Taxpayers in the United Kingdom are paying more money than ever for the Royal Family.
The latest Sovereign Grant accounts were published early last week and they show that the monarchy cost £67 million ($86 million) in 2018-19 - a 41 percent increase on the previous financial year. Statista's Niall McCarthy notes one interesting aspect of the accounts is that Frogmore Cottage cost £2.4 million of public money to renovate. The official residence of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the cottage was given to the couple as a gift by the Queen.
In a nutshell, the complicated system of funding the monarchy works when the UK government makes a payment called the Sovereign Grant to the Royal Household every year. Its value is determined by how uch money the Crown Estate real estate portfolio has brought in. That total added up to £82 million this year with a sizeable chunk of that money added to cover renovation work at Buckingham Palace. Of that total, the monarchy spent £67 million on official duties including travel as well as other costs such as staff and property maintenance. Maintenance and the renovation of Buckingham Palace are the key reasons the total is so high this year.
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Buckingham Palace's electrical, heating and plumbing systems all date from the 1950s and are in urgent need of replacement. As part of 10-year renovation plan, wiring and pipework will be replaced while asbestos will be removed from the building. New elevators will also be installed to assist disabled visitors. The complexity and duration of the work will ensure that the next financial year will also be expensive for taxpayers with the Sovereign Grant expected to rise to £85.7 million.