As the revered powerful Westminster Committee prepare to take a thorough and unforgiving look at the value for money Monarchy in Britain, we take a look at just how much the Monarchy costs and where all this money comes from and, importantly, where it goes.
Where Does It Come From?
Like it or not, any political institution is not cheap. The Monarchy is no different, although the argument is more about the value of the institution than its cost. Surprisingly, on a per-person scale, the Monarchy is ultra-cheap.
Under a new arrangement called ‘the Sovereign’s Grant’, starting from April, The Queen will receive 15% of takings from her crown estates (the profits for this were first given to the Government by George III in exchange for a fixed sum from Parliament every year).
Last year, the Crown Estate made £240.2 million for the Government, under the new arrangement beginning in April, the Queen will receive 15% of that, which would be roughly £36.1 million.
But the question is, where does this come from? – Well, currently, the money for the Sovereign’s grant is collected in taxes! Under the present arrangement, each taxpayer pays roughly 60-75 pence in taxes every year! Yes, you read it right, 65-70p, per taxpayer, per year! Not that much when you think about it! Moreover, your taxes would go up if the arrangement was broken as the money collected by the Government from Her Majesty’s estate would be lost and the Government would be losing out on around £200 million per year!
What’s It Used On?
The money received by Her Majesty from the Sovereign’s grant is for official expenditure and is used for things like: maintaining the Royal Household, paying staff, travel costs and household essentials for the Queen. The grant does not include the costs of security, which is the responsibility of the Home Office and the police.
Previously, Parliamentary annuities are issued for The Duke of York (£249,000 per annum); The Earl of Wessex (£141,000 per annum); The Princess Royal (£228,000 per annum); and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (£175,000 per annum), The Duke and Duchess of Kent (£236,000 per annum) and Princess Alexandra (£225,000 per annum) are repaid by The Queen from her private funds. Instead now, the Government will have no involvement in this and instead the finances for individual members of the Royal Family will go through The Queen personally and not through an annuity.
The only person to continue receiving a Parliamentary annuity will be HRH The Duke Of Edinburgh who is expected to continue receiving his £359,000 per year annuity from parliament.
The Sovereign Grant will not support The Queen’s private activities as She has her own private income too. The Prince Of Wales has his own private income source as heir to the throne, called the Duchy Of Cornwall, from which he pays for the Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Whatever Happened To The Civil List?
The civil list is on its way out. The Sovereign Grant replaces the civil list and the other two types of income the Queen receives in official finance (travel and property services). The Sovereign Grant is significantly lower than the previous sources of official income put together, which will mean an even more cost conscious Monarchy will have to be moulded.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that although the Monarchy does cost millions every year, this is mere pence per taxpayer and in comparison to the amount of money Her Majesty pays from her crown estate every year in a deal set up by George III, the Monarchy actually earns the Government money rather than costing it money, i.e. the Government, under the new arrangement, will now earn roughly £200 million per year from The Queen and not, as the misconception tells, cost the country money.
So republicans beware, removing the Monarchy is certainly not in the financial interests of the country!