Queen’s land and property drop in value by more than £500m as a result of the pandemic

Joanna Whitehead
·2-min read
Offshore wind farms remain the positive segment of the property portfolio (Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Offshore wind farms remain the positive segment of the property portfolio (Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen’s land and property has fallen in value by more than £500 million following a slump in rental receipts from shops.

Office tenants and retailers operating on royal land are struggling to make rental payments as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Crown Estate incorporates London’s Regent Street and St James’ Park, alongside malls and retail parks around the country, plus the rights to seabeds around the British Isles.

On Friday, the group announced a fall in the value of its profits by £552 million to £13.4 billion, a drop of 1.2 per cent.

The figures published also reveal that it made a profit of £345 million in the year ending 31 March.

All profits are passed to the Treasury which, in turn, hands over 25 per cent of these to the Queen through the sovereign grant after two years.

However, the economic impact of the coronavirus has led the Crown Estate to make staggered payments to the Treasury, beginning with £87 million in July and more expected “as trading conditions develop”.

Dan Labbad, the Crown Estate’s chief executive, said that the estate would be working with tenants “on a case by case basis” to see how they can support them.

Offshore windfarms remain the positive segment of the property portfolio, with permission granted in August for the first floating offshore windfarm to be built off the Welsh coast.

The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch 'in right of The Crown'.

This means that it is owned for the duration of their reign, but it is not their private property and cannot be sold, nor revenues collected, by the monarch.

The news comes as a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would be returning to work in October.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh left London for Windsor Castle on 19 March as a precautionary measure.

The 94-year-old suspended all official duties in the capital before leaving just days before the national lockdown was announced.

But she is now planning to return to palace to resume “selected audiences and engagements”.

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