Queen Elizabeth gets 18pc boost in income

By AFP, London

Queen Elizabeth II is due to get an 18 percent increase in income from her vast Duchy of Lancaster estate this year, accounts released on Thursday showed.
The private empire of property, land and investments began as an inheritance in 1265, and is one of several sources of funding for the monarchy.
The royal household will receive o16 million ($24.8 million, 22.3 million euros) this year, a rise of 18 percent from the previous year, according to accounts released by the Duchy of Lancaster.
The estate's net operating income increased over the past year to o16.6 million, "the highest level ever recorded", according to the accounts.
"The strong performance for the year has been spread across all the portfolios," the report said.
British press coverage contrasted the income bump with a cap on public sector pay rises announced in an austere government budget earlier this month, which follows a long squeeze on average wages in the wake of the economic crisis.
The queen will also receive o40 million from the proceeds of the semi-independent Crown Estate, which is paid through the British government-a 5.7 percent rise from last year.
The Crown Estate funding covers the cost of running the queen's household as head of state, while the Duchy of Lancaster pays for Elizabeth's private expenses and the upkeep of her family.