Hidden expenses make UK monarchy world’s most expensive govt institution
The Queen is in line for a 6.5% payrise and could net a cool £45.6 million from the taxpayer next year if the way she is funded stays the same.
Figures released show a total profit of £304.1 million for the Crown Estate.
If the Queen receives her Sovereign Grant calculated at the customary 15% of that she would be handed £45.6 million from the Treasury in April 2017, an increase of £2.8 million up from £42.8 million this year.
However, the formula for the Sovereign Grant is being reviewed this year by The Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Keeper of the Privy Purse who will potentially change the way it is calculated to less than 15% of Crown Estate profits.
This could mean her payrise is smaller, but she will still be in line for a bumper sum as rules state she cannot get less than any previous year.
But a source said about the negotiations yesterday in light of Brexit turmoil: “This is hardly the moment where we are going to finalise a review of the Sovereign Grant.”
News of the potential payrise came as Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Alan Reid revealed how the royals have spent the £40.1 million they were given in April 2015 – amounting to 62p per person per year in Britain.
He also stressed they have added to this by raising £13.9 million of their own money including through renovating and renting out apartments.
Last year it was reported they were renting one in St James’s Palace thought to bring in nearly £250,000 per year.
A source said: “We have a number of commercial lets in various parts of the estate.
“They tend to be where they are outside of a security cordon.”
Sir Alan Reid said: “I am encouraged by the increase in income generated outside the Sovereign Grant; this shows that we are meeting a key recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee.”
Prince Charles also revealed that his income from the Duchy of Cornwall estate rose to more than £20 million for the first time to £20.467 million up from £19.845 million the previous year.
Expenditure on the area of his accounts that funds Prince William, Kate and Harry was also up 9.5% from £2.965 million to £3.249 million, although officials would not say how much of the increase was down to the three young royals or itemise how that money was spent.
The bill for royal travel was down to £4 million from £5.1 million the previous year, but there were still some eye-watering travel costs billed to the taxpayer including a £94,409 charter plane for Prince Charles and Camilla’s tour of the Balkans in March.
Charles and Harry also spent £74,500 on a charter flight to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign last April.
Charter flights for The Queen and Philip to travel to Malta in November 2015 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting cost £55,358 with an additional £8,696 on scheduled flights for their staff, and Prince Harry’s flights to Nepal in March cost the taxpayer £33,278.
Some 221 helicopter journeys were taken at a total cost of £569,483.
The Royal Train also racked up some hefty bills including £20,034 for The Queen and Philip to travel from London to Aberdeen last August and £33,249 for Prince Charles to travel to travel from Ayr to Yorkshire to Aberdeen in September.
The largest expense was £16.3 million spent on repairing crumbling palaces.
Sir Alan said: “The occupied royal palaces are a vital part if our national heritage and can only be preserved through sustained investment.”
He added: “Despite increased investment…the condition of the estate is deteriorating at a faster rate than we’ve been able to respond at to date” and said any future increase in funding would go on royal palace maintenance.