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April 22 marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. As the Queen enters her 10th decade, specialist brand and business valuation agency Brand Finance has calculated the contribution the Monarchy makes to the British economy. Costs such as the Sovereign Grant, security and maintenance of palaces have been netted off against sources of income including the uplift to the tourism, the price premium commanded by brands with Royal Warrants and the surplus generated by the Crown Estate. This net annual contribution amounts to £1.144bn in 2016.

Brand Finance has also estimated the total value of the Monarchy, often known colloquially as ‘The Firm’, as if it were a business. The annual economic contribution is projected for an additional four years into the future, with the contribution for 2017 estimated at £1.188bn, 2018 £1.203bn, 2019 £1.218bn and £1.234bn in 2020. Projected into perpetuity, this contribution has a net present value of £37.5bn. To this are added The Firm’s tangible assets (the Crown Estate, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster and the Crown Jewels) to reach a total of £58.4 billion.

The news comes as British consumer goods giant Unilever has revealed its Marmite, Knorr and Comfort brands have received Royal Warrants for the first time. A Royal Warrant can confer a significant premium to brands in certain industries such as luxury, food, sporting goods and fashion, somewhat controversially, at no cost to the company in question.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh comments: “Queen Elizabeth heads a Royal Family near a peak of popularity. Yet the old debate over whether the Monarchy should be retained continues to rage. The principle of whether monarchy is an appropriate and fair form of government in the 21st century certainly remains open to question. However Brand Finance’s research shows that from an economic standpoint at least, the royalists firmly have the upper hand. The Queen is exceptionally hard-working and respected, it will be interesting to see whether, in due course, Charles and William make as effective CEOs as Elizabeth.”