The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been hard on most people. Thousands of jobs have been lost, and almost every industry has been affected. But when people think of losses associated with coronavirus, the royal family may be the last thing that comes to mind. However, the pandemic has certainly hit the royals’ pocketbook quite hard.
How are funds allocated in the royal family?
Several things that the royal family needs like travel and housing are paid for via the Sovereign Grant. It can be a bit difficult to understand exactly how the Sovereign Grant is kept going.
According to Forbes, “the grant is funded by the profits from the Crown Estate, a Royal portfolio of property and land that includes some of London’s best-known streets. The Crown Estate pays its profit to the Treasury for the benefit of all U.K. taxpayers. The royal family then receives a percentage of the income from the Crown Estate back from the British government as the Sovereign Grant.”
When it comes to housing, the royals are only given a certain amount that they can spend from the grant, and if they want to spend more, it must come out of their own pockets.
“If a member of the royal family says, ‘We want a better kitchen than you’re prepared to provide with public money,’ then that would fall to them privately and they would have to meet the cost,” a source told People. “If they want that higher specification, they have to pay the extra.”
How has the pandemic affected the royal family?
During a briefing before the release of the financial accounts for the year, Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, announced that there stands to be a $45 million shortcoming on the balance sheets, according to Forbes.
He claimed that there would be a $25.4 million deficit in the $468 million needed for the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.
He also indicated that there would be a “significant reduction in income” due to fewer visitors at Royal Landmarks, which will cut $6.3 million “per year for the next three years,” off of the previously estimated income.
What did the Sovereign Grant pay for in 2019-2020
As mentioned, the grant pays for royal travel. The most expensive trip of the last year was Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s African tour that topped out at $313,000. In second place was Prince Charle’s trip to Oman which cost $267,000, according to the outlet. Prince Andrew, who is no longer a working royal, spent almost $20,000 alone to fly to Ireland for the Royal Portrush Golf Club’s Open Championship.
Harry and Meghan have since gotten away from relying on the royal family’s help. They have now repaid everything they owed the Sovereign Grant for the refurbishing of their U.K. home at Frogmore Cottage. And when they bought their new home in Montecito, California, they didn’t reach out to Harry’s family for help.
“Harry could’ve asked [Prince] Charles to contribute toward the cost of the house, but he chose not to,” a source told Us Weekly. “Getting his dad financially involved would result in the royals having control over him. It would mean going backwards.”
How will the royal family make up for this loss?
Though this is a significant loss to the family, Stevens has assured the public that the royal family will not be calling on them to make up the funds and has “no intention of asking for extra funding.”
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