This Is How Much the Royal Family Costs British Taxpayers

How much do their lifestyles cost their royal subjects?

royal familyLorna Roberts/Shutterstock

They throw extravagant weddings, travel on lengthy tours, and always sport the most fashionable of clothes. Not only are the lavish lifestyles of the British royals no secret, but they’re also arguably part of their allure. But what kind of a dent does all of that royal spending make in the taxes of ordinary, non-royal British citizens?

Every June, the Royal Household releases a statement detailing its finances from the past year. The statement reveals the amount of the Sovereign Grant, or the money that the Queen receives annually from the Treasury for royal expenditures. The most recent Sovereign Grant amounted to 76.1 million British pounds, or more than $97 million. This amount represents the money that the royal family received between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. Learn the net worth of each member of the royal family.

The hefty sum—over 30 million pounds more than the previous year’s grant—included an amount allocated specifically for renovating parts of Buckingham Palace. Renovation on the royal residence’s east wing will begin in spring 2019. According to royal.uk, 30.4 million pounds of the grant went towards “a major ten-year overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, pipework, boilers, and generators.”

Vanity Fair estimates that about 69 pence of each British taxpayer’s money went to funding the royal family in 2017-2018. This amount is equal to slightly less than one U.S. dollar (though the exact amount fluctuates). This a slight increase from the 2016-2017 year, where estimates found the amount to be 65 pence per taxpayer.

This doesn’t mean, though, that the royals spent all of that dough during the year. In fact, the Royal Household reported that the expenditure was only 47.4 million pounds. The superfluous pounds—28.7 million of them—went into the Sovereign Grant Reserve for use on future projects, including the Buckingham renovation. Of course, when you’re talking about tens of millions of pounds, to say that they “under-spent” is all relative. Read on for some surprisingly frugal habits of the royal family.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.