History of Famous Jewels and Collections
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Re: OT, UK ownership
I do think that the best system to protect these collections and jewellery is a trust.
They will transfer all their assets in an express trust.
As a legal institution, the trust is characterized by extreme flexibility and private control.
A trustee will have the juridical ownership. He will have the power to buy and sell the assets which are transferred.
The beneficiaries, the royal family, will have the economical ownership. They will have the opportunity to use the assets like a usufruct in French law.
I think they are using the fact that it hasn’t been an issue since 1952 to try and prevent that nothing has changed. The Royal Collection is larger than that of the National Gallery but less available. If you compare the BRF to the Spanish (which did have a civil war and a dictator) they have put the public seeing it over the RF using it.
In select committees they have played legal games to obfuscate what rules to follow. In the Uk there are many legal exceptions that the royal family enjoy, eg exceptions from Health and Safety legislation that other nations do not enjoy. Some of the exemptions are explicit as I mentioned, but others are implicit and implied. I think the ownership issue is one of these.
Monarch to monarch inheritance is tax free, perhaps to allow transmission of these state objects and protect them from the need to be sold to pay bills, after all why should the public suffer the loss of a work of art because HRH Princess Octavia of Kendal has a poker addiction. I do worry that all this has done is kick the issue into the long grass for King Charles or King William to sort out. The collection is so vast and huge that it actually makes me angry that it is so difficult to see items. It has been stated that the Cambridge’s have items from the RC at Kensington Palace and at Balmoral hang exquisite paintings by Landseer, Balmoral in particular is a private residence inherited through aforementioned tax free inheritance.
I wonder as a broader question what is the best system to protect these collections and jewellery. The Swedish RF have lost the Bernadotte Rubies, Baden Palmette Tiara, Khedive Tiara, Stomacher Tiara, Norwegian Emeralds, Josephina Tiara. They have learnt but this is a huge loss. The British RF have lost Queen Victoria’s Sapphires, and Emeralds, Queen Alexandra’s Turquoise’s and Amethysts, her regal circlet, her wedding tiara, Cambridge Sapphires. Some of these losses are reasonable but they do show bad choices. Should they be the ones making the choices. I strongly believe that they were a bit too generous with Queen Ingrid. Unless they do just keep them and loan them out they will be lost. I hope that the BRF tax status doesn’t make them to relaxed in the future. Queen Margarete only gave away one tiara to Alexandra