Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat MP, has just released a book examining the finances of the Royal Family. For those unacquainted with the politics of the Liberal Democrats, they are very much left of centre, a kind of middle-class socialism, if you like. That’s my impression of them anyway.
This detailed article in the Mail on Sunday is really worth your time to read, and it is indeed a fascinating look into the finances of the Royal Family, as far as anyone is entitled to see. And it would seem we are not entitled to see much. With secret wills and declarations of both private and public natures of their estates when it suits them for tax (and remember, like Amazon “reducing” its tax bill, this is all perfectly legal) there may well be a lot of questions about how much the royals are getting from the Crown Estates bearing in mind the relative poverty of the British people at this time. It might also be noted that today in the same edition of the paper we see that ten percent of those aged over 65 in the UK are undernourished (Link). In fact the £20 billion cost to the NHS of physical frailty caused by being underweight and not eating enough nutritious food turns out to be three times that of the obesity we are encouraged to call a “crisis”. Reading that article brought be to tears – what have we become as a nation when we have so many who are not well enough fed to avoid illness, falls and so on? That is a real crisis – it should be a crisis of conscience!
But back to the lavish Royals, apparently. I quote from Noman Baker’s article:
As a former MP and current member of the Privy Council, I thought I knew a good deal about the inner workings of the Royal Family, but even I have been shocked by what I have discovered in the course of researching my new book.
The reality is best summed up by Prince Charles himself, when he said: ‘I think it of absolute importance that the monarch should have a degree of financial independence from the State… I am not prepared to take on the position of sovereign of this country on any other basis.’
Which is to say that the State should provide him with copious amounts of public money, free from taxation – or other irritations such as accountability.
We as citizens should worry that our future king has subscribed to a view familiar to autocrats down the ages, one more in line with the practices of his ancestor Henry VIII than a modern democracy.
Just how much money have the Windsors accumulated? Regular attempts to nail down the private wealth of the Queen and her family are rebuffed by courtiers who argue that these are private matters. I take a different view: if their wealth has in part been created by unique tax breaks to the disadvantage of the public purse, or from simple exploitation of public money, then the Windsor millions are very much a public concern.
He goes on to give details of how the Royal Family have amassed great wealth, and even details how they have received grants and subsidies from Europe as part of the Common Agricultural Policy (to the tune of over half a million pounds a year).
But are we right to complain?
No, we should expect it.
We were warned. You see it is claimed that our Queen is a direct descendent of King David. We are of Israel. The Royal Family know it, and God has placed us under a Royal system because we chose it. We rejected Him, and He warned us in 1 Samuel chapter 8:6-22
6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest [a]young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. 22 So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”
So if people want to gripe about the huge wealth of the Royal Family, they need to remember: we asked for this – our ancestors did, at least. Envy of another’s wealth is covetousness. God will judge us all on that day.
The comments on the article are full of that covetousness, and whilst I am appalled at the state of our social safety net in the UK, and our society in general, this cannot be laid at the feet of the Royal Family, but our own turning away from the God who blesses.
We are becoming the tail and not the head, and we have the stranger rising up above us – the curses of Deuteronomy are there for us to see.
Repent, and walk in His instructions!
God Bless you