(CNN) — Britain’s Royal House released its annual financial statements on Thursday, revealing official spending for the year 2022-23 exceeded the Sovereign Grant and other earned royal income.
He attributes the high costs to the “exceptional period of transition” at the Royal Household, which saw the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II last year and the coronation of King Carlos III in May, as well as a renovation project in class at Buckingham Palace. .
In total, the Royal Household’s net expenditure would be £107.5m (US$136m), compared to the total Sovereign Grant of £86.3m (US$109.1m). US dollars) and additional income of £9.8 million (US$12.4 million).
The Sovereign Grant, an annual lump sum from the government, is essentially an expense account that covers the cost of travel, security, staff and upkeep of the royal palaces. The three main sources of income for the Royal Family are the Sovereign Grant, the Duchy of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall estates, and their personal assets and investments.
“Official expenditure exceeded the Sovereign Grant and non-core earned income, with net expenditure of £107.5m (US$136m), a 5% increase on the previous year in due to extensive works related to the Buckingham Palace reservation and the costs associated with the change of reign, as well as the impact of the 10.1% rise in the consumer price index,” Buckingham Palace said. in a press release.
High official spending led to a reduction in the sovereign grant reserve of £20.7m (US$26.2m) last year.
“This year’s statement covers an important period of transition for the Royal House, reflecting the Platinum Jubilee and State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the King’s accession to the throne, preparation for Their Majesties’ coronation and the reunion of staff from two royal houses,” the palace statement said.
“The total Sovereign Grant for 2022-23 was £86.3m (2021-22: £86.3m) (US$109.1m), which consists of a grant base of £51.8 million (US$65.5 million) which funds travel, property upkeep and running costs of the Sovereigns’ household. The basic grant is equivalent to 77 pence (97 cents) per person in the UK,” the statement added, noting that the total sovereign grant remains unchanged from last year.
The UK’s population is around 67 million, which means the Sovereign Grant is equivalent to £1.29 (US$1.63) per person in the country, according to the Palace.
Criticism of royalty and its finances
The country’s leading anti-monarchy group has criticized the Royal Family for continuing to increase the spending of public money, as well as the way the Royal House arrived at the numbers.
“The Royal Family have long hidden their true cost, which we have estimated to be at least £345m ($436.3m). That’s enough to pay for 13,000 new nurses or teachers,” Graham Smith said. , executive director of campaign group Republic. “To try to excuse that by dividing the figure by every man, woman and child is nonsense.”
“Our figure of £345million is much more accurate than the official report, when we take into account costs for local councils, local police forces, revenue from both duchies and security,” added Smith, who also called for more transparency on the part of the monarchy his campaign group seeks to abolish.
Keeper of the Royal Household purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said in the Palace statement: “Looking back on these 12 months, we reflect on how the nation came together to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of the Queen Elizabeth II in June and to mourn her late Majesty in September as it marks the King’s ascension, as well as the months of preparation leading up to their Majesties’ coronation.”
Stevens also said many events that had been absent during the pandemic years returned last year, including Palace Garden Parties, Maundy, Garter and King Charles III’s state visits.
“Like other organisations, the Royal House has not been immune to the impacts of the joint challenges of the pandemic and inflationary pressures, which have resulted in a fixed Sovereign Grant. The figure for the year remained unchanged to £86.3m, with a significant proportion funding the Buckingham Palace reserve, which is now in its seventh year. This figure will remain unchanged at £86.3m for the year 2023-24,” said Stevens added.
Smith, of campaign group Republic, said: ‘The questions that need to be asked are whether this spending is ethical, a good use of public money and what else it could be spent on.’
The private wealth and way of life of King Charles III and the British Royal Family has come into question this year as the UK grapples with a cost of living crisis, leaving many unable to pay their bills and basic household items.
Meanwhile, royal fans argue the monarchy delivers value to British taxpayers as it boosts tourism and consumer spending, especially at major events.
— Previous reporting by CNN’s Ivana Kottasova.