The Royal Household today published its annual financial statement, the Sovereign Grant Report, for the financial year 2019-20. The Sovereign Grant is the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen and maintain the Occupied Royal Palaces. It also includes a dedicated amount to fund the ten-year Reservicing of Buckingham Palace, a major overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, pipework, boilers and generators.
You can download the documents by using the following links:
The key financial details reported today are:
▪ The total Sovereign Grant for 2019-20, including the dedicated amount for Reservicing, amounted to £82.4m (2018-19: £82.2m), equivalent to £1.23 per person in the UK.
▪ The £82.4m is made up of a core grant of £49.4m which funds official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of The Queen’s household, and an additional dedicated amount for Reservicing of £33m. The core grant equates to 74p per person in the UK.
▪ Income supplementing the Sovereign Grant increased to £20.2m from £17.8m (2018-19).
▪ The official expenditure in the year met by the Sovereign Grant was £69.4million (2018-19: £67m), including £21.2m on the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
▪ £13m was transferred to the Sovereign Grant reserve (2018-19: £15.2m) principally to fund the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
Other highlights of the 2019-20 report include:
▪ Members of the Royal Family undertook almost 3,200 official engagements across the UK and overseas, with The Queen undertaking 296 official engagements.
▪ Over 139,000 guests were welcomed by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family at the Royal Residences for events such as garden parties and investitures.
▪ The Reservicing Programme continued at Buckingham Palace, with the majority of the critical works now completed, including the replacement of key infrastructure such as boilers and generators, and the removal of all known Vulcanised Indian Rubber cabling across the Palace.
▪ Major building work is underway on the East Wing, which is fully decanted and now operating as a construction site. New lifts are being installed to improve accessibility, and essential services are being replaced. The reservicing of the West Wing is also imminent.
▪ Work is also underway on a new accessible ramp at the front of the building to provide dedicated step-free access into the Palace.
Reflecting on the year 2019-20, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said:
The majority of the year under review took place before the impact of Covid-19 set in, with the Royal Family undertaking a range of significant visits to communities in the UK and overseas. The Queen hosted the President and First Lady of the United States of America on a State Visit and led the country in national moments of remembrance such as the 75th anniversary of D-Day and Armistice Day.
Although Covid-19 has temporarily changed the format of engagements and events, it has not changed the sense of continuity, reassurance and recognition they provide. Her Majesty’s programme, supported by Her family, will continue to develop meaningful ways to lead the nation through this time.
While the report highlights another busy year for the Royal Family, it does not reflect future challenges associated with the impact of Covid-19.
The Sovereign Grant itself is calculated with reference to The Crown Estate’s annual profits two years previously, so it is not affected in the current year.
Looking ahead, the effects of the pandemic will impact the Sovereign Grant and the income supplementing the Sovereign Grant, which supports the official duties of The Queen, including the agreed £369 million budget for the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
Commenting on the financial challenges from the effect of the pandemic, Sir Michael Stevens said:
In responding to these challenges, we have no intention of asking for extra funding but will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.
Find out more about the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.