The royal family is to receive a taxpayer bailout - here’s how much and why

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 2:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th September 2020, 2:44 pm
The royal family will receive a greater share of the profits from the Royal Estate to offset losses caused by coronavirus (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Treasury has confirmed that the Queen’s income will be increased using taxpayer funds in order to offset losses to profit relating to the pandemic.

The Queen’s income - known as the Sovereign Grant - is set at 25 per cent of the profits generated by the Crown Estate, which is one of the largest landowners in Britain, with a portfolio including lots of valuable land in central London.

The profits generated by the Crown Estate’s investments have dropped considerably as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but rather than the Queen’s income dropping in line with profits, the Treasury has confirmed that they will ‘top up’ the amount the Queen receives in 2022/2023, to ensure it is the same as the previous year.

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How much more money will the Queen receive?

While the exact figures are set to be announced in the coming days, it is expected that the Queen will receive around an extra £350,000 in 2021/2022, following a four per cent rise in profits on the Crown Estate the previous year, bringing the total to more than £86 million.

This effectively means that a higher proportion of the Crown Estate’s profits will be given to the Queen instead of being funnelled back into public services or other government spending.

The rules around the Sovereign Grant mean that “in the event of a reduction in the Crown Estate's profits, the Sovereign Grant is set at the same level as the previous year” according to a spokesperson for the Treasury.

Some critics of the monarchy have pointed out that this effectively means that the Sovereign Grant can only rise, and often at the taxpayer’s expense.

What is the Sovereign Grant spent on?

However, the rules do stop the monarch from receiving “excessive funding” in the event that profits rise considerably, said the treasury source.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told the Daily Mail, “The core Sovereign Grant supports the official duties of the Queen and the maintenance of the occupied royal palaces and is calculated on 15 per cent of the income surplus of the Crown Estate.

“An additional 10 per cent was agreed to fund a ten-year reserving of Buckingham Palace.

“Our Sovereign Grant report outlines where the money is spent, the scale of the work it supports and also the contribution made to the costs through income generation such as visitor admissions.”