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Queen costs you £1.23 a year, royal accounts show

The Queen's Sovereign Grant costs taxpayers £1.23 a year each, according its latest accounts  Picture: Chris Bishop

The Queen's Sovereign Grant costs taxpayers £1.23 a year each, according its latest accounts Picture: Chris Bishop

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The Queen and Royal Family cost us each £1.23 a year, new figures show.

Expenditure on palaces does not include Sandringham House, in Norfolk, which is privately owned by the monarch Picture: Ian BurtExpenditure on palaces does not include Sandringham House, in Norfolk, which is privately owned by the monarch Picture: Ian Burt

That figure comes down to 74p a year when you subtract the cost of the £369m 10-year refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.

Accounts published for the so-called Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen’s official duties and the upkeep of her palaces, show it came to £82.4m in 2019-20.

That money does not pay for the running of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, which is privately owned by the monarch, who has an estimated private fortune of £400m.

Recent months have shown that royalty are not immune to the coronavirus pandemic, with Prince Charles contracting Covid-19 and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh self-isolating for a spell at Windsor Castle and Balmoral, before moving into a farmhouse at Wolferton, near King’s Lynn.

The closure of Buckingham Palace since lockdown has helped cause an anticipated £15m shortfall  Picture: GettyThe closure of Buckingham Palace since lockdown has helped cause an anticipated £15m shortfall Picture: Getty

Now accounts show the crisis has caused an expected £15m shortfall to the royal purse, with Buckingham Palace and other sites including Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews, the Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh and Royal Collection Trust shops remaining closed since lockdown.

Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, stressed the Royal Household would “look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies” rather than seek extra funding.

David McClure, an expert in royal finances, said the lack of overseas tourists visiting palaces could be a serious problem for some time to come.

He said: “Covid is going to have a long-term effect, not just six months, on foreign visitors to Britain. That income is going to be depressed for a long time.”

A pay freeze for royal staff was implemented in April and there is also a halt on recruitment, but staff have not been furloughed.

The financial report revealed the most costly official overseas trip was the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ family tour to southern Africa, which cost the taxpayer nearly £246,000.

Accounts show the monarchy cost the taxpayer £69.4m during 2019-20 - an increase of £2.4m on the previous year. All major expenditure areas have increased, from payroll, up £1.2m to £24.4m, to travel, rising by £700,000 to £5.3m, and housekeeping and hospitality, rising by £300,000 to £2.6m.


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