Britain’s Royal Family: How much does it cost the taxpayer each year?

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 5:25 pm

Today it emerged that £2.4m of taxpayer-funded costs was used to pay for renovations on the home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Frogmore Cottage in Windsor was converted into a single residence from five separate houses ahead of the couple moving in April before the birth of their son Archie.

The royal accounts confirmed that the renovation of the Grade II listed Frogmore was paid for out of the Sovereign Grant.

The work included updating the heating system, replacing floor joints and ceiling beams and installing gas and water supplies.

The couple, who previously lived in Kensington Palace, paid for fittings themselves.

The use of taxpayer money to renovate a house for the Royals has drawn criticism from those who believe that public money should be spent elsewhere, especially with the ongoing cuts to public services.

What is the Sovereign Grant and how does the taxpayer fund the Royals?

The portion of the money that funds the Royal Family that comes from the taxpayer is called the Sovereign Grant.

This money is taken from the profits made by the Crown Estate, which is the Royal Family’s independently managed commercial property arm.

The profits go to the treasury to help with the administration of the country, and 15 per cent of those profits is given by the government as the Sovereign Grant to help fund the activities of the Royal Family.

This includes the upkeep of the palaces, as well as the official duties of the members.

How much do the Royals cost the taxpayer?

The core grant, based on this 15 per cent figure, was £49.3m for the year 2019-18, up £3.6m on the previous year.

And from 2017-18, the Sovereign Grant was increased to 25 per cent in order to help cover the £368m costs of updating Buckingham Palace.

This means that the total amount for the 2018-19 year, taking into account the £32.9m increase, stood at £82.2m.

At the end of the year, any unused money in the Sovereign Grant is moved into a reserve fund, which is also used to help pay for the palace upkeep.

The royal accounts state that the Queen’s expenses for 2018-19 were £67m, so this year, £15.2m is being put into the reserve.

In the same year, the Crown Estate provided £343.5m to the Treasury, which was an increase of 4.3 per cent on the year before.

This means the 2020-21 grant is expected to be set at £85.9m.