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Thursday, July 11, 2024

Elizabeth II: why did she choose to pay her taxes?

In February 1993, Queen Elizabeth II finally agreed to pay her income taxes, more than two months after the fire at Windsor Castle, which raised a major issue.

On February 10, 1993, thirty years ago, the late Queen Elizabeth finally agreed to pay her income taxes, after having been exempt for a long time. Before her, Queen Victoria agreed to open her wallet for the common good when it became the norm in 1842, as did King George V. And if the mother of King Charles III had decided to submit to it, it was in particular to calm the anger of the British.

Indeed, on November 20, 1993, Windsor Castle was the victim of a fire. Immediately, the Anglo-Saxon media wondered if the restoration costs, which amounted to 40 million euros, would be paid by the taxpayer. Faced with the indignation of the press and the population, Queen Elizabeth II chose to pay her taxes on her personal income, in order to hush up the affair. Six days after the incident in one of the many residences of the English royal family, the former Prime Minister at the time, John Major, announced the news. But it was not until June 6, 1993 that the sovereign officially opened her portfolio, when the royal finance reform project was planned.

No inheritance tax for the Crown

The privileges of British royalty had also been highlighted after the death of the Queen, through the succession rights. Indeed, it was announced last September that King Charles III had not paid any tax to become the owner of his mother’s estate. However, the English are all subject to taxes of 40% to hold the property of their deceased relatives. And so the new monarch was able to easily inherit the properties bequeathed to him, amounting to over £650 million, thanks to a 1993 law passed by the Conservative government. The Conservative government felt that otherwise there would be a risk of squandering the historical heritage.

Photo credits: Agency / Bestimage

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