The annual accounts of the British monarchy have just been revealed, showing British taxpayers just how much of their hard-earned money goes on covering the royal’s travel and housing costs.
The royal accounts, which were published on Thursday morning, showed that taxpayer-funded spending had increased by £14.9 million, or 17%, in the last financial year whilst UK GDP fell.
Official royal travel costs came to £4.5 million and utilities to £3.2 million, whilst housekeeping and hospitality costs came to a total of £1.3 million – an increase of 55% in a year.
The monarch’s annual payroll bill amounted to £23.7 million, whilst Prince Charles’s tax bill came to £5.9 million and the cost of official travel for William and Kate’s controversial Caribbean tour added up to £226,383.
The Gold State Coach was used for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 and on other state occasions including the Golden Jubilee in 2002. / Image: The Royal Family
The accounts also revealed that Prince Charles’s annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall landed estate, which includes approximately 53,300 hectares of land, over 600 residential lettings and more than 700 agricultural tenancies, increased from £20.4 million to £23 million.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Campaign group Republic spoke damningly of the figures, drawing attention to the country’s spiralling cost of living emergency which is leaving many to make the choice between heating or eating as a result of very little government support.
He told Wales Online: “As always, while the rest of us face a cost-of-living crisis and continued squeezes on public services, the royals walk off with hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”
The chandeliers in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. / Image: The Royal Family
“We need to put the monarchy on a proper budgetary footing, just like any other public body. We need to slash that budget down to below £10m, and only fund what’s required for the functions of the head of state.”
Meanwhile Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, suggested that Buckingham Palace was also facing some challenges itself due to inflation in the aftermath of the pandemic.
He said: “looking ahead, with the Sovereign Grant likely to be flat in the next couple of years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to grow supplementary income likely to be constrained in the short term, we will continue to deliver against our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and efficiencies”.
The British Army’s Irish Guards trooped their Colour at the first of several events commemorating Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. / Image: The Royal Family
Some key figures from the 2020-2021 royal accounts:
£86.3 million – The total taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, made up of £51.8 million for the “core” funding and an extra £34.5 million for the reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
9.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Buckingham Palace, compared to 8.5% in 2020-21. The target was 10%.
10.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Clarence House.
13.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Kensington Palace.
£102.4 million – Official expenditure by the monarchy – a rise of £14.9 million or 17% from £87.5 million in 2020/2021.
£1.29 – Cost per person in the UK of funding the total Sovereign Grant.
£1.3 million– Cost of housekeeping and hospitality for the royal household – an increase of half a million or 55%.
491– Full-time equivalent staff paid for from the Sovereign Grant, with the wage bill coming to £23.7 million.
£63.9 million – Spending on property maintenance – up £14.4 million or 29% from £49.5 million in 2020-21.
201 – Official engagements carried out by the Queen in the last financial year – 88 more than the 113 she undertook in 2020-2021 during the pandemic.
Almost 2,300 – Official engagements by the royals in the UK and overseas, compared to 1,470 last year.
£138,457 – Charles’s travel costs for trip to Barbados to mark country’s transition to a republic
£4.4 million – The Prince of Wales’s bill for the Cambridges’ activities, plus Charles’s other expenditure including his capital expenditure and transfer to reserves. Charles no longer pays for the Sussexes.
£1.2 million – Decrease in this bill over two years since 2019-2020 when Harry and Meghan were full-time working royals.
£23 million – Charles’s annual private income from the Duchy of Cornwall landed estate, up from £20.4 million in 2020-21.
Feature image – The Royal Family
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