17:12 GMT21 September 2020
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    The Lord Chamberlain announced that the Royal Household suspended “all but essential expenditures” and enacted a “recruitment freeze” amid the current financial situation.

    The lockdown enacted in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the finances of the Queen herself due to the decrease in income from tourism, the Sun reports.

    According to the newspaper, Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, head of the Royal Household, wrote in an email about an expected shortfall of nearly £18million (about $22 million) which amounts to a third of the annual royal income.

    "Although the UK appears to be over the peak of infections, it remains unclear when measures such as social distancing will come to an end. We must therefore assume it could still be many weeks, if not months, before we are able to return to business as usual", he wrote to the staff. "There are undoubtedly very difficult times ahead and we realise many of you will be concerned."

    One aide reportedly said that they put the Queen's diary of engagements on review until 2022 due to the current uncertainty.

    "We just can’t make any plans as we don’t know what will happen. The virus has had a cataclysmic effect", they explained, while another source noted that "even the staff Christmas party is in doubt".

    The Lord Chamberlain also noted that the Royal Household has suspended “all but essential expenditures” and enacted a "recruitment freeze", adding that "this year’s annual pay review has also been paused."

    "Coronavirus is now hitting the Crown were it hurts most — in its pocket", royal finances expert David McClure said as quoted by the newspaper. "As it battens down the hatches the Royal Household is clearly expecting a major financial storm."
    Tags:
    crisis, COVID-19, income, tourism, Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom
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