The Windsors exceeded their Sovereign Grant money by £16.1 million

Regarding the financial disclosures from the Windsors, I’ll admit that I’m finding some of the numbers confusing. It’s not that I have any desire to cape for the Windsor clan at all, but I do think that it’s worth pointing out that the biggest reason why the accounting looks “off” is because of the renovation of Buckingham Palace. BP is now several years into a complete renovation, most of it necessary work to keep the palace from falling down and/or making people sick. The cost of the reno was always going to be crazy and exorbitant, and the whole thing is projected to cost £369 million over 10 years. The cost seems to be broken down year by year in the Sovereign Grant rather than a bulk figure at the start or end of the reno. That being said, the royals are still spending way too much money.

Spending by the Royal Family exceeded its income from public funds last year and topped £100 million as the programme of repair works on Buckingham Palace was stepped up. The Royal Household spent £16.1 million more than it earned from the Sovereign Grant – the publicly funded part of the Royal Family’s income.

The annual report of palace finances shows it received £51.8 million for the day-to-day running of the monarchy and an extra £34.5 million for the Buckingham Palace redevelopment – referred to by the household as “Reservicing”. But total spending last year was £102.4 million as the building work on the palace reached an intensive phase.

The 40% increase on the repair bills for Buckingham Palace – which is mid-way through a 10 year refit – was needed to get the building ready to host the Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June.

The Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, who controls royal finances said: “There was a significant increase in work against a hard deadline to enable Buckingham Palace to be at the centre of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”

The total repair bill for the palace re-building works remains the same at £369 million. It means that palace accountants had to take some extra money from the reserve it has built up in previous years when they underspent on the repair works.

[From ITV]

So, let me get this straight – the Sovereign Grant financed the Windsors at a cost of £86.3 million, with £51.8 million towards “core funding” of royals, meaning their travel, their household staff, their office operations, general upkeep of the public residences. Then £34.5 million of the SG was earmarked specifically for the ongoing Buckingham Palace reno. And the royals overspent the £86.3 million by £16.1 million, so they pulled money from… somewhere.

Anyway, this is all kind of insane to me. While I believe that sh-t like publicly owned castles and palaces should be maintained as historical sites, what I can’t get over is how much it costs to just *have* a monarchy. All of those staff salaries and for what? For Bill and Cathy to wander around, being keen at three events a month? For the Queen’s senior aides to bully a 96-year-old woman into making public appearances? What is the benefit to the British taxpayer, what is the return on this extraordinary investment?

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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91 Responses to “The Windsors exceeded their Sovereign Grant money by £16.1 million”

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  1. Jan90067 says:

    Loose Fingers Liz squandered the monies that were *meant* to upkeep BP over the years, which is why they had to have MORE money for a much BIGGER project. This was brought out before. She diverted the “upkeep” money. *Exactly*where* is anyone’s guess. Now, they’re over budget again, and I doubt ALL of that went to the building either. How much was diverted into Pedo’s Payout?

    We all know TQ has “discretion” how she pays the minor royals. There is SO MUCH shadiness around their finances.

    • Giddy says:

      One must have one’s gin.

      • Sam says:

        As someone who works in the real estate industry and has a keen interest in historic buildings, it is truly excruciating to see the british royals running their property down! These properties should be managed by the public sector and not INHABITED and used by some lazy useless people! Is there any monument protection there at all!!?! A shame!

      • death by bacon says:


      • Jenny says:

        😂o m gosh. Rofl

  2. Snuffles says:

    At one time they could say the royals bring in the tourists and help with international diplomacy. But that doesn’t fly these days. The younger generation couldn’t give a flip about today’s royals and it’s crystal clear that Will and Kate are TERRIBLE at diplomacy and others like Andrew are just straight up liabilities.

    “Anyway, this is all kind of insane to me. While I believe that sh-t like publicly owned castles and palaces should be maintained as historical sites”

    I think the British should take a page from the French and turn the majority of these properties into money making tourist attractions and venues for rent for parties and events, rent out as office spaces, etc.

    Ratchet down the position of being a royal to just ceremonial window dressing. A nod to a bygone era. People will always find royalty fascinating from a HISTORICAL perspective, but they have no place in modern times.

    • Becks1 says:

      We’re going to England this summer and the thing I am least interested in seeing? Buckingham Palace. the “royals” interest me as a historical fact, in terms of planning the visit (like tower of london is a must-see, BP is not.) if the monarchy was abolished, I bet tourism wouldn’t dip at all.

      • Snuffles says:

        I only visited England once during Christmas. Definitely got a huge kick out of the Tower of London. Especially the jewelry. My Dad insisted on going to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. We got a nice treat as the band came out to play Christmas music. Our hotel was walking distance to Kensington Palace, so I took a stroll nearby. Pretty boring.

        On the other hand, I’ve visited Versailles in France twice and found it absolutely fascinating. Even learning about the history of it and how it was used politically.

      • Jan90067 says:

        The things people come to London to see as a tourist will not change if those people disappear off the face of the earth. People will still be seeing the palace, the pomp (changing of the guard), The Tower, the architecture, the museums, the stores, the pubs, the plays, the geographical areas (Cotswolds, The Lake District etc). WHO THINKS THEY ARE REALLY GOING TO *SEE* “ROYALTY”??? 😄 😄

        Somehow, France and Italy don’t seem to have ANY problems losing tourists w/out Royalty, do they?

      • Plums says:

        I’ve visited England once in my life, as a gift for my sweet sixteen with my gran, and it was extremely wonderful and generous of her, but she booked a tour with an itinerary that included a stop at BP for the changing of the guard, and stg, it’s the only thing I have no memory of because I was so uninterested. We visited Bath and Stonehenge on the same trip, and they were way more interesting than royal pomp.

        I agree with the comment that they should do like the French- Turn all these buildings into historical museums and let people wander around. That’s the only way you make money from the monarchy, because God knows they’re not serving any interest other than a handful of spoilt aristos and lazy courtiers as taxpayer funded homes and offices.

      • Fancyhat says:

        The Tower of London has an excellent audio tour that you can listen to while doing the tour. It was the highlight of my London trip

      • Chaine says:

        The tower and the jewels are interesting. So is Westminster Abbey. But I didn’t have much interest in going to see the palaces. We did walk around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and our bonus was seeing Prince Michael of Kent crossing from the palace area and shuffling around the duck pond unrecognized by anyone else. That was not a royalty moment that we wrote home about or that would draw us back.

    • equality says:

      On a day-to-day basis do they bring in tourists? I guess, some people come for the big events but how cost-effective are those. The jubbly supposedly brought in big money but did it bring in enough to make it worth the cost? And how did that money benefit regular working class people?

      • Giddy says:

        I’ve been to England 3 times and have loved my trips. I enjoyed the historical sites, loved shopping for antiques, loved seeing gorgeous gardens all over the country, and my garden trip was timed to end with a day at the Chelsea Flower Show. It was all wonderful and I feel lucky to have experienced it. However, never was there the slightest chance that we would see a Royal, and that was just fine. The beauty of England does not depend on having a monarchy, and my trips would have been exactly the same without a Queen in one of her castles.

    • Turnawry says:

      Tens of millions flock to Disney World, but are they there for the costumed characters? Only Goofy would insist it is so.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      It makes no sense to use the tourism angle when there was a pandemic and tourism/colonizing tours were minimal over the last 2.5 years and they STILL went over budget.

  3. Nicole says:

    Co-sign. Can anyone explain to an American why a country would continue to maintain a monarchy? It truly does seem like a waste of money. You can easily waste money with a dual head of state/government. 🙂

    Incidentally how does one continue to justify the devine right of kings anymore in general? Curious.

    • Dixie says:

      We maintain the monarchy because the alternative is some bloody idiot like Nigel Farage or Piers Morgan as president. That, combined with blowjob Bo Jo, is just too unbearable to even contemplate.

      • Andrew's_Nemesis says:

        Untrue, and it’s the usual spiel that scares the voters. We’re more likely to end up with a president a la France or Ireland. And we can vote the b-ds *out*. That’s THE most important point.

      • Nic919 says:

        Ireland managed to figure out a ceremonial head state without spending the billions the UK taxpayers do.

      • Gabby says:

        Those “bloody idiots” are accountable to you as the voter. You have the power to fire them if they don’t deliver.

    • JaneBee says:

      @Nicole There are significant costs involved for most nations relating to their heads of state, regardless of the model. The Secret Service, transport, and accomodation costs for Trump and his family were ENORMOUS? But you’re right – the costs associated with British Royal Family seem excessive, to put it mildly. I can’t imagine the annual costs for Canada/NZ/Australian governors general are more than $10-20 million in their respective currencies.

      But it would be REALLY interesting to see a spreadsheet breaking down comparable tax payer funded costs for the upkeep of the other European monarchies.

      I imagine the Dutch royals’ costs would also be relatively expensive – e.g. they have some pretty amazing carriages that would require a stack of maintenance, plus stabling and staff costs for relating to the horses, and that’s just a random example. They also have a stack of traditional events that require hats, impressive evening gear, etc. And Maxima and Willem also do official tours to former Dutch colonies, and other nations.

      From a travel costs perspective, it’s probably not really possible to compare NL, Belgium, Denmark, with e.g. Spain and UK, given the differences in geography.

      But I would love to see a breakdown of this – which European monarchy offers the best value for money to its subjects? 😁

      • DK says:

        @JaneBee: Sorry to keep asking ignorant-American-questions!

        But: while I agree there are significant costs for any head of state (and yes, T-rump definitely abused what is generally considered reasonable costs for US presidents, but even regular presidential costs are expensive), don’t you still pay that for Prime Minister/other elected head of state costs, AND also monarchy costs?

        Would definitely love to see the comparison of European monarchies value-for-money you suggest though! 🙂

      • JaneBee says:

        @DK That’s a totally reasonable question! Yes, costs for HoS in form of Governor General and also PM, but no direct costs for BRF , as I understand- with the big exception of covering official visits/tour related costs for members of BRF representing TQ (which is not insignificant).

        But I think in the States, the VP also gets a similar package (albeit on reduced scale) with house, staff, etc? Which may work out to be similar in scale to cost of HoS+PM for Canada/NZ/Australia?

    • j says:

      I agree. We’re already paying for head of government (prime minister, etc.). Why pay for a head of state that does next to nothing? The head of government is a function of the people. The monarchy is redundant, archaic, and unaccountable. I’m Canadian, part of this silly commonwealth tradition, and I’d like to do away with it. Not to mention that I’m not a fan of the patriarchal tracing of lineage and the priority status of eldest males. Like someone said upthread – decommission the palace like they’ve done with Versaille, let it be a historical landmark and attraction. The royals can find jobs like the rest of us.

  4. Becks1 says:

    So I think you can explain some of the costs by the BP renovations, but its worth pointing out that there was money allotted for those renovations (as mentioned in the post) AND if I recall correctly, part of the reason such extensive renovations are needed at this time is because BP has not been upkept properly (so if it was expected that 10 million/year would go towards the upkeep of BP, only 5 million was going towards it so now it needs this $$$$ renovation.) It’s a 200 year old palace so obviously there are going to be both ongoing upkeep costs and some renovations like what they’re doing now, but I think the reason why its SO expensive is because they kind of need to play catch up.

    But this article is confusing. The royal family overspent by 16 million – does that just mean the repairs for BP were over by 16 million (i.e. it was supposed to be 35 million but instead was 51 million?) Or was the overall spending by the royal family over by 16 million? Or are we not supposed to ask too many questions about it?

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      The last part. Never complain, Becks1, ‘cause they’ll never explain.

      And yes, it sounds like they were pocketing half the money they were supposed to be spending on upkeep for decades, until the gov decided to up the Sovereign Grant. That’s one way to get a pay/budget raise: keep misappropriating funds and then say you don’t have enough.

    • Eurydice says:

      I imagine that the schedule for BP was delayed during the pandemic – everything was delayed – plus, supply shortages, etc. – so I can see how they might be over the repair budget if they had to rush to meet the Jubbly timeline. But, from this, it looks like there has always been a reserve for repairs (which, for some reason, wasn’t used in prior years) and which was tapped for these expedited repairs – so, I don’t see how the overspending above the Sovereign Grant applies to the BP repairs.

      • Becks1 says:

        It was definitely delayed bc of the pandemic – I think the 2020 report showed that – but just in general over the past few decades the upkeep hasn’t been as ongoing as it was supposed to be (even though money was in the SG for it.)

      • Eurydice says:

        @Becks1 – yes, that was my point. The article says that the extra costs for BP repairs came from the reserve fund, which had been building up because they had underspent in the past – so how could the repairs add to the deficit, when the costs were taken from a built-up reserve? The only way is if they had already spent much of that reserve on other things and there wasn’t enough left to cover all the renovation costs. Basically, shuffling money around from account to account over the years to make the budget look better and then blaming the over run on the Jubbly. But this isn’t the first time – didn’t H&M’s payment for the cottage rehab pretty much balance the RF’s budget that year?

      • Becks1 says:

        @Eurydice ohhhh I see what you’re saying. Good point. It’s so vague – did the 16 million over budget come from the reserve fund, or is the 16 million on TOP of what came out of the reserve fund? I guess its really what I said, we’re not supposed to ask too many questions.

    • Lucy says:

      I have a construction background and it just sounds like they set up the yearly budget to pay for the renovation in a stupid way. It sounds like they said, ok, $XXX for the whole thing over ten years, so you get $XXX/10 every year, Bob’s your uncle. That’s not how work progresses and money gets spent, especially if there’s a sudden rush of a bunch of jobs for a milestone (jubbly).

      Also the way construction works over there is slightly different, here your contract price is the contract price, depending on terms, and if you save any money that goes to profit. In England, they create a detailed list of materials and expected output (500000 square feet of tile, 674000 square feet of wall), and then at the end they measure everything and reconcile the difference between expected and received and adjust the contract price, which seems insane to me.

      Anyway. It sounds like accounting based on bad assumptions. They ride too many helicopters and spend too much on everything else as well.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m curious about the extra expense to bring portions of BP up to snuff in time for the Jubbly. Were those costs included in the overall cost estimates for the Jubbly, or no? Will we ever really hear how much all that jazz cost?

  5. Eating Popcorn says:

    I know where 12.1 million of it went…

    • Pork Chops and Applesauce says:


    • Harper says:

      And that’s us believing that they told us the right number. It could have been a twenty million pound payout, for all we know.

      I am more and more certain that the Queen’s sudden health issues after the announcement of the payout to Virginia Guiffre were a ruse to shield her from public outrage. She’s now rebounded enough to ride horses and appear in Scotland looking perfectly steady standing on her own two feet.

    • JaneBee says:

      @Eating Popcorn Ding, ding, ding!!!

  6. FC says:

    This is what a slimmed down monarchy looks like, I guess.

  7. Aeren says:

    Isn’t that the amount that PA had to pay Virginia?

  8. Colby says:

    I spoke to a monarchist Britt not too long ago about this, and basically the answer he gave me was the royal family is the UK’s mascots. That’s it. That’s the purpose they serve for almost $100 million. A national version of Uga of Bevo.

    I think we as Americans will never understand this, number one because this country was founded on escaping the monarchy but also because our deeply capitalistic leaning is offended that these people get all that money for doing nothing

    • HeatherC says:

      Gritty is world famous and does a lot more work than the royals. Whoever is inside Gritty’s costume is NOT getting paid almost $100 million even though that job has actual qualifications that have to be met (have to fit in the costume, have to be able to ice skate, etc). (Gritty is the mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers, hockey team)

      • MonicaQ says:

        Gritty is a goddamn national treasure. Signed, a lightning fan.

      • America Chavez says:

        Gritty may look like a lumberjack’s nightmare but he is a furry orange hype machine, no doubt he earns his money.

        Also, long live the Avalanche

  9. thaisajs says:

    The thing I find fascinating about this is that they apparently have a slush fund of unspent public money from years past that they used to make up the difference for this year’s overruns. If they’ve put extra money away over the years from what they get from taxpayers …. shouldn’t have money have been returned to the taxpayers? Instead of being put into a slush fund to prop this family up?

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Hush up and stop making sense.

    • Concern Fae says:

      As someone who had to take accounting for my business degree, budgeted money can either be tied to time or a project. Time money is “use it or lose it.” If you haven’t spent it by end of year, it goes back into the general funds. Project money is also measured annually, but any money not spent is rolled back onto the project and available for spending next year.

      That said, projects do have annual targets and nothing here says whether the Palace project is over or under budget projections.

      I totally think the RF is an anachronism that should go away. But these decisions need to be made at the what do we value level. Turning everything into whining about tax dollars just ends up enabling the worst, pettiest people and no one ever being happy.

  10. Lili says:

    I know i am being dumb, but didn’t 3 senior Royals step down and 2 of them no longer receive an income Plus they paid back 2.4 million so why havent the costs gone down. plus we were in a pandemic. I know i’m saving a whack on travel and work lunches and coffees working from home

    • Julia K says:

      You’re not dumb, just overdosing on common sense.

    • JaneBee says:

      To be fair, I understand the tourism related revenue/income normally generated by visitors to the royal properties (and which I think is factored into the calculations??? I could be wrong??) was likely impacted by COVID-19. Not 100% certain?

  11. UNCDancer says:

    So over £58m to support working Royals of whom there are nine or so and they overspent? The math doesn’t math.

  12. Flower says:

    12 Million for a woman Andy had never met as a teenager and 4 million for legal fees and associated clean-up crisis management/ PR.

  13. Laura D says:

    Call me cynical but, I’m thinking £12 million of that money has “settled” in the USA, on a woman who no-one knows. 😉

  14. equality says:

    The rest of us, if we let our house fall into disrepair, have to tighten our belts elsewhere to afford said repairs.

  15. ChillinginDC says:

    Are people upset about this? Cause Tories seems to not even care people can’t feed kids, that housing is a mess, etc.

  16. Rai says:

    My understanding is the BRF pays their staff significantly lower than market value, which is why they have incompetent staff, and a literal army of volunteers so we know their money isn’t going to salaries. The number of working royals is down. Even with the jubilee and Andrew, this math is ridiculous.

    Maybe 4 palaces for 1 young family and a host of “grace and favor” homes could be considered extremely frivolous.

    No wonder the hostility towards the Sussexes; they’re messing with the church’s money proving you can actually work for a living and still be royals. Or you know actually slimming down the monarchy, not just a balcony.

    • Snuffles says:

      YES!! The pay rate for these employees is an absolute JOKE. They believe the “prestige and honor” of working for the royal family is worth it. It’s no wonder employees constantly sell the family out to the tabloids for extra cash. Or abuse their vicinity of working for the royals to enrich themselves. I’m sure a lot of them are nepotism hires from the aristocracy so they can look like they are being useful while barely lifting a finger

      • JaneBee says:

        @Snuffles Definitely in the ‘upstairs’ staff positions it’s the case that these are being filled by debutants and 20 somethings from ra-ra backgrounds who want a job (one that accommodates absences for Ascot, Glyndebourne, shooting party long weekends, etc) but are sufficiently privileged that they don’t care about the salary. TQ’s ladies in waiting are an older version of this. If they didn’t have family money to carry them along, they absolutely could not afford to take these positions – including junior staff in the various royal foundations. Which is probably why they were so shocked when Meghan expected them to WORK.

  17. Concern Fae says:

    It sounds like they divided the costs of the Buckingham Palace construction evenly over 10 years, when they were actually going to be different amounts every year. I only took first year accounting, but they should be able to calculate out exactly how much of the construction budget underfunding was actually covered. There’s a sub budget somewhere where they know if the palace construction is running over or under budget.

    Someone didn’t realize that the actual numbers on this are known.

    As to the $51 million, as someone who has worked with government level budget numbers, that’s actually lower than I thought it would be. Looking it up, it’s $20 M less than the school budget for my medium sized New England town.

    • Becks1 says:

      The 51 million does not include the RPOs and I’m not sure how much of that accounts for Charles, since he is funded by the duchy of cornwall.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        Also doesn’t include the Cambridges, who are solely funded by Charles.

  18. B says:

    I think what most people miss is that its not just the royals who are benefiting from the sovereign grant scam, the aristocrats are paying themselves as well. The “firm” or the infrastructure of the monarchy is made up of several different types of high paying aristocratic positions. Some positions are passed down like the hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain position which belongs to the Marquess of Cholmondeley. He carries the crown into the opening of Parliament and has charge over the Palace of Westminster. Other positions like the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal have no duties because seals have been obsolete for centuries but is still paid a salary. These aristocrats make up the senior positions in the monarch’s household and they are being paid by the sovereign grant. For a class of people that are notoriously asset rich and cash poor its not surprising that they are in on the grift.

    This is why when Tories (who are predominantly Bristish aristocrats) are in power they ensure increases to the Sovereign Grant and make it increasingly opaque. Royals and aristocrats both in and out of office are paying themselves. They are ALL in on the cash for access and being taxpayer funded scam and prop each other up. The royals are just the public face of it all.

    • Becks1 says:

      We like to call him Rocksavage around here, LOL. But you bring up a good point. I didn’t realize people in positions like his got SG money. I guess it makes sense though.

      • TEALIEF says:

        @B for real, 9th century feudalism has evolved into 21st century economic feudalism. What was the serfs ploughing the fields and shearing sheep, has turned into the privileged fleecing the wallets of the taxpayer. The more things change… still the grift goes on.

  19. Rapunzel says:

    Without the royals, royal properties could all make MORE money from tourists cause the family wouldn’t be using them.

    Without the royals, the sovereign grant money could be used to get/keep royal properties in effective shape to be not only tourist stops, but spectacular venues for things like weddings or films. Imagine the money to be made if BP or KP became places you could stay at! Exclusive hotels.

    The UK could make a lot more money without the royals. Tourism doesn’t fly as an excuse.

    • Penguin says:

      That is simply untrue. The Crown Estate already manages all those estates as venues and maximises profit from them, the most famous being Buckingham Palace, Windsor Palace Grounds etc. They are already used as wedding venues, conference venues, etc.

      • Becks1 says:

        Not as much as they could be, for sure.

      • equality says:

        But certain parts are closed off and more are closed off when the royals are in residence, so how is that untrue that more could be made if they were available at more times?

      • Rapunzel says:

        Penguin- I’m not talking what you’re talking. I’m talking whole castles/palaces turned into hotels/venues ot museums. Not just historic property you can use/tour if you’re lucky and rich.

      • Nic919 says:

        Buckingham Palace is not open for tours year round and this was pre pandemic. And many areas are restricted from the public because they are being used.

        The people who run the Crown Estates do what they can, but the royal family still controls way too many properties and so they are not making the same money as Versailles does due to those restrictions.

  20. Lively says:

    The national Health services are crumbling in front of our eyes and the government response is. “ there’s no money”
    The number of homeless people in the streets just increasing because all the social programs has been gutted by the government
    Energy bills have been extremely high and this winter many people will struggle

    Yet… here we are…. £16 M over budget..LOL

    Growing up all you realise is. this thing we call life makes no sense.
    People who are actually starving, voted for these tories just so their social services to be gutted.

  21. Thejeneral says:

    Bloomberg reported:

    £1.29 – Cost per person in the UK of funding the total Sovereign Grant.

    77p – Cost per person of the “core” part of the Sovereign Grant for official duties – not including funds for the long-term Buckingham Palace works.

    People bitch too much on how much their taxpayer money is spent on the royals.

    • Becks1 says:

      I mean people can bitch if they think 100 million could be better spent.

      that 1.29 is per person, not per taxpayer.

    • equality says:

      That cost per person adds up to an amount that could be used to benefit ALL and not a small elite group.

    • Nic919 says:

      Bloomberg also didn’t include the cost of security for these people, including Andrew. And the travel costs are ridiculous.

      This is all money that could help the less fortunate but Liz Windsor and her crew get money for doing very little.

      The level of bitching for those who get welfare is much louder than the high level welfare the Windsors receive, which automatically increases every year, regardless of inflation or anything else. It’s a messy crooked deal.

    • sid says:

      There are tons of budget line items that look cheap when you break them down to a per person level. That is not the point. The point is that £100 million a year could be put to much better use than being spent by a family of mostly clowns who are in their position solely because of genetics. And that £100 million doesn’t even include their security costs.

  22. Nadine says:

    Wasn’t there a pandemic the last two years? Did I dream that?

    Also, this means old Betty is getting a raise in next year’s Sovereign Grant bc the SG can never be lower than the year before. I’ll bet you Betty’ll cry ‘woe is me’ and they’ll give her an extra big bump to make up it up. They’ll say they’ll need the money to fix some roof or make a palace or two more accessible to poor ol’ Betty.

    How exactly are these people doing to merit this? How are they serving the public good?

  23. Penguin says:

    I think a lot of people here have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the monarchy is financed in the UK. The Sovereign Grant has nothing to do with the British taxpayer, as their taxes have no input in the profit of the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate is a collection of properties, lands and holdings which is the crown’s public estate, belonging neither to the crown nor the government. In return for relinquishing all the public crown estate, the monarch receives 15% of the annual profit from the Crown Estate to fund its public activities etc. They also have their own personal holdings, obviously. They don’t pay any tax on that 15%, but they do pay tax on all their private incomes and holdings.

    • Becks1 says:

      Actually, many of us here do understand that. We have this discussion every year on this site alone. What we’re saying is that 100 million from the crown estates that goes to the SG could be better spent.

      They voluntarily pay tax on private income.

      • TEALIEF says:

        “The Crown Estate is a collection of properties, lands and holdings which is the crown’s public estate, belonging neither to the crown nor the government.”

        Exactly. I’ve said it before, it’s a real estate racket that operates in the fog laden, murky waters of public or a private entity depending on what suits. The landed gentry collecting the rents, but upkeep and infrastructure well that’s the murky bit.

    • Nic919 says:

      One of the many legal fictions is that the Crown estate is something owned by the Windsors. It is not. The monarch is not the owner of the crown estate, but it is the nation, aka the taxpayers. So while the people are not taxed directly for this, they have a stake in the Crown Estates which is held in trust for them and yet a ridiculous portion of it goes to one family only through the Sovereign Grant.

      So that is how the Windsors fuck the taxpayers. And the deal Osborne made in lieu of the civil list is abhorrent and should be rescinded. That it is no longer reviewed by MPs in the House and is simply approved by the PM, exchequer and one other is disturbing.

      • Penguin says:

        Neither the monarch nor the public own the Crown Estate and the majority of the profit from the Crown Estate goes to the taxpayer. All of these are properties and holdings historically owned by the Crown which they relinquished to the government to manage and then give them a portion in order to fund public activities. Buckingham Palace should be renovated from the Sovereign Grant and is the responsibility of the government, they are the ones collecting profit from its activities.

  24. Amy Bee says:

    The renovations cost so much because the Queen allowed the Palace to get run down instead of regularly maintaining it.

  25. Noor says:

    The actual cost of monarchy is more than GBP100m if you take into account town councils or the equivalent local authorities bear the cost of security for a royal visit I think. Also the private income the Queen and Prince of Wales received from Duchy of Lancaster and Cornwall respectively should be included .

  26. Well Wisher says:

    This sounds like the variance. The difference between the projected budget minus the actual operating expenses/costs.
    There plausible explanation for this is
    less revenue from sales. That will include less visits from the public and tourists due to lock down.
    Expenditures that were allocated in the future but were used to complete repairs to BP for the jubilee, will be reflect in the budget where it was earmarked sometime in the future.

    The real poser for the British citizen is the increased private wealth of its billionaires from £212 B to £600+B.

    Suddenly, hapless Prince Charles seems ??
    Expediency and accurate data and information in a timely manner may lead to intelligent choices from the limited options.

  27. Aitana says:

    The British monarchy is USELESS! The buildings/castles/lands/jewels however, in my estimation are priceless. The monarchy should be dispatched/disbanded ASAP, & all of the aforementioned should be available for tourism & public. If people were allowed to tour the castles unfettered, even to see the previous off-limit rooms such as the real living quarters, people would pay real $$ to see that. It’d be a gold mine, & no $ going to the upkeep of the useless royals. That’s my 2 cents.

  28. AnneL says:

    That picture is priceless. Liz looks like the Cheshire Cat.

  29. Dee says:

    At least we know the bills for Frogmore Cottage are paid. Think about all the estates and income from tours could be had if the royals were no longer there. Never mind the big pile of jewels and artwork, cars and antiques these grifters are sitting on.