Royal funding changes become law

The Queen The changes to the funding of the Royal Family have been attacked by campaigners Republic

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The biggest change for 250 years to the way the Royal Family is financed will be passed into law later.

The Civil List, which dates from 1760, and the grants paid for travel and upkeep of palaces are to be replaced by a single Sovereign Grant from 2013.

The size of the grant will be 15% of the profits made by the Crown Estate.

Buckingham Palace has called it "a modern, transparent and simpler way of funding the head of state", but critics say it is economically indefensible.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: "The last significant parliamentary debate about royal finances took place in the year the current chancellor was born, and after Prince Philip had declared on American television his family was in the red and might have to move into smaller premises.

"Four decades on, the Queen's husband has remained silent while her nineteenth chancellor, George Osborne, has introduced a new Sovereign Grant."

After announcing the change in his Spending Review late last year, Mr Osborne said it should ensure "my successors do not have to return to this issue as often as I have had to".

Property portfolio

The Sovereign Grant Bill introduces a single payment given to the monarch based on 15% of the Crown Estate's revenue from two years previously.

Starting from 2013-14, this funding arrangement will last seven years before it is reviewed.

The Crown Estate has a property portfolio which includes, among other things, Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and much of the UK coastline.

The grant is expected to be £34m in the first year, in line with recent royal spending, our correspondent added.

In the past, the monarch received money from three different government departments: funds for the Civil List from the Treasury; a Department for Transport grant for travel costs; funds for maintenance of royal palaces and communications from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The campaign group Republic, which calls for an elected head of state, has described the changes as economically and morally indefensible.

"Pegging royal funding to Crown Estate revenue makes no sense at all," it has argued.

"The two are not related. Crown Estate revenue has always been there to provide funds for the government."

It wants the monarchy to be subject to an annual budget, just like government departments.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    It's got to be said, no other country does Royal like we do. Looking back to the marriage of William & Kate, our Royals looked royal, other royal families were left in the shade. And if we're only going to pay them 15% of what they bring in, then that is an absolute BARGAIN!

  • rate this

    Comment number 434.

    By what measure do the Windsors 'work hard'? By what measure do they do a 'good job'? Cleaners, teachers, single parents, doctors, refuse collectors, volunteers - these people really do work hard without the privilege of vast wealth and complete security for which ordinary people pay. There isn't a single valid argument for keeping the royals. What is RIGHT? Democracy not birthright.

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.

    I think we should all look back at the marriage of Prince William and Princess Catherine in April this year. Look how much tourism and therefore income that brought to the UK economy. Look at how widely it was broadcast, and how much support there was for it in other countries as well as our own. This wouldn't have happened without a Royal Family.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    The monarchy system is absurd. Why should I pay for someone to live in luxury off of my hard earned money. They and their children get the best education, the best opportunities, want and need nothing, and world media adoration. For what? How have they earned that? I get no benefit at all from the monarchy. I pay for their houses, would they invite me in? Never. Do they even know my name? No.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    The cost of the Royal family is negligable compared to what an elected head of state would cost.

    An elected head would add nothing to this country other than another layer of beaurocracy and another trough for the political classes to dip their snouts into.

    The Royal family is respected worldwide and brings money into this country, often unheralded. They are an asset not a drain.


Comments 5 of 9


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