By Ge­orge, it’s so great to be Bri­tish!


Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

THE birth of our fu­ture King, Ge­orge, is su­per news for Wil­liam and Kate and great news for “Brand Bri­tain”.

Pic­tures of the happy cou­ple and child have been beamed round the world, and it shows our coun­try in a good light.

It proves that we are a coun­try that is proud to up­hold tra­di­tions which have served us so well for cen­turies.

I can just imag­ine Amer­i­cans sit­ting at home lick­ing their lips now at thought of vis­it­ing “Lon­don, Eng­land” and try­ing to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

As far as I am con­cerned, the monar­chy is a “win-win” for us. It pro­motes the Bri­tish brand in the right way all over the planet and ac­tu­ally makes money.

The monar­chy costs us around £33m per year – that works out at about 70p for ev­ery house­hold.

Al­though the fig­ure is up by £1m on last year, it is sig­nif­i­cantly less than it was 20 years ago. But even the most con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mates say the monar­chy brings in over £500m ev­ery year in tourism.

Of the 30 mil­lion vis­i­tors who came to Bri­tain in 2011, six mil­lion vis­ited a cas­tle, six-and-a-half mil­lion a cathe­dral and five mil­lion went to a his­toric house linked in some way to the monar­chy. If the monar­chy and its tra­di­tions didn’t ex­ist, would tourists still flock to th­ese sights? I’m not so sure.

Last year, the num­ber of tourists who came to Bri­tain was even higher due to the Olympics, and who was the star of the open­ing cer­e­mony? The Queen. The sight o f Her Majesty ‘leap­ing’ from a he­li­copter with James Bond not only showed that she was game for a laugh, but in touch with the peo­ple and mood of the coun­try. The monar­chy is not just a good deal be­cause of the money it makes us via tourism, it is through land too. Some 250 years ago, a skint Ge­orge III cracked a deal with the govern­ment whereby the prof­its from the Crown Es­tates would go di­rectly to Trea­sury.

In re­turn the govern­ment would pro­vide the monar­chy with a wage.

It was a ter­ri­ble deal for the monar­chy, but a great deal for us be­cause al­though in Ge­orge III’s day the land was al­most worth­less, it is now worth over £7BIL­LION.

It ranges from beef farms in north­ern Scot­land, to Re­gent Street in Lon­don, half of the West End and the seabed.

The money from the Crown Es­tates puts a lot of money in the govern­ment’s cof­fers, which I hope helps to pay for hos­pi­tals, schools and trans­port – but know­ing this govern­ment it prob­a­bly gets spent on for­eign aid and wind tur­bines.

Over­all, the monar­chy has had a great few years with the Queen’s Di­a­mond Ju­bilee, the mar­riage of Wil­liam and Kate and now the ar­rival of the fu­ture King.

We get our monar­chs at a snip – they make us money rather than take and long may it last!

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