Privy Purse and Treasurer's Office

Replacing and restoring stone steps at the Grand Entrance, Buckingham Palace. Over 450,000 visitors use this entrance each year
© Royal Household Property Services

The Privy Purse is an actual object, a heavily embroidered wallet carried by the keeper of the Privy Purse at the Coronation ceremony. This Purse dates from George VI's reign
© Keeper of the Privy Purse

Privy Purse and Treasurer's Office

The Keeper of the Privy Purse is responsible for the management of the Sovereign's financial affairs. He looks after the management of the revenues which come to the Sovereign from the Duchy of Lancaster. As Treasurer to The Queen, he oversees the management of the Civil List and the Grants-in-Aid from Government Departments for the maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces and for Royal travel. Annual accounts are published for the Grants-in-Aid; accounts for the Civil List are published at least every 10 years.

He is also responsible for the property maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces and their gardens, and for personnel matters in the Royal Household, for The Queen's private estates and for the commercial activities of the Royal Collection Trust (for which annual accounts are published).

A member of his staff is the Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection, the most comprehensive collection of UK and Commonwealth postage stamps in the world, formed from the private collections of George V and other members of the Royal family.

The Keeper's name is derived from the Privy Purse - an embroidered bag borne by the Keeper at a coronation - which contrasts with his Department's present-day use of computers and up-to-date accounting procedures.

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