What is The Sovereign Grant?

The following summary is taken from the Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19, printed 24 June 2019. © Crown copyright 2019

  • “The Sovereign Grant Act 2011 came into effect from 1 April 2012 and consolidated the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen and maintain the Occupied Royal Palaces.
  • Until 31 March 2012, funding had been provided under the Civil List and the Grants- in-aid for the Maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces, Royal Travel and Communications and Information.
  • The Queen’s official expenditure is met from public funds in exchange for the surrender by The Queen of the revenue from the Crown Estate. The Core Sovereign Grant is calculated based on 15% of the income account net surplus of the Crown Estate for the financial year two years previous. The Crown Estate surplus for the financial year 2016-17 amounted to £328.8 million, thereby producing a Core Sovereign Grant of £49.3 million for 2018-19.
  • The Royal Trustees agreed that from 2017-18, the Sovereign Grant will be calculated based on 25% of the income account net surplus of the Crown Estate for the financial year two years previous, with the additional 10% to be used to fund the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace over a period of ten years. The additional Sovereign Grant for Reservicing for 2018-19 is £32.9 million and the total Sovereign Grant for 2018-19 is therefore £82.2 million.
  • Official expenditure met by the total Sovereign Grant in 2018-19 amounted to £67.0 million (2017-18: £47.4 million) an increase of £19.6 million (41%) compared to the previous year, mainly due to an increase in expenditure on property maintenance, which included £14.1 million expenditure on the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace. In addition, £6.8 million was spent on capital assets, most of which related to Reservicing.
  • The equivalent of the excess of the Sovereign Grant and other income over expenditure of £15.2 million in 2018-19 was transferred to the Sovereign Grant Reserve (2017-18: £28.7 million). £4.3 million was transferred from the Sovereign Grant Reserve to the non-current assets reserve to cover capital expenditure net of depreciation (2017-18: £2.7 million). These reserve movements are set out on pages 61 and 62.
  • The Sovereign Grant Reserve includes £36.8 million to meet future commitments for the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace. Authorised and contracted Reservicing commitments total £85.0 million at 31 March 2019, set out in Note 14 below.
  • The Sovereign Grant for 2019-20 is £82.4 million (Core £49.4 million and Reservicing £33.0 million).
  • Official expenditure met by the total Sovereign Grant in 2018-19 amounted to £67.0 million (2017-18: £47.4 million) an increase of £19.6 million (41%) compared to the previous year, mainly due to an increase in expenditure on property maintenance, which included £14.1 million expenditure on the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
  • The equivalent of the excess of the Sovereign Grant and other income over expenditure of £15.2 million in 2018-19 was transferred to the Sovereign Grant Reserve (2017-18: £28.7 million).
  • The Sovereign Grant Reserve amounts to £44.4 million at 31 March 2019 (2018: £33.5 million) and includes £36.8 million (2018: £26.3 million) to meet future commitments for the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace. Authorised and contracted commitments for the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace total £85.0 million at 31 March 2019.
  • The Sovereign Grant for 2019-20 is £82.4 million (Core £49.4 million and Reservicing £33.0 million).”
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