Background to the report

The Royal Family is funded by a variety of private and public sources. The Royal Household, which supports the Sovereign and members of the Royal Family in their official duties, has been publicly funded since 1760, when King George III agreed to surrender to Parliament the net income from The Crown Estate and hereditary revenues in return for a fixed annual payment.

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The Royal Household receives public funding in line with the Sovereign Grant Act 2011. The Act specifies that the Sovereign receives a grant each financial year. The Grant is used to fund expenditure incurred by the Sovereign and provide certain resources to support other members of the Royal Family in the performance of official duties. This includes staff salaries and travel expenses, as well as maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, which are used for official purposes.

Scope of the report

The purpose of this report is to enhance transparency in a matter of national interest. It is not a value-for-money assessment and does not contain recommendations. This report describes the funding arrangements for the Royal Household as well as the accountability and oversight procedures. It outlines:

  • the role of public money in financing the Royal Household and how the funds are used
  • the respective roles of HM Treasury, Parliament and the Comptroller and Auditor General (the C&AG) in providing the funds, engaging in oversight and auditing the accounts
  • future considerations that might impact upon funding for the Royal Household

Future considerations

Expected revenue related to offshore windfarms is likely to affect the periodic adjustment in the funding formula for the Grant. In January 2023, The Crown Estate signed Agreements for Lease on the latest round of offshore windfarms (Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 or ‘Round 4’) and as a result has now started to include the option fee income in its accounts. These fees are expected to significantly increase The Crown Estate’s net revenue and revenue account profit.

Approximately £1 billion of income per annum will be generated from the option fees across the six projects that comprise Round 4, for at least three years during the option fee period. Since the Grant is set in relation to The Crown Estate’s revenue account profit, the Grant would likely increase substantially if the formula is not revised. The latest periodic review of the Grant by the Trustees is expected to be published in 2023.


Publication details

Press release

View press release (14 Jul 2023)

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