The Queen will be forced to ask ministers for more money from the Civil List by 2012 because she is living millions of pounds beyond her means.
Figures released by Buckingham Palace reveal the monarch’s spending rose to £41.5m – up by £1.5m – forcing her to dip into a reserve fund built up over the last 19 years.
This fund is expected to run out by 2012, Diamond Jubilee year, if the current of spending on maintaining the Royal Estate of palaces carries on at the same rate.
But the government is refusing to increase the £15m budget it spends on the upkeep of palaces, or the £7.9m Civil List which miantains the royal household.
The figures reveal that fifteen craftsmen – including cabinet makers, gilders, French polishers and clockmakers – maintain and repair the furniture in the official areas of the royal places, while it costs taxpayers £2,511 an hour to run 32 Squadron’s four-engined BAe 146 jet that provides royal flights.