The annual accounts of the British monarchy have just been revealed, showing British taxpayers just how much of their hard-earned money goes on covering the royal’s travel and housing costs.
The royal accounts, which were published on Thursday morning, showed that taxpayer-funded spending had increased by £14.9 million, or 17%, in the last financial year whilst UK GDP fell.
Official royal travel costs came to £4.5 million and utilities to £3.2 million, whilst housekeeping and hospitality costs came to a total of £1.3 million – an increase of 55% in a year.
The monarch’s annual payroll bill amounted to £23.7 million, whilst Prince Charles’s tax bill came to £5.9 million and the cost of official travel for William and Kate’s controversial Caribbean tour added up to £226,383.
The accounts also revealed that Prince Charles’s annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall landed estate, which includes approximately 53,300 hectares of land, over 600 residential lettings and more than 700 agricultural tenancies, increased from £20.4 million to £23 million.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Campaign group Republic spoke damningly of the figures, drawing attention to the country’s spiralling cost of living emergency which is leaving many to make the choice between heating or eating as a result of very little government support.
He told Wales Online: “As always, while the rest of us face a cost-of-living crisis and continued squeezes on public services, the royals walk off with hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”
“We need to put the monarchy on a proper budgetary footing, just like any other public body. We need to slash that budget down to below £10m, and only fund what’s required for the functions of the head of state.”
Meanwhile Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, suggested that Buckingham Palace was also facing some challenges itself due to inflation in the aftermath of the pandemic.
He said: “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”.
Some key figures from the 2020-2021 royal accounts:
£86.3 million – The total taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, made up of £51.8 million for the “core” funding and an extra £34.5 million for the reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
9.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Buckingham Palace, compared to 8.5% in 2020-21. The target was 10%.
10.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Clarence House.
13.6% – Proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds working for Kensington Palace.
£102.4 million – Official expenditure by the monarchy – a rise of £14.9 million or 17% from £87.5 million in 2020/2021.
£1.29 – Cost per person in the UK of funding the total Sovereign Grant.
£1.3 million– Cost of housekeeping and hospitality for the royal household – an increase of half a million or 55%.
491– Full-time equivalent staff paid for from the Sovereign Grant, with the wage bill coming to £23.7 million.
£63.9 million – Spending on property maintenance – up £14.4 million or 29% from £49.5 million in 2020-21.
201 – Official engagements carried out by the Queen in the last financial year – 88 more than the 113 she undertook in 2020-2021 during the pandemic.
Almost 2,300 – Official engagements by the royals in the UK and overseas, compared to 1,470 last year.
£138,457 – Charles’s travel costs for trip to Barbados to mark country’s transition to a republic
£4.4 million – The Prince of Wales’s bill for the Cambridges’ activities, plus Charles’s other expenditure including his capital expenditure and transfer to reserves. Charles no longer pays for the Sussexes.
£1.2 million – Decrease in this bill over two years since 2019-2020 when Harry and Meghan were full-time working royals.
£23 million – Charles’s annual private income from the Duchy of Cornwall landed estate, up from £20.4 million in 2020-21.
Feature image – The Royal Family
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.