LONDON: Britain's Queen Elizabeth has another reason to be cheerful in her Diamond Jubilee year - her annual pay is about to jump by 20 per cent to 36 million pounds.
Her property holdings, known as the Crown Estate, posted a record profit of 240.2 million pounds ($377.4 million), a net rise of 4 per cent in the year through March 2012 largely due to strong tenant demand for its shops in the up market Regent Street and St James's districts of London.
At a time when Britain is in recession and many families are feeling the pinch of higher household costs and taxes, the Queen's allowance will rise to 36 million pounds from 30 million pounds, the level at which it was frozen in October 2010 under new laws which peg her pay to the estate's profits.
“It's a great set of results and I'm sure everyone's going to be happy,” Crown Estate Chief Executive Alison Nimmo said.
The 85-year-old queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne this month with a 1,000-vessel flotilla on London's River Thames and nationwide street parties.
The Crown Estate pays all of its profit to the Treasury, or finance ministry. Under new laws that come into effect in 2013-14, the monarch's pay is calculated as 15 per cent of the estate's profits from two years prior.
The changes were designed to ensure the queen's pay would rise and fall with the health of the British economy, which this year entered its second recession since the start of the global financial crisis.
Used mainly to pay the Royal household's staff as well as for items like laundry, stationery and official functions, her 2013-14 pay will be the highest since 2008 though still less than half of her 1991 pay of 77.3 million pounds.
The Crown Estate, which owns a mix of wind farms, retail parks and most of Britain's seabed in addition to its central London properties, outperformed the industry's Investment Property Databank (IPD).
The value of its property portfolio rose 7.4 per cent to 7.6 billion pounds from the previous year, while the total return, which includes rental income, was 16.8 per cent, outperforming the IPD index by 10.4 percentage points