Financial report shows Queen Elizabeth spent $56,300 on train ride

The Royal Household today published its annual financial statements, the Sovereign Grant Report, for the financial year 2021-22.

The Sovereign Grant is the funding provided to support the Queen’s official functions and maintain the occupied Royal Palaces. It also includes a dedicated amount to fund the ten-year re-maintenance of Buckingham Palace, a major overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, piping, boilers and generators.

The total Sovereign Grant for 2021-22, including the amount dedicated to reservicing, was £86.3m (2020-21: £85.9m), or £1.29 per person at UK.

The £86.3m consists of a base grant of £51.8m which funds official travel, property upkeep and running costs for the Queen’s household, and a additional amount dedicated to re-maintenance of £34.5 million. The basic grant is equivalent to 77p per person in the UK.

Revenue earned to top up the Sovereign Grant was £9.9m, an increase of 5% from £9.4m (2020-21). The figure remains below 50% of pre-pandemic levels and continues to largely reflect the impact of Covid-19 on The Royal Collection Trust’s ability to welcome visitors to the occupied Royal Palaces.

Official expenditure exceeded the Sovereign Grant and additional revenue earned, with net expenditure of £102.4m, a 17% increase on the previous year. This was due to expenditure totaling £54.6m for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, an increase of 41%.

The Sovereign Grant Reserve was reduced by £14.6m (2020-21 £2.3m was taken) to pay for major works related to the recommissioning of Buckingham Palace.

Other details in the 2021-22 report include:

While many engagements continued to take place virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Queen and members of the Royal Family undertook nearly 2,300 official engagements across the UK and abroad, the international travel resuming to pre-pandemic levels.

The re-maintenance program continued apace at Buckingham Palace, which played a central role in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Significant work has been completed in the West Wing, including the Grand Entrance, Grand Staircase, Minister’s Stairs, Marble Hall and Picture Gallery. Property maintenance work in these areas has also been completed.

Completion of the Picture Gallery roof means the scaffolding obscuring the grand entrance has been removed.

The Palace Wide Infrastructure program began simultaneously in each basement wing.

Reflecting on the year 2021-22, the guardian of the private purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said:

“The year covered by the report reflects a certain return to normality in many respects for the Royal Household with physical engagements, travel and domestic visits by Heads of State undertaken. However, although such events are back, no review of the year could be complete without reflecting on the sad passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the funeral which took place at St George’s Chapel in April. His service and contribution to the nation has been duly reflected and his legacy remains as strong today more than twelve months later.

“The year was not without operational and financial challenges. The impact of Covid meant that major events such as Maundy, Garter and Garden Parties were missing from the calendar. The pandemic has also meant that we have had another year in which access to royal palaces has been restricted for The Royal Collection Trust, which has once again affected our ability to help self-fund our work on behalf of the nation. While the booking program continued to be carefully managed to match planned funding, there was a significant increase in work within a tight deadline to allow Buckingham Palace to be the center of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. On all fronts, we were delighted to live up to our plans.

“Looking forward, with the sovereign grant likely to be stable over the next two years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to generate additional revenue likely to be limited in the short term, we will continue to meet our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and efficiencies.

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