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Even the Crown estate is suffering from the downturn

The value of the Crown Estate, which holds the sovereigns properties and investments, fell by £1.3 billion last year as the recession ripped into the UK property market. These are assets held by the state, although they do not include Royal palaces owned by the Queen, from which income is paid direct to the Treasury on an annual basis.

The entire estate was valued at £7.33 billion last year but has since fallen to just over £6 billion due to the heavy exposure to the UK commercial property market. The portfolio includes significant investment in business parks and shopping centres which have perhaps been the hardest hit areas of the UK economy over the last 18 months. Even though the fall of 18% over the period in question is disappointing it has to be said that the Crown Estate has fared better than many other property dominated portfolios.

Many people will be surprised to learn that the Crown Estate, as well as holding significant commercial property, also owns all of the tin, silver and gold mines in the UK, 360,000 acres of countryside, 2,000 residential properties in Hackney, a McDonald's in Slough and a Debenhams department store!

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