Hundreds of members of the Queen of England's royal staff could lose their jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak, The Sun reports.
The newspaper reports between 175 and 250 employees will be initially offered voluntary redundancies to make up for the lack of money coming in from tourism.
Even though some royal sites will open during the summer, the number of visitors is slated to be much lower than previous years.
"These redundancies are just the beginning," a source familiar with the financial situation said. "We expect when then full financial fallout is revealed later this year, there will be mass redundancies and a scaling down of operations."
The Sun reports Queen Elizabeth will be down about £18 million in income from tourism. The Royal Collection Trust has agreed to defer its annual payment to the Royal Household because it has no money coming in from visitors.
The trust which manages palace tourism said it will lose £30 million due to the closure of the palaces by the end of 2021. It has taken out a loan of £22 million to get through the year.
Employees have been paid even though Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace were shut down, according to the newspaper.
A spokesperson said palaces and galleries will hopefully reopen later this month with reduced capacity.
"We may not be fully operational across all of our various activities until 2021," Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, master of the household, said in a statement. "As a result we have had to start considering some very difficult decisions."
"We believe that, for the foreseeable future, lower visitor numbers can be accommodated within a five-day-week opening at all sites, with Tuesday and Wednesday as our closed days, but we will keep this arrangement under review," a spokesperson said. "Looking ahead, we believe that the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on tourism means we have to plan ahead to ensure we are well placed to survive in the coming years."
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