UK

Queen's funding to rise by £5m under new Sovereign Grant

the queen
Image caption The grant also helps fund royal palaces

The annual cost to the taxpayer of supporting the Queen is rising by £5m, following changes to the way the monarch's role is funded.

The Sovereign Grant, used to fund a number of official royal duties, pay staff and maintain palaces, has been set at £36.1m for 2013/14.

The figure is up from the £31m received the previous year, which included an extra £1m for the Diamond Jubilee.

Buckingham Palace said spending in real terms had fallen from five years ago.

The new grant, which came into full effect on Monday, replaces the old system of the Civil List and grants-in-aid.

Marginal rise

Apart from official duties and household costs, the grant will also go towards maintaining royal palaces in England and will cover the cost of travel for royal engagements in the UK and official overseas tours.

The new grant means the Queen receives 15% of Crown Estate profits, but from funds two years in arrears.

Accounts for the Crown Estate, which owns property on behalf of the monarch, revealed profits of £240.2m for 2011/2012.

The final figure for the new funding was rounded up to £36.1m - very close to the estimated amount - by the Royal Trustees in December.

Royal accounts released in 2012 indicated the cost of supporting the monarchy rose marginally during 2011/12.

In 2011/12 the Queen's official expenditure totalled £32.3m - up 0.6% from £32.1m in 2010/11.

According to the accounts, some £10m goes towards paying the salaries of the Queen's staff, including royal chefs and footmen.

However, there has been a freeze on wages for a number of years.

The cost of providing security and police protection for members of the monarchy is not included in the official expenditure figure.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "The Sovereign Grant for the year to 31 March 2014 amounts to £36.1m, which is 15% less in real terms than the Royal Household's expenditure five years ago.

"During the past five years the Royal Household has reduced its expenditure in line with reductions in funding, and key building and conservation works have necessarily been postponed as a result, thereby increasing the maintenance backlog."

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