What Does the Royal Family do?

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What Duties do the Royal Family carry out?.

In 2018-19, the British Royal Family undertook over 3,200 official engagements across the UK and overseas.


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The included the 93 year old Queen Elizabeth II, undertaking 140 official engagements in the United Kingdom, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting at Buckingham Palace and the visit of the President of the United States to Windsor.

The above statement is taken from the Royal Family Financial Reports 2018-19

Cost of Royal Family Duties

Payment for these official duties is from the Sovereign Grant, which is normally calculated at 15% of the Crown Estate profits, for the period two years before. (85% is normally kept by the UK Treasury)

For 2018-19 this amounted to a Core Grant of £49.3m.

The Crown Estate surplus for the financial year 2016-17 amounted to £328.8 million thereby producing a 15% core Sovereign Grant of £49.3 million for 2018-19. 


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Expenditure Breakdown, from this core grant, was:

  • Payroll costs £22.1 million
  • Other staff costs £1.7 million
  • Property maintenance £23.7 million
  • Travel £4.6 million
  • Utilities £2.9 million
  • Housekeeping and hospitality £2.2 million
  • Other £10.2 million
  • Total net expenditure £49.6 million

£0.3 million was transferred from the Sovereign Grant Reserve, which had a balance of £7.6 million (core grant reserve) at the end of 2018-19.

Each year the Royal Household publishes a summary of Head of State expenditure, together with a full report on Royal public finances. These reports can be downloaded from the Media Centre. Page 57 is Finance.

These figures include:

  • The median salary of all employees was £27,000 within the range of £17,363 to £210,535 on a FTE basis.
  • The total number of FTE staff as at 31 March 2019 employed by the Royal Household and paid for in whole or in part by the Sovereign Grant amounted to 555.

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