Not only is Queen Elizabeth II now the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, but she also rules as one of Britain’s most powerful brands
Sixty-three years and seven months. Or, to be even more precise: 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes. That’s the amount of time (as of today) Queen Elizabeth II has been doing her job, an historic length of service that also sees her inherit her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s mantle as Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
Today, the royal family generates an estimated £500m a year in tourism revenue. Such is the power of the Windsor family brand, it can affect everything from Waitrose’s cucumber quota (up 50 per cent prior to Kate and William’s street-party-inspiring 2011 nuptials) to global stockmarkets.
With a fortune worth £340m, the 89-year-old monarch is no slouch in the investment stakes either. Her commercial property empire is worth £11.5bn, encompassing London’s Regent Street, Ascot racecourse and Leicester’s Fosse Shopping Park.
Like all businesses though, she’s made savings too. Royal printing, postage and stationery bills went down to £500,000 in 2013 from £600,000 a year before, while helicopter maintenance now costs £300,000 less (now £2.7m a year).
Exactly how much the Queen’s coffers are boosted by the public is still a matter of debate. The 2013-14 Sovereign Grant Report estimates the royals cost 56p per citizen per year. (Although anti-monarchy campaign group Republic would have you believe it’s just over £5 per person.)
Celebrations for today’s landmark event will be muted compared to the 2012 Jubilee. The monarch will be spending the day in Scotland, opening the £294m Scottish Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway built in Britain for over a century. Meanwhile, a flotilla will sail down the river Thames with a four-gun salute sounding as it passes HMS Belfast. There will also be a £20 limited-edition coin, plus an exhibition in Edinburgh, Long To Reign Over Us, featuring photographs of HM the Queen from 1952 to the present day.