Her Majesty The Queen is to receive what some have misleadingly termed a ‘pay rise’ next year after the Crown Estates see profits increase for the second year in a row.
Since the Sovereign Grant Act came into force, The Queen’s income for official expenditure has been directly linked with profits from the Crown Estates. The Sovereign Grant replaced the Civil List and the other official expenditure incomes with one manageable source in 2012.
Each year, The Queen is now paid 15% of the earnings from the Crown Estate. This money, however, is not collected through the profits themselves but through taxes. All the money from the Crown Estate then goes to HM Treasury.
Last year, The Queen was given £36.1 million ($55.4 million) in official expenditure and next year, she is set to receive £37.89 million as crown estate revenues go up from just over £240 million to £252.6 million.
Since the reign of George III, the Monarch has voluntarily surrendered the profits from their Crown Estates in exchange for a fixed sum from Parliament each year. Every successive Monarch has elected to continue this, all the way up to our current Queen, Elizabeth II.
There is some debate as to whether The Queen could ever cancel the arrangement and keep the Crown Estate profits for herself. Some experts say that the profits belong to the state and that Her Majesty would not be able to unbind this agreement now, others say that as it’s Her Majesty’s in ‘right of crown’, it is her property, so she could retract the deal.
This is incredibly unlikely to happen, however.
Indeed, though, the ‘value for money Monarchy’ is not a myth as Republic UK would have you believe – without the revenue from the Crown Estates, taxes would go up.
It is also wrong to refer to this as a ‘pay rise’, as not only is all of this money only for official expenditure but the income of Her Majesty is directly linked with the Crown Estates, so she gets only a percentage of what is hers in right of crown anyway.