Here is a list of the Royal revenue that provides funding to the monarchy.
- The Crown Estate
To avoid confusion between Government property and Crown land, the latter was renamed The Crown Estate and was set up to be managed by an independent board called the Crown Estate Commissioners.
The Crown Estate – a property portfolio of royal lands – generates a large amount of revenue for the Exchequer (treasury) every year. It even surpasses the cost of the Civil List. In the year 2000, the Crown Estates generated a £132.9 million profit, a sum that greatly exceeded the Civil List allotment of £9.7 million per annum to Her Majesty.
In short, the Crown Estate pays into the Treasury in return for a Royal allowance of £7.9 million, the sum established in 1990.
- Sovereign Grant (formerly The Civil List)
The Queen’s work as monarch was funded by what was known as a civil list payment and a number of separate grants. These all covered expenses for royal travel, property maintenance (for occupied residences), communications, and other expenses.
The Sovereign Grant, which is all of these separate grants rolled into one, is based on a certain percentage of surplus Crown Estate profits (currently 15%). It provides funding for Her Majesty and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. No other royals receive money from this grant.
During George III’s reign, taxes had become the prime source of revenue for the United Kingdom and Parliament. An agreement was reached that the lands owned by the Crown and the revenue generated from them would be surrendered to Government management. In return, Parliament would fund the Civil List, the fixed annual payment to the King.
- The Duchy of Lancaster
Only the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh receive funding from the Civil List. The official duties and staff of other members of the Royal Family are funded from a Parliamentary Annuity – like the Civil List – the amount of which is repaid by the Queen from the private monies put into the Privy Purse from income from the Duchy of Lancaster.
The Lancaster inheritance dates back to 1265, when Henry III granted to his younger son, Edmund, the lands forfeited by the Earl of Leicester. Later, Edmund’s grandson Henry of Grosmont was made Duke of Lancaster by Edward III. After Henry Grosmont’s death, a charter of 1362 conferred the dukedom on his son-in-law John of Gaunt.
The Duchy merged with the crown in 1399 when Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, became Henry IV of England.
Interestingly, the title does not change for a king or a queen. Her Majesty is loyally toasted as the Duke of Lancaster.
- The Privy Purse
The Sovereign’s remaining private income, mostly from the Duchy of Lancaster. The Queen is not entitled to the Duchy’s capital, but its net revenues are the property of the Sovereign. The Privy Purse meets both official and private expenditure. The Keeper of the Privy Purse looks after the Sovereign’s personal financial affairs as well as the expenditure of public funds voted by the Parliament to the Sovereign.