Royal austerity: British lawmakers urge Queen Elizabeth II to cut costs, boost income

FILE - This is a Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 file photo of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she listens during the service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. A monarch's life is not all luxury and glamour. A report by British lawmakers into the finances of Queen Elizabeth II has exposed crumbling palaces and depleted coffers, and discovered that a royal reserve fund for emergencies is down to its last million pounds ($1.6 million). In the Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014, report the legislators urged royal officials to adopt a more commercial approach to making money, and suggested opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors more often. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON - British lawmakers have criticized the financial affairs of Queen Elizabeth II and her household, urging the monarch to bring in more income by opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors more often.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said in a report Tuesday that the royal household needed more cash to address a serious maintenance backlog on crumbling palaces.

In words that have become familiar to Britons during five years of austerity, committee chair Margaret Hodge urged the royals "to do more with less."

She said Buckingham Palace was only open to the public 78 days a year, drawing half a million visitors, and suggested that boosting visitor numbers could help raise funds.

The queen receives 31 million pounds ($51 million) a year from taxpayers.

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