How the Royal Family Spend Taxpayers Money


The queen does pay taxes on her income. | Ben Stansall/Getty Images

How the Royal Family Spend Taxpayers Payer Money

British taxpayers pay millions ofِ dollars forِ the royal family toِ carry outِ official business.
Separate fromِ personal fortunes andِ private incomes, theِ queen isِ awarded a yearly sovereign grant, soِ sheِ andِ her family canِ continue toِ be, well, royal.
We combed throughِ theِ Sovereign Grant Annual Report toِ uncover exactlyِ how theِ royal family spends itsِ taxpayer-funded dollars eachِ year.

Exactly where do these millions come from?

The queen gotِ a 78% raise onِ herِ income fromِ 2016, goingِ fromِ 42.8 million euros toِ 76.1 million euros, orِ aboutِ $103 million.
(1 euro isِ aboutِ $1.35 asِ of September 2017.) Because theِ grant covers official expenditures, theِ queen isِ not legally required toِ pay income tax, capital gains tax, orِ inheritance tax.
Regardless, theِ sovereign grant payouts areِ expected toِ remain higher thanِ usual toِ fund a seriousِ Buckingham Palace facelift.

The palace will be getting a facelift. | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

1. Renovations

Raising theِ grant wasِ mostlyِ to fund theِ overhaul ofِ Buckingham Palace.
It takes moreِ than a weekend ofِ repairs toِ protect andِ preserve theِ monarchy’s historic art collection andِ other priceless features inِ the 775-room property.
1.3 million euros wereِ spent toِ repair structural damage onِ the state dining room ceiling.

Next: Maintaining the property

2. Property maintenance

A large part ofِ the royal family’s expenditures includes theِ general upkeep andِ property maintenance thatِ comesِ with suchِ a large estate.
This includes bothِ proactive andِ preventative maintenance, suchِ asِ clearing blocked drains, repairing leaking roofs, changing lightbulbs, andِ “clearing rubbish.” Other projects wereِ resurfacing theِ roadway atِ Kensington Palace andِ refurbishing theِ metal gates atِ Windsor.
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Kensington Palace is a lot of upkeep. | Pat_Hastings/iStock/Getty Images

Next: The queen goes green

3. Energy efficiency

Various green initiatives across theِ estate accompany theِ hydroelectric turbines thatِ were installed atِ Windsor Castle inِ 2011.
Some energy-efficient moves included installing LED lighting, usingِ a fixed-price gas contract, andِ monitoring theِ environmental impact ofِ travel.
Some ofِ these moves mounted toِ overِ 1 million euros inِ reported savings.

Next: How much taxpayers pay for the royal family to travel

Windsor Castle has been fitted with energy-saving technology. | mspoli/iStock/Getty Images

4. Travel

Taxpayers alsoِ foot theِ travel bill forِ official journeys, asِ well asِ those takenِ byِ other members ofِ the royal family.
The preferred method ofِ travel forِ younger members ofِ the monarchy isِ helicopters andِ private planes.
In 2014, theِ royal family purchased a luxury 8 million euro helicopter thatِ canِ carry upِ toِ nineِ people toِ use onِ official engagements.

Next: How older members of the royal family prefer to travel

5. Special travel accommodations for the queen and duke

They had to get to Paris somehow. | Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

While Prince Charles, Prince Harry, andِ other royal family members prefer toِ travel viaِ helicopter orِ airplane, theِ queen, theِ Duke ofِ Edinburgh andِ Charles prefer simpler travel viaِ rail.
Rail travel cost themِ aboutِ 800,000 euros inِ 2016, andِ that number isِ set toِ hit 900,000 euros inِ 2017.

Next: Household chores not fit for a queen

6. Cleaning and laundry

Would youِ believeِ it ifِ we told youِ thatِ 700,000 euros ofِ the sovereign grant isِ allocated towardِ housekeeping services andِ laundry.
But thatِ seemsِ appropriate, consideringِ what theِ royal family spends inِ clothing.
Of course, theِ queen doesِ not handle theseِ chores herself.

Next: Protecting the royal family

7. Security

Although theِ taxpayers meet theِ cost ofِ royal security, noِ specific breakdown ofِ these costs areِ reported asِ “disclosure ofِ such information couldِ compromise theِ integrity ofِ these arrangements andِ affect theِ security ofِ the individuals protected.” However, theِ annual report didِ highlight “Information Assurance awareness training” andِ “cyber security training” forِ staff inِ 2016.
This appears toِ haveِ beenِ money wellِ spent, asِ officials reported noِ loss ofِ protected personal data duringِ 2016-17.

Next: The monarchy’s payroll

8. Staff salaries

There areِ 188 staff bedrooms inِ Buckingham palace alone, andِ 436 people areِ on theِ queen’s payroll. The total cost ofِ royal household employees paid fromِ the sovereign grant wasِ 20.3 million euros. The median salary ofِ allِ employees wasِ 25,000 euros.

Next: The cost of being in the public eye

9. Public appearances to top destinations

When you’re a royal, pretty muchِ everythingِ canِ beِ asِ a “business expense,” including public appearances toِ places manyِ commoners willِ neverِ haveِ the luxury ofِ visiting. As ofِ March 2017, theِ queen booked 162 official public engagements inِ the United Kingdom whileِ theِ Duke ofِ Edinburgh attended 196. Media outlets haveِ questioned whyِ Prince Andrew squandered 14,692 euros onِ a roundِ trip toِ watch golf atِ Muirfield andِ whether itِ was absolutely necessaryِ forِ Prince Edward toِ charter a 46,198 euro flight toِ Sofia, Bucharest, andِ Ljubljana.

Next: Who says handwritten letters are dead?

10. Stationery

Taxpayers alsoِ fund theِ queen’s official symbols ofِ national identity inِ the form ofِ stationery andِ postage. The queen pens congratulatory messages onِ national achievements andِ condolences inِ times ofِ tragedy. For example, sheِ sentِ 240,000 congratulatory telegrams toِ centenarians onِ their 100th birthdays andِ 740,000 messages toِ couples marking theirِ diamond wedding anniversaries.

Next: That electricity bill, though

11. Utilities on a large estate

Britain’s taxpayer dollars helpِ keep theِ lights onِ andِ allowِ the royal family toِ conduct official business year-round. The royal efforts toِ becomeِ more energy efficient mustِ beِ working, asِ most utility bills decreased inِ cost fromِ the year prior. Using 2014 reports fromِ The Guardian, that’s aboutِ equivalent toِ theِ utility bills ofِ 2,288 British households.

Next: Expensive tastes

12. Food and drink

All thoseِ hosted events require food andِ spirits worthy ofِ a queen. The royal wine andِ spirits spending alone amounted toِ 400,000 euros inِ 2014. She’s alsoِ been knownِ to enjoy a glass ofِ Champagne inِ the evening — including Bollinger, Lanson, andِ Krug — whichِ The Independent reports haveِ beenِ given royal warrants.

Next: It’s expensive to be the life of the party.

13. Entertaining guests at hosted events

The queen entertains 120,000 people a year atِ garden parties, receptions, dinners, andِ lunches, according toِ theِ annual expenditure report. These events serve toِ celebrate important achievements andِ promote theِ British culture. And patriotic Brits canِ rest assured theِ queen cares aboutِ her athletes.

Next: How the royal family saves money

14. Sovereign reserve

Even theِ queen knowsِ the importance ofِ anِ emergency fund — exceptِ hers isِ probably muchِ bigger thanِ mostِ Americans’ savings. With almost 5 million euros stashed inِ the sovereign reserve, itِ should beِ more thanِ enoughِ to fund theِ major endeavor toِ renew theِ Windsor Castle water mains. Officials added 900,000 euros toِ theِ reserve inِ 2016-17 toِ support thatِ andِ other projects.