Financial News

  • 26 June 2014, 12:24

Royal Family Costs Taxpayer 56p Per Person

The Royal Family spent 36.1m of taxpayers' money last year - a figure portrayed by royal aides as 56p for every person in the country.

The Sovereign Grant, which is set at 15% of profits made by the Crown Estate, rose from 31m in 2012/13.

Buckingham Palace was at pains to highlight how the all of the extra money was spent on maintaining and repairing palaces and castles.

Sky News cameras were invited into Buckingham Palace to see asbestos removal which has cost 800,000 over the past two years and to Windsor Castle where a 10-year project to replace its lead roof cost 900,000 last year.

Cameras were not invited into Kensington Palace's Apartment 1A which has been renovated as a new home for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, where the cost of has spiralled to 4.1m from an original estimate of 1m.

Royal sources pointed out the 20-room apartment, which had previously been used as an office, was "completely uninhabitable" and needed a "complete refit".

Despite the high cost, they stressed it was "not opulent" and had been completed to a "very comfortable but ordinary level".

The royal couple had used their own money to meet the cost of carpet, furniture and a high spec kitchen.

When asked if Prince Charles had made a contribution to the fit out, an aide said: "It's not unusual for a parent or grandparent to help a young couple set up in their first home."

The accounts also showed the total cost of official travel fell by 300,000 to 4.2m.

Around 434,000 was spent on the visit of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to India and Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference.

A total of 255,000 was spent to send Prince Charles to represent the Queen at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

Royal sources said his long, complicated journey at short notice necessitated the chartering of an aircraft but that other options had been considered.

Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse, said public funding of the monarchy had fallen by 8% in real terms in the last two years when maintenance costs are stripped out.

He added: "We take our responsibility to run as efficient an operation as possible.

"In our view we think that we do as good a job as possible in terms of trying maximise the value for money."

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