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  1. ITV Report

Are the Royal Family worth the £50 million they receive?

Good value for money or not? Credit: PA

In the last year, £45.7 million of taxpayer funds went to the Queen to pay for her official duties and other expenditure.

The Sovereign Grant covers expenditure such as payroll costs, travel and property maintenance, but as the figures from 2017/2018 are revealed, they are sure to reignite the argument surrounding the Royal Family: should they receive taxpayers' money?

Here we explain where the money has come from, and if the Royal Family are good value for money or not.

  • Where does the Sovereign Grant come from?

Money from the Sovereign Grant comes from the Crown Estate - an independent commercial property business and one of the largest property portfolios in the UK which includes holdings such as Windsor Great Park and Ascot racecourse, but most of which is made up of residential property, commercial offices, shops, businesses and retail parks.

The profits from this are then sent to the Treasury, this year £329.4 million, which calculates a percentage, known as the Sovereign Grant, which is then given to the Royal Family.

Technically the properties in the Crown Estate are owned by the crown, so the Queen is spending her own money, but some would argue she doesn't need as much money as she receives.

In the last year, £45.7 million of taxpayer funds went to the Queen. Credit: PA
  • Why have the Queen's costs increased so much in the last year?

As many in the UK struggle to make ends meet, £45.7 million seems like a lot of money for one woman, especially when it has risen from £41.9 million the year before.

The "core" Sovereign Grant is based on 15% of the Crown Estate profits, but this year it was 25% in order to cover the renovations at Buckingham Palace.

The increase in the Queen's costs soared this year as a decade-long programme of renovations began at Buckingham Palace.

Funding for the young Royals leapt 41% in the year the Duchess of Sussex joined the family. Credit: PA
  • Is it just the Queen's costs which have rocketed?

No. Funding for the young Royals leapt 41% in the year the Duchess of Sussex joined the family.

Clarence House's accounts, which cover the spending of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, showed that in 2017-2018 the total went up from £3.5 million to £5 million.

Clarence House put this down to a year of “celebration, commemoration and change”, as they celebrated the birth of Prince Louis and the engagement and wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The history of the Royal Family is integral to the UK's tourism industry. Credit: PA
  • But do the Royals not make money for the UK?

Yes. It's estimated that the Royal Family generates £550 million for the UK tourism industry alone with visitors flocking to attractions such as the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

On top of this, the Royal Wedding was expected to boost the UK economy by £500 million with tourists visiting the country to catch a glimpse of the newly-weds, pubs being granted longer opening hours, and London's shops expecting a £60 million influx in sales as tourists descended on capital which also benefited hotels.

Meanwhile organisations supported by royal patronage, such as Royal Ascot and the Royal Opera House, also generate a lot of money, £150 million extra was brought in to charities this year.

It's estimated that the Royal Family generates £550 million for the UK economy alone. Credit: PA
  • Do the Royal Family work hard for their money?

The Queen undertook 154 official engagements in 2017-2018, down from 162 the previous year. Now aged 92, Elizabeth II no longer undertakes engagements abroad.

Meanwhile the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall carried out 619 UK engagements last year.

In total, the Royal Family carried out some 3,000 engagements.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall carried out 619 UK engagements in 2017-2018. Credit: PA

So at a cost of 69p per person in the UK, it could seem that the Queen and her offspring are good value for money, though of course there are those who would say that the more than £50 million the Royal Family receives each year could be better spent in other areas.