Queen's Household Down To Its Last $1.6M

A report from the U.K.'s public spending watchdog says the royal household is down to its last $1.6 million in financial reserves.

Queen's Household Down To Its Last $1.6M
Wikimedia Commons / Runner1928

She's reigned over the British monarchy for six decades, and now she's been asked to rein in her spending.

​Queen Elizabeth is reportedly down to her last $1.6 million in financial reserves — a ways off from the $58 million she had just over a decade ago. (Via CBS

​​A new report from the U.K.'s public spending watchdog found the royal household overspent its annual budget of $51 million by $4 million last year. To make ends meet, the monarchy had to dip into its reserve fund, which the report says is now running at a "historically low level." (Via U.K. House of Commons

The report urges the monarchy to do more with less — noting in the past six years, the queen's household has only managed to bring down costs by 5 percent. (Via ITN

The report also found nearly 40 percent of the queen's estate was in subpar conditions and urged the Treasury to help the royal household "get a grip" on the situation. (Via British Monarchy

"I think both the Treasury and the royal household need to up their act." (Via NBC

The situation's gotten so bad, The Telegraph reports the staff at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle have resorted to "catch[ing] rain in buckets to protect art and antiquities​​."

One British historian told Sky News the issue at stake is really a matter of style over substance: "There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the need to modernize the monarchy in terms of the style of it, but this report really reveals there's a need to modernize the very infrastructure of it."

The committee has some cost-cutting tips for her majesty: more trips by car rather than plane, lease more of its properties, and open up Buckingham Palace more often to tourists. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Benkid77

Should that fail, the queen could always charge William and Kate rent.