Letter: Royal palace rents are fair

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Sir: Your readers may have been misled by your article "'Cover-up' over expenditure on royal apartments" (25 April).

It is impracticable for employees in the Royal Household to be charged market rents. Their salaries are paid from the public purse at public sector rates and would have to be raised to take account of the rent increase. Staff are employed on merit, and few would have the private resources to pay market rents. The result would be empty properties, unrentable on the commercial market for security reasons, with no return for the taxpayer.

Since taking over the management of the occupied Palaces in 1991, the Royal Household has concluded the first review of self-contained accommodation for many years. As a result, some 60 properties on the occupied Royal palaces estate will be let on the commercial market. In future, the revenue from the commercial lets and rent paid by employees should be roughly in line with the cost of maintaining the properties.

The Royal Household will be publishing its annual Report and Accounts for 1994/5 in July, which demonstrates that it will continue to provide full information on its management of the occupied Palaces.

Yours faithfully,


Press Secretary to The Queen

Buckingham Palace

London, SW1