1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Privy Purse

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PRIVY PURSE, is the amount set apart in the civil list (q.v.) for the private and personal use of the sovereign in England. During the reign of Queen Victoria it was £60,000 a year, but on the accession of Edward VII. the amount was fixed at £110,000 a year, which was the amount paid to the last sovereign (William IV.) who had a queen consort. The official who is charged with all payments made by the sovereign for his private expenses or charities is termed the keeper of the privy purse. The department of the keeper of the privy purse to the sovereign, assumed its existing shape in the earlier part of the last century. Under Queen Victoria the offices of keeper of the privy purse and private secretary were combined. As now organized these branches of the royal household consist of the private secretary and the keeper of the privy purse, two assistant private secretaries and keepers of the privy purse, and a secretary, assistant secretary and several clerks of the privy purse. These officials, though of the royal household, are not in the department of the lord steward or the lord chamberlain, but are of the king’s personal staff.