The Income of the British Royal Family

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Where does the money for the British Royal Family come from?.

Who pays the British Royal Family, is a very common question, and many different answers are out there.


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The British Government have agreed to pay the British Royal Family a certain percentage of the income from the Crown Estate. This agreement has been in force effectively since 1760.

This effectively gives 15% to the Monarchy and 85% being kept by the Government to join other Taxpayers funds.

What is the Crown Estate and who owns it?

The official status of the Crown Estate can be summed up as:

  • The Crown Estate is not the private property of the monarch – it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.
  • The Government also does not own The Crown Estate
  • The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne.
  • External Link to Crown Estate FAQs

In 1760, it was agreed that the Crown Estate (which essentially dates back to 1066 and is the property of the British Royal family) would be managed with profits going to the Treasury. This was in exchange for the Royal family receiving a fixed income in perpetuity, or at least for as long as the agreement was maintained.

The figure had been 15% of profits returned to the Royal Family in recent times, although this has risen in 2017/18 to 25%, to cover extra repairs to property used for public purposes, basically to cover the expected cost of extensive repairs to Buckingham Palace, of about £369 million. It will remain at 25% for the next 10 years.


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To help pay for the work at the palace, the percentage of the Crown Estate profits paid to the Queen will increase from 15% to 25% between 2017 and 2027..

Examples of the Crown Estate Profits and the share between Government and the Royal Family:

Each year the Crown Estate contributed the following incomes to the UK Treasury:

  • 2017/18 – £329.4 million with £82.4 million being returned to the Monarchy and £280.0 million being retained by the Treasury.
  • 2016/17 – £328.8 million with £82.2 million being returned to the Monarchy and £279.5 million being retained by the Treasury.
  • 2015/16 – £304.1 million with £45.6 million being returned to the Monarchy and £258.5 million being retained by the Treasury.
  • 2014/15 – £285.1 million with £42.8 million being returned to the Monarchy and £242.3 million being retained by the Treasury.
  • 2013/14 – £267.1 million with £40.1 million being returned to the Monarchy and £227.0 million being retained by the Treasury.
  • 2012/13 – £252.6 million with £37.9 million being returned to the Monarchy and £214.7 million being retained by the Treasury.

From 2015: When you look at these accounts, the bottom line is the Sovereign Grant last year equated to 65p per person, per annum, in the United Kingdom.

The Sovereign Grant

The Sovereign Grant Act 2011 came into effect on 1 April 2012. It sets the single grant supporting the monarch’s official business, enabling The Queen to discharge her duties as Head of State.

It meets the central staff costs and running expenses of Her Majesty’s official household – such things as official receptions, investitures, garden parties and so on. It also covers maintenance of the Royal Palaces in England and the cost of travel to carry out royal engagements such as opening buildings and other royal visits.

The Funding of the British Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales is funded predominantly by the Duchy of Cornwall, and not from the Sovereign Grant. This is one of the largest and oldest estates in Britain covering about 54,521 hectares.

Since 1337, the Prince of Wales has received the annual net surplus of the Duchy of Cornwall, but, like the Crown Estate, it is not his personal estate, and the financial security of the Duchy is overseen by the UK Treasury, to provide each Heir to the throne with an income independent of the Sovereign or the State.


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