Queen Elizabeth II’s income will almost double this year, royal accounts published Tuesday showed, amid an increase in the amount of taxpayer funds directed to the British royal family to cover extensive repairs at Buckingham Palace.
Official figures show the Crown Estate, which owns much of London’s West End, made £328.8 million ($418.6 million) in profit in the year to the end of March 2017 – an increase of 8 percent when compared to the year previous.
The monarch’s “Sovereign Grant”, the amount Queen Elizabeth II receives from taxpayers, is then calculated as a percentage of Crown Estate profits. The royals received £42.8 million pounds in 2016/2017 and the figure is set to rise to £76.1 million to help pay for repairs to the Queen’s royal residence in London.
Alan Reid, the queen’s treasure – known as Keeper of the Privy Purse – told reporters Tuesday that the cost of the British monarchy to each individual citizen represented “value for money”.
“When you look at these accounts, the bottom line is the Sovereign Grant last year equated to 65 pence per person, per annum, in the United Kingdom… That’s the price of a first class stamp,” he added.
“Consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money.”
Reid said the 91-year-old queen and her 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, had carried out more than 3,000 official engagements in 2016.
Prince Philip, who received hospital treatment last week, announced in May he would permanently discontinue his royal duties from the fall.
Conversely, Republic, a group which campaigns for an elected head of state, published its own report on royal expenses and argued the true cost of the annual bill for the monarchy was nearer £345 million when security and other costs had been included.
Graham Smith, the organization’s chief executive, described the monarchy’s funding as a “massive bill for the taxpayer” which supported “privileged lifestyles”.
The Crown Estate’s increase in funding comes at a time when extensive repairs are being carried out at Buckingham Palace. Improvement costs for the royal residence, which is set to take 10 years to complete, are expected to total £369 million.
Queen’s income set to almost double amid increase in public funds