Sweden’s Royal Court is having financial problems, the Royal Court has said. The royal palaces have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The visitors are absent, and a loss of approximately 75 per cent of the revenue is expected this year. According to the Head of Finance at the Royal Court in Sweden, it risks affecting cultural heritage.
During the spring, the royal palaces have been closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 1 July, four of the eleven palaces reopened, but there will be few visitors. On a typical day during the peak season, around 10,000 visitors may visit the Royal Palace in the Old Town of Stockholm, but now there will only be between 100 and 200.
Because there will hardly be any tourists, 75 per cent of the revenue is estimated to be lost this year. In an average year, tourists generate 105 million Swedish kronor or about 9.8 million euros. This year, revenues are expected to be only 27 million kronor, which is about 2.5 million euros.
Staffan Larsson, Head of Finance at the Royal Court, has remarked to the Swedish media: “We have had a layoff so we have not hired summer employees, which is about 300 people. Then it is, of course, the case that when we have fewer employees, the maintenance of the royal parks is not in the way we normally do. It has effects on the maintenance and care of cultural heritage.”
The Swedish state provides grants to the Royal Court. One part of the subsidy goes to the Royal Family and the other part to the Royal Court to preserve the royal palaces and parks. Nevertheless, the care of the royal properties is paid with about 80 per cent of other incomes from tourism and other sources.
The Royal Family has not received any government subsidy to cope with the crisis, but according to the Royal Court, talks are underway with the Ministry of Finance. Staffan Larsson said: “We want nothing more than to show this fantastic cultural heritage and no one gets happier than us when we see all the people out in our parks. However, if we want to take care of them, it will cost money.”
The eleven royal properties and parks are the Royal Palace in downtown Stockholm, Drottningholm Palace and its Chinese Pavilion Gripsholm Castle, Ulriksdal Palace, Rosersberg Palace, Strömsholm Palace, Tullgarn Palace, Rosendal Palace, Haga Palace and Gustav III’s Pavilion.