Some of the British taxes go to the Royal family to “…carry out official duties". However, it is common knowledge that the royal family has a lot of luxurious things that most people paying British taxes do not have.

The Sovereign Grant is the money given to the royal family for their royal duties. This money comes from taxpayers and the current rate is approximately £82.2 million per year which is approximately 64p per person, represented by the cost of a first-class stamp. This is a 57% increase since 2012 when it replaces the Civil List and three separate grants for royal travel, communications and palace maintenance which are now all included in the Sovereign Grant.

Funding for the Sovereign Grant also comes from the profits of the Crown Estate Revenue (initially set at 15%) which is “a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporation sole”. These profits are about £304 million a year and are reviewed every five years. Not all the Royal Families money comes from British taxpayers.

The Royal Family’s annual income has been on a steady rise since 2011, in the last 6/7 years, it has risen by approximately £7.3 million. The graph above (Figure 1) shows a graph of the increase in annual total from 2011/2012 to 2017/2018 where it claims the current total income is approximately £17.3 million; here there is controversy in my research; it seems that we cannot be sure which is correct however the figure from other sources of £82.2 million seems more liable. The graph shows how the Royal Family’s income has risen although the figures may be incorrect, we can clearly see that especially in recent years how rapidly it has risen. The second graph (Figure 2) shows the royal family’s annual expenditure; how much money they spent each year. Once again, this money also increases as the years pass and the graphs show a similar pattern.

Figure 2-The Royal Family’s Total income 2011/12 - 2017/18 According to this source during a twelve-month period across 2017 and 2018, the royal family spent £47.4 million and the biggest spending category was property maintenance at £22.6 million. The Royal Palaces are beautiful and huge, so it is understandable that they take a lot of maintenance. But is this too much money to be spending on luxury and how much of it is ours?

This total sum is very large compared to the average UK household’s yearly disposable income (this means the amount of money left after tax and sociable security charges. This average is approximately £27,300, when compared directly to the Royal family’s sum it is approximately 3010:1, meaning that the Royal Family has around £3010 for every pound the average UK household has.

Released on 20th September 2018, Meghan Markle’s first Royal project was a cookbook entitled Together: Our Community Cookbook. She released this to raise money to help to keep the Hubb Community Kitchen open every day of the week instead of the three days it was when she visited in January. In the eye of the public, Meghan’s project had a worthy cause as it was on the Amazon bestsellers list before it was even released and sold nearly 11,000 copies in its first week. Most people agreed that this is a worthy cause, but some questioned what had happened to the £82.2 million a year from the Sovereign Grant, did the Royal family give any of their own, considerably larger than average, fortune to the cause?

The Royal Family may do fundraising for charities however they do not seem to be giving much of their own money to charity. Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of 510 charities and “has the helped the many organisations of which she is patron raise over £1.4bn”[8] Some people agree that the Royal Family is doing no wrong to live in such luxury and are completely within their rights to spend so much money on the palaces. However, is it wrong for the Royal Family to have such beautiful palaces and spend so much money when other people have next to nothing? The impacts of homelessness on individuals include; drug-taking, unemployment and struggling to maintain relationships. The diagram in Figure represents some of this data.

The information we get from this source shows the horrors that homelessness brings on people other than the lack of shelter. Although it could be argued that it is unfair for any person to have less than another, the amount that the Royal Family has compared to those living in shelters or on the streets is unacceptable. This is not to say that the Royal Family does nothing to help homeless people in Britain; Prince William is Patron of Centrepoint which is the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity. “As a child, the Prince visited homelessness charities in London with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.”[5] The Royal Family seems to want to help homeless people but they seem to be spending too much of their money on making their own homes beautiful and not enough making others better, which should be part of their job.

“300,000 people are classed as homeless in the UK, including one in 59 people in London and one in 27 in Newham”. These figures are unbelievable and something needs to be done about it. Councils spend £1.15 billion each year on homeless services including £845 million on temporary shelters. However this money is spent by the government and decided by the House of Commons so it seems as though it is not the Royal Family doing the helping, it is once again the taxpayers’ taxes and donations, not money coming from the Royal Family’s fortune.

It seems that perhaps less of our taxes go to the Royal Family than we expect however the overall sum comes to an unbelievable amount when we compare to the average UK household and their homes are the most extravagant and spacious in Britain. This is not fair since there are people, just metres from the entrance to Buckingham Palace, with no home at all.

In conclusion I think that the Royal Family is very popular and people can still really like them, however they do spend a lot of money on the upkeep of their magnificent, luxurious properties that could be spent on other people in the country to help look after them as that is an important part of their job. I think more of their money should go to charities and helping the most underprivileged people in the country.