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Queen's income set to rise for second year running

image captionThe Crown Estate owns property around Oxford Street and Regent Street in London

The Queen will receive a 5% rise in her income after the Crown Estate, from which she is paid, reported an increase in its profits.

The Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen's spending as Head of State, will rise in 2014 from £36.1m to £37.89m.

The grant is calculated as a percentage of profits from the Crown Estate, which includes properties such as Windsor Park and covers most UK coastline.

It announced on Thursday its profits had risen 5% to £252.6m.

Aside from the Queen's income, the profit goes to the Treasury to help with the nation's finances.

The value of Crown Estate's property portfolio is now £8.1bn, exceeding £8bn for the first time.

Not private

Chairman Sir Stuart Hampson said the record performance would "again make a strong contribution to the nation's finances."

While Crown Estate runs the properties owned by the Crown, it does not own the private property of the Queen.

An analogy often used is that the Crown Estate is the property version of the Crown Jewels - held by the Queen as sovereign, but not for her personal use.

Alison Nimmo, chief executive of the Crown Estate, said: "[Thursday's] results are a ringing endorsement of the quality of our portfolio, our active asset management and our highly skilled team.

"Despite challenging market conditions, we are well placed as a business with a clear vision and investment strategy, great partners and a strong balance sheet."

The Crown Estate's urban portfolio, which includes large parts of London's West End, brought in a total return of 10.6% on assets that are now worth £5.9bn.

Outside of London, the Crown Estate owns 15 retail parks in various towns and cities, including Liverpool, Swansea, Slough and Nottingham.

It also owns shopping centres in Worcester, Oxford and Exeter as well as offices in Birmingham, Manchester and Cambridge.

Its properties outside London are now worth £1.6bn.

The value of the Crown Estate's energy and infrastructure portfolio rose by 8.2% in 2012/13, reaching £564 million, and delivered a total return of 10.6%.

Alternative energy

Because it owns and manages the seabed around the UK out to the 12-mile limit, the Crown Estate is heavily involved in offshore wind farms, where it saw an extra 1GW of power come on stream, with around 300 new turbines erected offshore.

The Crown Estate also made £13.1m from cables and pipelines that cross its land.

As part of its overall property portfolio, it also owns the foreshore of almost half of the UK's coastline, although much of it is leased out to third parties.

It holds around 144,000 hectares (356,000 acres) of the country's agricultural land and forests, as well as residential and commercial property outside urban areas.

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