London, Sept 26 : The Queen could face a cash crunch by 2011 but her secret pleas to the Government for extra money are being refused, it has been claimed.
Palace aides have told ministers the monarchy's finances have been eroded by inflation and more money is needed to pay for the royal family's official duties and the upkeep of its palaces. However, their calls have been ignored, leaving the Queen forced to make massive cutbacks before she goes broke.
Aides say Parliament must increase both the 15 million pounds it pays to maintain the Royal Estate, and the 7.9 million pounds for the Civil List, which pays for the senior royals' official functions.
Without a state bailout, the Queen will be unable to balance her books within the next three years, an investigation by accountants Baker Tilly claims.
"She tries to watch her budget and has been seen walking round Buckingham Palace turning lights off," the Daily Star quoted a source, as saying.
"It's not quite down to porridge and baked beans for State banquets.
"But the Queen is going to have to make some serious savings like the rest of her subjects.
"It won't go down well among some of the free-spending royals, but they will just have to grin and bear it," the source added.
According to latest figures, Buckingham Palace spends 9.1million pounds on staff salaries. More than 6 million pounds goes on travel, including 800,000 pounds run up by Prince Andrew, 48.
Another 900,000 pounds goes on gardens, 600,000 pounds on housekeeping and furnishings and 1.2 million on admin pounds. The total bill overall is 40 million pounds, excluding security.
Palace accounts show that the 82-year-old had to dip heavily into her cash reserves in recent years.
Some of her market investments have crashed and that, combined with the credit crunch, has tested her finances to the limits.
But Labour MP Ian Davidson said last night: "It's absurd for one of the wealthiest women in the world to ask for additional taxpayers' money."