The money burden that the Royal Family Imposes on the British people
The royal family is notoriously known for leading a lavish, luxurious looking lifestyle. And you’ve probably already heard some of the ridiculously high amounts of money they spend on things such as weddings and traveling.
The most controversial thing about it all, though, is that majority of the money is being taxed from commoners - and when we look at the riches of the royal family, it might seem like crazy sums of money are being taken away from regular people. However, when it comes down to the actual cost, you’ll be shocked to find out the overall figure. Let’s see how much it really costs to fund the royal family.
THE BRITISH ROYALS ARE ALL ABOUT MONEY
Love it or hate it, but the British royal family is associated with money in almost every way - and there’s nothing British citizens can do about it. We can’t disregard the fact that they do bring in their own fortunes, though, whether it be through tourism or their own personal ventures. However, they do end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars throughout the year as well.
Unlike regular people, the royal family doesn’t rely on a traditional day job in order to make their money. Most of it has actually been passed down over the years, through inheritance. However, they do make official appearances and meet-and-greets quite often. And although it's not a nine-to-five job, it's still counted as full-time work, since it is part of their royal duty. In fact, from 2017 to 2018, the royal family had carried out around 3,000 official engagements.
THE ROYAL FAMILY’S FUNDING
In order to find out the truth behind the royal family’s fund, we’ll have to start with the basics. The Queen owns the Crown Estate, which includes many pieces of land, commercial buildings, and more. Profits that are made from these properties are given to the Treasury (part of the government), and then between 15 and 25 percent of the money is given to the sovereign grant. This grant is was the Queen and the rest of the royal family use for their expenses. It also includes salaries of the Queen’s household, official travel, and upkeep of the palaces.
In 2018, the total cost of the core sovereign grant was $94.2 million. In 2019, the cost is estimated to be around $180 million. Why so much, you might wonder? Apparently, a higher percentage must be given for renovations on Buckingham Palace. Although a controversial topic, it will be evaluated again in 2026.
THE MOST RECENT EXPENSES
Let’s start off with one of the most recent and talked about royal stories: the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Undeniably, it was an incredible affair - but it came at a just as incredibly high price, mostly funded by British taxpayers. The total cost of the wedding is thought to be around $42 million, and, shockingly, almost $39 million went on security alone! The total cost also includes $306,000 for the PA system used to communicate on what was happening inside St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. In addition, another $1.4 million was spent on the Windsor and Maidenhead council too.
Coming in at a high price was Meghan’s wedding dress, costing $513,000. However, it’s important to note that not all of this was paid for by the taxpayer's money. The royal family ended up paying for the core aspects of the wedding - including the church service, the associated music, flower decorations, and reception. Even though the numbers might be sky-high, the wedding apparently injected more than a hundred million dollars in the UK’s economy. So, in actuality, the wedding ended up making a profit.
RENOVATIONS AND MAINTENANCE
Aside from these one-time events and day to day activities, renovations end up taking a huge chunk of this money too. And Buckingham Palace is the biggest recipient. It’s estimated that the remodeling of the Palace, that will take place over the span of the next ten years, will cost around $485 million. The renovations are being done in order to ensure the safety of the 2.5 million visitors that visit every year as well.
In addition, there are costs of both proactive and preventative maintenance. There’s a total of 188 staff bedrooms in Buckingham Palace, with around 430 people on the Queen’s payroll, so there’s a lot the sovereign grant needs to cover. In 2018, it's estimated that a total of $26.7 million was spent on royal household employers. The median salary for the workers was $33,000.
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT
Most of the money that’s used to find the royal family is spent on travel and transport. And, apparently, Prince Charles is the most guilty of them all for overspending. The prince has spent $476,000 visiting India, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore aboard the RAF Voyager, the royal family’s jet. He’s used the royal train more than any other member of the royal family, with each trip costing around $26,000.
From 2016 to 2017, the royal family made 65 trips, at a cost of just under $6 million. And the most expensive trip goes to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s 2017 nine-day tour of Romania, Italy, and Austria. The vacation ended up costing $202,000.
Even though some of these trips have to be made for strictly business purposes, some people have wondered why, for example, Prince Angier spent a massive $19,000 on a round trip to watch golf at Muirfield. Many also wondered whether it was really necessary for Prince Edward to charter a $60,000 flight to Sofia, Bucharest, and Ljubljana. As a result, flights end up being the most expensive form of transport taken by the royal family. They also ended up purchasing the luxury $10.5 million helicopters, spent $2.2 million on helicopter travel in 2016, and $927,000 on a helicopter hangar at RAF Odiham.
When it comes to clothes, one would assume that the royal family spends their private income on purchasing their own clothes - however, that is not the case. Apparently, they end up spending a tonne on laundry instead. In 2016, it was revealed that the Queen spent $926,000 on cleaning, laundry, and other household chores. Other miscellaneous purchases made that year added up to $1.3 million spent on postage and stationery related costs. Her Majesty has also spent around $2.1 million from 2015-2015 on gas and electricity bills.
Even though these numbers add up to millions of dollars, it's worth noting that the royal family does try to give back as well. Even though it's not required for them to pay text, the Queen decided, in 1992, to start voluntarily paying income and capital gains tax. In addition, some members of the family brought in their own income through work too - such as Prince Harry when he worked as a captain for the RAF, bringing in between $55,000 to 53,000.
So, what’s the actual answer then? With millions of dollars being taken from the pockets of commoners, how much does it cost to fund the royal family? When we take into account the total amount of money spent versus the money earned, as well as the cost funded by the family themselves, a 2018 estimation of figures concluded that it costs each British citizen .91 cents per year in order to fund the British royal family. Yep, that’s all each citizen is being taxed… Are you surprised with the total amount? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to check out our related articles about the royals for the latest updates.
Sources: Youtube/The Richest