The Queen has received £7million in farming subsidies funded by taxpayers over the past ten years, it emerged yesterday.
And the Duke of Westminster - one of Britain's richest men - has been given around £6million.
They are among a roll call of millionaire land owners who have accepted bonanza payouts from Brussels.
The subsidies, made under the controversial Common Agricultural Policy, are meant to ensure farmers a reasonable standard of living while giving consumers quality food at fair prices.
The Queen's money has gone to Sandringham Farms on her Norfolk estate. Britain's biggest private landowner, the Duke of Westminster - who is worth £7billion - receives his for Grosvenor Farms.
Others benefiting from large subsidy payments include Sir Richard Sutton, a baronet with extensive property holdings who appears in the Sunday Times Rich List. Last year he received £1.9million in farming subsidies, according to the BBC's Panorama programme.
Its investigation found that overall in the UK there were 47 payments of more than £1million in 2010.
The programme also claims there is a loophole which means millions of pounds a year are being handed out to some individuals and companies who are not doing any farming in return.
Campaigner Jack Thurston told the programme: "The reason they get so much is because they own so much land - the farm subsidies are allocated on the basis of how much land you've got, not how much financial need you're in."
Until 2005, the much-criticised CAP subsidies were linked to the amount of food farmers produced, which opponents said encouraged overproduction and led to 'mountains' of wasted food. Since then, the payments have been based on the area of land and whether farmers meet environmental targets.
Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers Union, defended the system.
He agreed it was 'not a great PR story' that some farmers received more than £1million, but added: "It's one of those side effects of the system we have at present, and I want money to go to active farmers who are producing food."
European Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said he was determined to introduce a cap of £250,000, ensuring only 'active farmers' claim.
Almost 900 payments were made in 2010 that would exceed the cap.
DEFRA, responsible for the payments in England, insisted a cap would not work.
"To avoid losing subsidies, bigger farms would restructure and the only gainers would be lawyers," a spokesman said, adding that capping would also damage charities such as the National Trust.
The Queen's spokesman said: "Like others with agricultural interests, we are in receipt of the Single Farm Payment."
- THE DAILY MAIL