Related video: Monarch makes appearance on Buckingham palace balcony during Platinum Jubilee
As if the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations weren’t enough to get some people questioning our decision to splash some cash on the Royals amid a cost of living crisis, it’s now been revealed that the Royal Family spent £64 million on improvements to Buckingham Palace last year.
Back in 2011, the Sovereign Grant Act passed and set out the public money paid to the Queen each year to enable her to “discharge her duties as Head of State”.
UK Government guidance on the Sovereign Grant reads: “[The grant] meets the central staff costs and running expenses of Her Majesty’s official household – including official receptions, investitures and garden parties.
“It also covers maintenance of the Royal Palaces in England and the cost of travel to carry out royal engagements such as opening buildings and other royal visits.
“In exchange for this public support, The Queen surrenders the revenue from The Crown Estate to the government. Over the last 10 years, the revenue paid to the exchequer is £3 billion for public spending.”
For 2021-22, the grant came to £86.3 million, which Buckingham Palace said is “equivalent to £1.29 per person in the UK”.
We get that this is the Royals trying to make it sound like that isn’t much for each UK citizen to part with, but that’s still enough for us to buy at least a single, delicious Freddo, you monsters.
The financial summary for 2021-22 revealed that £63.9 million was spent on “property maintenance”, with “significant” reservicing and maintenance work carried out on Buckingham Palace’s West Wing.
It’s part of a ten-year reservicing of the household, which involves a “major overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, pipework, boilers and generators”.
The work this previous financial year included improvements to the Grand Entrance, Grand Staircase, Minister’s Stairs, Marble Hall and the Picture Gallery – apparently.
Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the Privy Purse, commented the 2021-22 financial year “was not without operational and financial challenges”.
He said: “The impact of Covid meant that major events such as Maundy, Garter, and Garden Parties were absent from the calendar. The pandemic also meant we had another year in which access to the Royal Palaces was restricted for The Royal Collection Trust, which once again affected our ability to help self-finance our work on behalf of the nation.
“While the Reservicing Programme continued to be carefully managed to match projected funding, there was a significant increase in work against a hard deadline to enable Buckingham Palace to be at the centre of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. On all fronts we were pleased to deliver against our plans.”
\u201cWhat work did the Royal Family do in Lockdown that warranted \u00a3100m & WHY would Buckingham Palace REPAIRS go ahead when MANY couldn\u2019t heat homes, kids lived off school lunches, families fed from food banks & stripped of Universal Credit uplift?\n\nInsult to the British taxpayers.\u201d
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu)
\u201cIf only there were other people capable of pulling braided ropes to reveal plaques. If only other people could wave from balconies. But - no we must be kept in childlike limbo forever while a hereditary family rides about in private trains at our expense\nhttps://t.co/wsu6FX8ca0\u201d
\u201cTomorrow sees the release of the royals' annual accounts, which we've now had access to. It's worth taking a moment to appreciate how dishonest, absurd and indefensible the Sovereign Grant is. \ud83e\uddf5\u201d
\u201cThe 2021-22 financial report was released by Buckingham Palace tonight. The United Kingdom is lucky to have one of the most financially transparent heads of state in Europe #RoyalFamily \n\nhttps://t.co/3DyIeK3284\u201d