Rise in cost of Queen to UK taxpayers

The cost to the taxpayer of supporting the monarchy rose slightly over the last financial year according to Buckingham Palace accounts.

The Queen's official expenditure increased by £200,000, from £32.1 million in 2010/11 to £32.3 million in 2011/12, a rise of 0.6%.

Civil List funding which is mainly used to pay the wages of of Royal Household staff fell by £100,000 to £13.6 million.

The Queen travels to the Armed Forces Parade and Muster at Windsor Castle in May
The Queen travels to the Armed Forces Parade and Muster at Windsor Castle in May Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The taxpayer funds used to pay for official air and rail travel at home and abroad for members of the Royal Family increased by £100,000 from £6 million in 2010/11 to £6.1 million in 2011/12.

There was also an increase in spending on property services - money used for the upkeep of royal residences and other buildings - from £11.9 million to £12.2 million.

But the cost of running the Buckingham Palace press office, maintaining the official website and providing information to the public fell from £500,000 to £400,000.

There has been an increase in the cost of maintaining royal residences
There has been an increase in the cost of maintaining royal residences Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

When the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his plans for the public expenditure to reduce by 25% in real terms over a four-year period, the Queen was very keen that the Royal Household should play its part in reducing its expenditure accordingly.

We are pleased to report that we have achieved this reduction a year ahead of the public expenditure target and managed to transfer £3.3 million to the Sovereign Grant reserve.

The decrease in expenditure is due mainly to the continuation of a pay freeze, increased income generation, and the deferral of property maintenance expenditure.

Expenditure during this Diamond Jubilee year will require the use of reserves as the first year of the Sovereign Grant provides for funding of only £31 million.

– Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse
The QUeen, DUke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princes Charles and Harry and Duchess of Cornwall on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
The QUeen, DUke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princes Charles and Harry and Duchess of Cornwall on the balcony at Buckingham Palace Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Royal finances are in a transitional phase as the old system is phased out and a new Sovereign Grant funding model is introduced.It will replace money from the Civil List, Government funds which cover the official expenses of the Queen and her household, and grants-in-aid.

Under the new grant, the Queen will receive 15% of the profits from the £6.7 billion Crown Estate.

The grant for the 2012/13 financial year has already been set at £31 million but for 2013/14, when the new formula begins, it is estimated to be worth £36 million.