Royal funding changes become law

The Queen The changes to the funding of the Royal Family have been attacked by campaigners Republic

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The biggest change for 250 years to the way the Royal Family is financed will be passed into law later.

The Civil List, which dates from 1760, and the grants paid for travel and upkeep of palaces are to be replaced by a single Sovereign Grant from 2013.

The size of the grant will be 15% of the profits made by the Crown Estate.

Buckingham Palace has called it "a modern, transparent and simpler way of funding the head of state", but critics say it is economically indefensible.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: "The last significant parliamentary debate about royal finances took place in the year the current chancellor was born, and after Prince Philip had declared on American television his family was in the red and might have to move into smaller premises.

"Four decades on, the Queen's husband has remained silent while her nineteenth chancellor, George Osborne, has introduced a new Sovereign Grant."

After announcing the change in his Spending Review late last year, Mr Osborne said it should ensure "my successors do not have to return to this issue as often as I have had to".

Property portfolio

The Sovereign Grant Bill introduces a single payment given to the monarch based on 15% of the Crown Estate's revenue from two years previously.

Starting from 2013-14, this funding arrangement will last seven years before it is reviewed.

The Crown Estate has a property portfolio which includes, among other things, Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and much of the UK coastline.

The grant is expected to be £34m in the first year, in line with recent royal spending, our correspondent added.

In the past, the monarch received money from three different government departments: funds for the Civil List from the Treasury; a Department for Transport grant for travel costs; funds for maintenance of royal palaces and communications from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The campaign group Republic, which calls for an elected head of state, has described the changes as economically and morally indefensible.

"Pegging royal funding to Crown Estate revenue makes no sense at all," it has argued.

"The two are not related. Crown Estate revenue has always been there to provide funds for the government."

It wants the monarchy to be subject to an annual budget, just like government departments.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    @ AndesOwl (post 13) - If you're happy for someone else to live in luxury off of your hard earned money, without giving a care as to who you are or even what your name is, then I think it is you who are lacking in education, indeed you seem to be lacking a backbone too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    I'd like to comment but I'm not sure I can spell guillotine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    Delighted to see the Monarchy getting a proper settlement. If the naysayers did a hundredth as much as the Royal Family for this country we'd be in a much better place. Long live H.M. The Queen.

    If you don't like it, there are plenty of boats, trains and aeroplanes leaving for republican shores.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    @ TooShy 18

    I really object to paying one of the richest women in the world anything at all. Scotland doesn't have a monarchy..

    And you wonder why people say that education in this country is failing. And despite the fact that my English taxes are supporting free scottish universities that I object too, some people can't even tell who their head of state is. oh dear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    "When you look at some of the iffy dealings our 'elected' MPs get up to with their shadowy financiers and lobbyists, we should be delighted our monarch isn't like them"

    Because they have no power. I heard once that power corrupts. And ultimate power corrupts ultimately - good argument for democracy and checks and balances.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    More evidence that we are NOT all on this together. And @13... Britain the envy of the world?! What kind of jingoistic claptrap is that! I'm sure the world would just love our latest 5.2% inflation and spiraling jobless. Are people like this allowed to voteł?!

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.


    Yes, it's a good thing you didn't start on the royal wedding, considering that the royals covered the costs outside of security out of their own pocket. Given the size of the crowds, the police were always going to be involved, and we sort of frown on people paying the police to do things for them, so they couldn't have paid for security themselves if they'd wanted to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    "Republic, a small and insignificant organisation which only represents a tiny minority of the British people and which jumps on any... bandwagon it can find just to get its name in the media and spread its poorly researched and poorly thought-out opinions?"

    I'm not a member of Republic, but couldn't that description also apply to the Windsors situation and their publicists?

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    @Sixp For many its not a financial issue.
    Its about removing the last vestiges of class, privilege and old-school-tie bull that holds up back.

    Poor Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, Spanish, etc the world's great oppressed. "Vestiges of class...old school tie"!?! This country is dominated not by any sort of upper class, but by MONEY which, all too often, is divorced from common human decency.

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    I suppose I am a Royalist-I have the utmost respect for the Queen. They just need to take care to get the BALANCE right and CAREFULLY read the public mood. They also need to jettison Andrew et al, who are in danger of undermining the excellent work of others such as the Princess Royal.

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.


    No, he was elected. Like every other MP. Then he won the leadership election. Then his party in coalition with the Lib Dems gained the most seats in parliament, and so was invited (yes, by the Queen, like all other PMs) to form a government.

    How is that appointed, rather than elected?

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    72 coledata, I couldn't have put it better myself. When you look at some of the iffy dealings our 'elected' MPs get up to with their shadowy financiers and lobbyists, we should be delighted our monarch isn't like them. As someone working in the tourism industry I can tell you our queen is the envy of the world, it's a shame we don't always see just how important she is to our world image.

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    18. TooShy
    "Scotland doesn't have a monarchy"
    And this is an editors pick? The English monarch & the Scottish monarch have been the same person since James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth 1 as James the 1 of England & VI of Scotland.

    Funnily enough the biggest ques I saw at Edinburgh castle were to see the Scottish crown jewels, not the new Scottish parliament building.

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    202 jimmy "Unequal societies lose out to progressive societies , fact."

    Oh, Jimmy. Putting the word 'fact' on the end of a statement is not of itself enough to make it true.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    @199 locust

    Typical patronising monarchist claptrap. I am a highly respected professional earning a six figure income, own my own home and pay my taxes and I think the monarchy is an anachronistic vestige of history which has no role to play in a modern democratic society. I also know that, among my colleagues and friends, my opinion is by far in the majority. Time you joined the real world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    200.The_Gambler - even a plebian like me knows that if the 'chosen one' is placed in a safe tory seat to become first an MP and is then placed as leader of the party contesting another party that has been in power for 3 terms is more likely than previous tory leaders to have a chance at becoming PM, but actually he was not voted in was he? Still he was duly 'Royally' appointed.

  • Comment number 206.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    202"191. Arnold55555
    You are not living in the real world if you think the class divide has been removed. "

    When did I say that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    To the republicans: how much does Obama cost the US taxpayer? How much does Sarkozy cost the French? The idea that a Republic would be cheaper is ridiculous.

    Equally I like most of the Royal Family. I actively dislike most of our politicians. Give me a fair vote & I'd vote for President Elizabeth II over President Blair or President Cameron anyday.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    So the countrys broke. So savage cuts have to be made for the poorest in society like the sick, disabled, oaps, the unemployed, those that rely on benefits (or cheats as the Media/government propaganda machine calls them) but the parasites at the top Bankers and Royals dont have to take their cut. How wonderfully fair! Off with their heads!!


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