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 242.

    Interesting this, the moderators do not like the idea of anyone marking pro Royal sentiments down. Or is it coincidence that the system has a problem if the comments are not to the liking of the strictly neutral moderators

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    Not a single penny of tax payer’s money should be paid to someone who rules us by force without backing of people's democratically created support. Queen must make herself available to British people to hold a vote on her. Otherwise, her position is untenable and illegitimate in the 21st century. Britain is belong to British people and not to Monarcy supporters who enjoy holding power by force.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    "230.The_Gambler - wow, so the Royal intervention and contact with Tory Central Office had no bearing on the future of Cameron at all then."

    No. He was elected every time. Unless you think the Royals influenced every voter that voted for him to do so, no, he didn't gain any advantage at all.

    Careful; your bias is showing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    Real problem with the 'Royals' is that in a modern country aspiring to be a meritocracy, we still have people in place who's status is based on being born, not what they have done.

    Why should the masses 'subsidise' the royal family, who represent a class status system in the uk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    The monarchy system is absurd. Why should I pay for someone to live in luxury off of my hard earned money. They and their children get the best education, the best opportunities, want and need nothing, and world media adoration. For what? How have they earned that? I get no benefit at all from the monarchy. I pay for their houses, would they invite me in? Never. Do they even know my name? No.

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    230.The_Gambler - wow, so the Royal intervention and contact with Tory Central Office had no bearing on the future of Cameron at all then. So the question is answered then, the royal family have no power any more or influence so we can get rid of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    @BigFacedBoy "Even better, make them live on benefits. None of them work for a living yet we give them millions." The only Royals who have an income directly from the Civil List are the Queen, Philip, and Charles. The Queen pays for the other members of the family that do public duties. I'd like to see YOU work as hard, just once, as this 85 year old woman has all her life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    @227 exxpertskier - Unfortunately your argument has been disproved time and again. Buckingham Palace was only 24th on the most recent list of british tourist attractions in terms of visitor numbers and surveys have shown that those that did visit it would still have visited whether the royal family still existed or not

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    How does £34m pa compare to other heads of state?

    I know the monarchy is archaic, a throw back/link to our history but I'd rather that than another politician in it for themselves, blowing with the wind with every populist issue of the day. It's part of the package which is Britain, a constant, adds value to UK plc and the majority want it to stay that way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    23 lliarbbc Totally wrong, you don't get it do you? Its the 21st century, some things are past their sell by date. As for moving abroad as I'm English, born in England I think I am entitled to have some say on wether or not I support a particular family who's ancestry is a mix of German and Greek, considering that some people are clamouring over immigrants perhaps they should keep qiuiet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    To all the republicans out there who think we would better of with a president. Looking at recent history with our own politicians and politicians the world over, nearly all of them are liars, cheaters, theives, fraudsters or womanizers, yet with the possible exception of Andrew the Royal Family have always conducted themselves with the utmost integrity. As a head of state you could do a lot worse

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.


    I wouldn't have had any issues with them paying for security too and I'm sure others wouldn've have had any issue either. And what was the big deal with the wedding anyway? Those people won't even like to shake hands with you as if they're above the heavens and people would go around wagging their tails around them. Makes me sick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.


    You're being quite obtuse now. Whether you consider the other candiates worthy or not is irrelevant; Cameron beat them in an election.

    Whether you consider the seat safe or not, Cameron is an elected MP.

    Whether you consider coalitions legitimate or not, he is the Prime Minister of this country. He gained no advantage from the Royal family whatsoever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    The cost of the Royal family is negligable compared to what an elected head of state would cost.

    An elected head would add nothing to this country other than another layer of beaurocracy and another trough for the political classes to dip their snouts into.

    The Royal family is respected worldwide and brings money into this country, often unheralded. They are an asset not a drain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    214. Michael Rives

    Poor Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, Spanish, etc the world's great oppressed. "Vestiges of class...old school tie"!?!
    I suggest you investigate the background of most MPs, Civil Servants, lawyers etc. if you believe the class system in the UK is a thing of the past.
    I dont recall mentioning any form of oppression...

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.


    I think you have already elevated yourself to something higher than Royal status! If you're that 'respected' and a successful, you cannot ignore the tourism revenues if you wish to be pedantic about it. Thus, removing them, undermines a revenue stream-NOT a successful business strategy...

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    What democracy? As a UK taxpayer I cannot remember being consulted on this. Along with three wars and huge cuts in social welfare.
    Where is my referendum form? Was I out?
    If Phillip had told me he was so hard up, I would have lent him a tenner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    197. Arnold55555

    "Better to spend £31Million on royalty than to spend £20Billion on benefits scroungers."

    Even better, make them live on benefits. None of them work for a living yet we give them millions. Make them sell off their assets and see how long they survive in the real world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    212.The_Gambler - rather patchy with your argument, his election as an MP was gauranteed in a safe seat. His election as leader was un-contested, oh sorry unless you count Liam Fox, Ken Clarke & David Davis as serious contenders. He failed to get the full mandate of the British people and is only in power in a coalition. He was Royally supported, others were not, its wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    @204 Peter_Sym

    They may also cost but at least Presidents are ELECTED. And if the public don't feel they are doing their job, respresenting their country, they get voted out. The idea of someone being head of state simply by being born into a particular family is simply ludicrous in this day and age!


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