It’s the cost of living (in palaces) crisis! Royal family spent £21m more than they received as soaring fuel costs and inflation alongside Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and funeral bills left them dipping into their rainy-day reserves
- Royal spending came to £107.5million, with royal officials dipping into reserves
The death of Queen Elizabeth and raging inflation forced royal officials to dip into their rainy-day fund last year, official accounts reveal today.
Royal spending came to £107.5million, but the cost to taxpayers remained static at £86.3million, with royal officials dipping into their reserves to the tune of £20.7million.
The annual Sovereign Grant report detailing how the monarchy is funded by taxpayers, which is made public today, reveals that the late Queen’s funeral cost the Palace £1.6million.
Last year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations cost a further £700,000.
The State Gun Carriage carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, in the Ceremonial Procession down The Mall following her State Funeral
King Charles III with Lionel Richie and Lisa Parigi during a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, London
There were also £444,000 worth of ‘exit packages’ to 16 members of Queen Elizabeth’s staff who lost their jobs. Other key highlights from the 2022/23 review include:
- Harry and Meghan have now officially ‘vacated’ Frogmore Cottage after being evicted by the King.
- The Sussexes have paid for all expenditure incurred by taxpayers in renovating the property – more than £2.4million. But officials refused to discuss whether the Duke of York will be forced to move in, saying it was not appropriate to discuss any of his ‘private lease arrangements’ on his existing mansion, Royal Lodge.
- The cost of royal travel has dropped from £4.5million to £3.9million.
- Energy costs have soared, with utility bills shooting up by 40 per cent to £4.5million.
- The Sovereign Grant has been frozen at £86.3million, with £51.8million funding the King’s official duties plus an additional £34.5million paying for ongoing building works at Buckingham Palace.
- Palace officials say the cost of the monarchy to the British public still works out at just £1.29 per person.
Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said that it had been an ‘exceptional year’ for the Royal Household. ‘It relates to a year of grief, change and celebration, the like of which our nation has not witnessed for seven decades,’ he added.
The Royal Family undertook 2,710 engagements throughout the UK and overseas, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Princess of Wales yesterday reopened the Young V&A museum in Bethnal Green, east London. She wore a £720 belted pink midi dress by Beulah.
The Princess of Wales, patron of the V&A, departs following a visit to open the Young V&A in Bethnal Green, east London
The Flying Scotsman pulls the Royal Train along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway nr. Goathland enroute to Pickering, North Yorkshire
King Charles III and members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre
Payroll costs saw one of the biggest annual increases of any expenditure, rising £3.4million to £27.1million, with lower-paid staff given a pay rise of about 5-6 per cent. Housekeeping and hospitality was up from £1.3million to £2.4million and utility bills soared from £3.2million to £4.5million.
The Palace generated £9.8million in income, primarily from rental agreements and the annual summer opening to the public.
Combined with a ‘flat’ Sovereign Grant, which has remained at the same level for two years and will not rise next year, lower visitor numbers after Covid and the death of the Queen ‘has put pressure on our finances’, officials admitted. But they added: ‘We are confident that we can balance our needs within the funds we have available to us . . . and we will not be asking the Treasury for more money.’
The Crown Estate, meanwhile, is to pay even more money to the Treasury after an offshore wind power boost. It made £442.6million profit last year, £130million up on the previous year, which the King has made clear he wishes to go to help the public finances.
For the first year the Duchy of Cornwall – which funds the public work and private activities of the Prince of Wales – is not publishing its accounts because there was a transition between Charles and Prince William. The surplus of the estate was £24million which will be split to cover Charles’s work as Prince of Wales last year – £11.275million – and William, who has received £12.773million.
William, the new Duke of Cornwall, has handed back £6.873million as working capital. Like his father, he is paying income tax.