The Queen is set to almost double her income to more than £82million following a government decision to cover refurbishment work at Buckingham Palace. The Sovereign Grant, which is paid two years in arrears, is money given to the Queen by the Treasury. It is based on the profits of the Crown Estate portfolio, which includes much of London's West End, and is used to cover the salaries of the Queen's household, official travel and upkeep of the royal palaces. Official figures show that The Crown Estate made £328.8million profit in the year ending in March 2017 – eight per cent up on the previous year.
The increase in funding will coincide with extensive repairs at Buckingham Palace, set to cost £369million. The refurbishment will include new electrical wiring, water pipes and heating system, all of which are in need of repair; £1.2million was recently spent replacing the Orangery doors at Windsor Castle, which had become inoperable due to rot and decay.
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Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said the Queen represented "excellent value for money"
It has been revealed that the monarch's net expenditure last year increased by £2million, to almost £42million - but British royal aides have argued that the royal family provide excellent value for money. Sir Alan Reid, the Queen's treasurer known as Keeper of the Privy Purse, said the cost of the monarchy to the British public last year worked out at 65p per person – the cost of a first class stamp. He also highlighted the fact that the royals carried out more than 3,000 official engagements last year, with the 91-year-old Queen attending 162, and her 96-year-old husband Prince Philip performing 196. "When you consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money," he said.
Prince Charles and Camilla hired Voyager for a week-long visit to Italy, Romania and Austria
The bill for royal travel last year amounted to £4.5million – up £500,000. The most expensive journey was aboard the new government Voyager state jet, introduced by David Cameron for official government and royal family use to cut costs. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall hired Voyager for a week-long visit to Italy, Romania and Austria at the end of March, which came in at an estimated £154,000. The royal train, used only by the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, proved to be the most expensive form of transport mile-by-mile. It was used 14 times last year at a cost of around £900,000.
Opinion polls show that the Queen still remains hugely popular with British people, with at least two thirds indicating that they are in favour of the monarchy. Some have argued that the true annual cost of the royals to taxpayers is hundreds of millions of pounds because security expenditure is not included in the annual figures, while others have been critical of the amount spent on minor royals and travel expenses.