The Royal Household today published its annual financial statement, the Sovereign Grant Report, for the financial year 2021-22.
The Sovereign Grant is the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen and maintain the Occupied Royal Palaces. It also includes a dedicated amount to fund the ten-year Reservicing of Buckingham Palace, a major overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, pipework, boilers and generators.
The total Sovereign Grant for 2021-22, including the dedicated amount for Reservicing, amounted to £86.3m (2020-21: £85.9m), equivalent to £1.29 per person in the UK.
The £86.3m is made up of a core grant of £51.8m which funds official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of The Queen’s household, and an additional dedicated amount for Reservicing of £34.5m. The core grant equates to 77p per person in the UK.
Income earned to supplement the Sovereign Grant was £9.9m, an increase of 5% from £9.4m (2020-21). The figure remains less than 50% of pre-pandemic levels and continues to largely reflect the impact of Covid-19 on The Royal Collection Trust’s ability to welcome visitors to the Occupied Royal Palaces.
Official expenditure was more than the Sovereign Grant and the supplementary income earned, with net expenditure of £102.4 million, a 17% increase on the previous year. This was driven by spending totalling £54.6m on the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace – an increase of 41%.
The Sovereign Grant reserve has reduced by £14.6m (2020-21 £2.3m was drawn down) to pay for significant work relating to the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
Other details in the 2021-22 report include:
While many engagements continued to be held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, The Queen and Members of the Royal Family undertook almost 2,300 official engagements across the United Kingdom and overseas, with international travel resuming to pre-pandemic levels.
The Reservicing Programme continued at pace at Buckingham Palace, which played a central role in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Significant work has been completed in the West Wing, including the Grand Entrance, Grand Staircase, Minister’s Stairs, Marble Hall and the Picture Gallery. Property maintenance works in these spaces have also been completed.
The completion of the Picture Gallery roof has meant that the scaffolding obscuring the Grand Entrance has been removed.
The Palace Wide Infrastructure programme has begun concurrently within each Wing of the basement.
Reflecting on the year 2021-22, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said:
“The year covered in the report reflects some return to normality in many ways for the Royal Household with physical engagements, travel and inward visits by Heads of States undertaken. However, welcome as it was for such events to be back, no review of the year could be complete without reflecting on the sad passing of The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and the Funeral which took place in St George’s Chapel in April. His service and contribution to the nation were fittingly reflected and his legacy remains as strong today over twelve months later.
“The year was not without operational and financial challenges. The impact of Covid meant that major events such as Maundy, Garter, and Garden Parties were absent from the calendar. The pandemic also meant we had another year in which access to the Royal Palaces was restricted for The Royal Collection Trust which once again affected our ability to help self-finance our work on behalf of the nation. While the Reservicing Programme continued to be carefully managed to match projected funding there was a significant increase in work against a hard deadline to enable Buckingham Palace to be at the centre of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. On all fronts we were pleased to deliver against our plans.
“Looking ahead, with the Sovereign Grant likely to be flat in the next couple of years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to grow supplementary income likely to be constrained in the short term, we will continue to deliver against our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and efficiencies.”