By Tom Edgington
BBC News

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The Royal Family has opened its books to show how the Queen spent her money last year.

How much does the monarch receive and where does her income come from?

What does the Queen receive from the government?

The Queen is given a single payment by the government every year called the Sovereign Grant.

What is the Sovereign Grant spent on?

  • Buckingham Palace
  • St James’s Palace
  • Kensington Palace
  • the Royal Mews and Royal Paddocks at Hampton Court
  • Windsor Castle

Where does money for the Sovereign Grant come from?

The payment is based on the profits of the Crown Estate, a property business owned by the monarch but run independently.

Among its holdings are Regent Street in London and the Ascot racecourse in Berkshire.

The Crown Estate is controlled by a management board whose main duty is to maintain and enhance the value of the property “for the benefit of the nation’s finances”.

It is not the private property of the Queen – it merely belongs to the monarch for the duration of their reign. This means the Queen can’t sell the Crown Estate or keep the revenue for herself.

What’s the history of the Crown Estate?

In 1760, King George III reached an agreement with the government to surrender his income from the Crown Estate. In return, it was agreed that the King (and his successors) would receive a fixed annual payment – originally known as the Civil List.

The Civil List was replaced in 2010 by the Sovereign Grant.

How is the Sovereign Grant calculated?

Normally, the Queen receives 15% of the Crown Estate profits from the previous two years.

If any Sovereign Grant money is unspent in a given year, the left-over amount goes into a reserve fund. Last year, £2.3m was used from the reserve for the work on the Buckingham Palace refurbishments.

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image captionAscot racecourse is owned by the Crown Estate

What happens if the Crown Estate’s profits fall?

If the Crown Estate’s profits fall, the Queen still receives the same grant as the previous year.

This means the Queen would be allowed to receive more than 25% of the Crown Estate’s profits.

How else does the Royal Family receive money?

As well as the Sovereign Grant, the Queen also receives private income from the Queen’s Privy Purse, which is passed down from monarch to monarch.

This is the money from another private estate – known as the Duchy of Lancaster – which covers over 18,000 hectares of land. It includes areas like Lancashire and Yorkshire, as well as property in central London.

In the year ending March 2020, the Duchy of Lancaster made a profit of just over £23m.

The Queen also has an income through properties such as Sandringham and Balmoral, which she owns personally.

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image captionSecurity costs are met by the police rather than the Sovereign Grant

What about security?

Some argue that the true cost of the Royal Family is far higher.

That’s because the Sovereign Grant isn’t used to pay for security, which is usually picked up by the Metropolitan Police.

Republic – an organisation which campaigns for an elected head of state – estimates that the total yearly cost of the monarchy, once security is factored in, is several times higher than the Sovereign Grant.



Source link BBC NEWS UK

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