by Chris Bodenner

Even the Queen is feeling the crunch:

Recent figures reveal that the Queen's estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, has lost £75 million as a result of the recession. Her private portfolio of land and property assets lost a fifth of its value and is now down to a paltry £322 million.

This is further bad news for her Highness, who has had her many, many requests for increases to the royal budget rejected by parliament in the last year. The monarchy's annual expenses currently run at £41.5 million, excluding an estimated £50 million in security costs. Nonetheless, Palace officials continue to engage in talks with the Treasury to elicit more funding for the Crown for, amongst others, planned household refurbishment and the 2012 diamond jubilee celebrations.

The Queen recently dipped into her now-dwindling private funds to pay for a few royal expenses, including Prince Harry's latest trip to New York.

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