How much did the UK taxpayer spend on royal events last year? | UK News
The UK is gearing up for a weekend of celebrations Coronation of King Charles III. on Saturday 6th
The upcoming event has been described as a service that “reflects the role of the monarch today and looks to the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry,” according to the palace.
And there’s much for the public to look forward to, from the royal procession that sees King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back after the service, to the spectacular Coronation Concert on Sunday 7 May.
Meanwhile, people across the UK will be holding street parties to celebrate the occasion and volunteering during the Big Help Out initiative on bank holiday Monday, May 8th.
The coronation marks the third major royal event in 12 months, following last June’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, followed by September’s pompous and solemn funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
As many of these events are funded or partially funded by the UK taxpayer, how much have you spent on royal events over the past year?
This is how it breaks down…
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed in the March 2021 budget – when he was chancellor – that he had set aside £28 million of taxpayers’ money for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which took place in June 2022.
At the time, the government promised a “unique show” that blended “the best of British ceremonial grandeur and pageantry with cutting-edge artistic and technological displays”.
However, the four-day spectacle was not fully funded by the UK taxpayer.
A number of charities also made a contribution – with the National Lottery reportedly supporting around 70 community projects across England with grants of up to £50,000.
Coronation of King Charles III. At latest
The historic coronation of Her Majesties King Charles III. and Queen Camilla takes place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May 2023.
For the latest royal updates, see Metro.co.uk’s special coronation site.
Arts Council England also got involved with grants of up to £10,000 to communities to allow ‘cultural activity’ to thrive during the anniversary.
They also distributed around £175,000 to local libraries to help them celebrate.
The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, which took place on 19 September 2022, was always a historic event, with reports that over 29 million people in the UK tuned in to watch the 96-year-old monarch’s funeral.
The exact cost of the Queen’s funeral was not disclosed, but some royal experts at the time estimated it would have cost roughly £8-10 million – taking into account the fact that the Queen Mother’s funeral cost around £5.4million in 2002 and adjusting the figure for inflation.
As a state funeral – the first since Winston Churchill in 1965 – Much of the cost would have fallen to the UK taxpayer, although how much has not been confirmed, as the cost of royal funerals is often shared between the taxpayer and family.
The Queen shared the cost of the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002, with around £4.3million of the budget being spent on police costs and £825,000 for her to be in state ahead of the funeral.
Princess Diana’s funeral ceremony was estimated at between £3million and £5million in 1997.
However, Prince Philip’s funeral was less expensive as it was a more low-key affair, with the Queen consort reportedly saying he did not want to make a “fuss” after his death.
Coronation of King Charles III
The exact cost of the coronation was not disclosed.
According to Operation Golden Orb – the committee of government officials, Church of England officials and Clarence House staff who have been planning the coronation for years – it could cost as much as 100 million pounds.
This is despite claims that the ceremony would be “shorter, earlier, smaller, less expensive and more representative of diverse community groups and faiths.”
The Queen’s coronation in 1953 cost £1.57m, which is around £45m to £50m today – effectively doubling the cost of the event.
“In today’s money, the 1953 coronation cost around £50million, but estimates for King Charles’ coronation are double that because of things like security, which weren’t such a big issue at the time,” a source said.
Since it is a state occasion, the coronation paid for by the UK government – so effectively that the taxpayer picks up the bill.
How much do the events cost in total?
Although we can’t be sure of the exact figure, that would be in the region of £138million in taxpayer money pumped into royal events over the last 12 months.
However, it is worth noting that this would be the estimated figure if the full cost of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral were covered by taxpayers – as members of the royal family often foot part of the bill, the true figure could be lower.
It also works on the basis that the coronation will cost £100million – which would make it the trio’s most expensive event.
The amount of money the events cost also contrasts with the amount of money the royals also bring to the UK through tourism.
The House of Windsor is According to Forbes, it’s valued at £19 billion.
Both Windsor Castle and Frogmore House receive large numbers of paying visitors each year, with an adult ticket costing £26.50 Sunday to Friday – whilst other royal tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews, Clarence House, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Die Queen’s Gallery also brings in significant revenue.
Other tourist hotspots include the Royal Collection – which includes the contents of 13 royal residences and former residences across Britain – and the Crown Estate.
A record 3,285,000 people attended the official residences, generating approximately £49,859,000, according to the 2019-20 Annual Report.
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