A major misconception commonly held about the Royal Family of the United Kingdom is that they depend solely on the governments of their realms to cover their expenses. However, this is not true.
For some years now, the monarch and his/her family has only asked for what is essentially needed. All other funds are generated by the Royal Family’s land, buildings and estates over a number of areas including farming and tourism. As a backing statistic, Her Majesty and her household have reduced the amount of government funds spent in the past 20 years by over 50%.
On the 30th of June 2011, a proposed act that would consolidate all of the Crown’s government funds into a single grant was proposed. The bill passed and on the 18th of October 2011 it became the Sovereign Grant Act 2011.
Her Majesty’s Treasury lists the grant as providing for:
- new consolidated Sovereign Grant payment to support HM The Queen in Her official duties;
- full parliamentary approval and scrutiny of grant expenditure;
- continuation and modernisation of support to the heir to the throne;
- continuation of grant arrangements on accession of a new monarch; and
- rationalisation of payments to annuitants.
The newly instated act grants the Crown a set percentage (starting at 15%) of the Crown Estate’s profit from the financial year two years prior. Which means that if the Crown Estate’s profit was £100m in 2012 then in 2014 the Crown would receive £15m from the government via the grant.
To ensure the most effective amount of money is being paid to the crown, Her Majesty’s Treasury states that
“regular reviews by the Royal Trustees. The Trustees will be bound to consider the suitability of the percentage at regular intervals and to propose a new percentage where necessary. The Treasury would present an order to implement the change. Affirmative resolution would be required for an increase. The Royal Trustees are the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Keeper of the Privy Purse.”
Further Reading Offsite:
- HM Treasury’s webpage on the Sovereign Grant
- The Parliament of the United Kingdom’s webpage on the Sovereign Grant
- PDF backing 50% reduction in government fund expenditure