizabeth II's "private" wealth pales in comparison to the market cap of Britain's Royals, Inc., which Forbes puts at $28 billion. The New Republic article (second link) puts a refreshing twist on royal-watching: they are actually a very modern institution, insofar as they do nothing but sit on their throne and watch their wealth grow. Advanced Western societies used to get rich by making stuff. Now they let their capital do the work.
Paul, what is your take on Denmark's Queen Margrethe? We never hear about her, over here. Upon the death of Elizabeth, Margrethe inherited the title of Europe's longest-serving monarch. This year she is celebrating her golden jubilee (50 years on the throne).