British Royals: The Queen and family work harder and cost taxpayers less than European counterparts

Royal Family ‘are a bargain’: British monarchy works harder and costs taxpayers less than their European counterparts, study finds

  • The Constitution Unit at University College London has released its findings
  • Study showed British royal family is better value for money than others
  • Only the Belgian and Spanish royal families cost less per head of the population 

By Emer Scully For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

The British monarchy works harder and costs the taxpayer less than their European counterparts, a study has found.

The Constitution Unit at University College London found only the Belgian and Spanish royal families cost less per head of the population, reported The Times.

In 2017-18 the Sovereign Grant was £75.1million, or £1.14 per person, acording to The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy.

The grant is the taxpayer money that funds the official activities of the royal family – and is partially funded by the Queen’s Crown Estate profits.

The British royal family (pictured on the balcony at Buckingham Palace last June) are better value for money than their European counterparts, according to a study

The British royal family was also found to carry out more engagements than those on the other side of the Channel. 

Belgium’s costs were slightly less at £0.95 (€1.04) and Spain’s was just £0.16 (€0.17) because only the King and Queen carry out the engagements. 

Bob Morris, of the Constitution Unit, writes in the book: ‘The Spanish figure . . . represents the newest of the monarchies and a determination to avoid excessive expenditure. 

Norway’s royal family are pictured at a garden party during the Royal Silver Jubilee Tour on June 23, 2016 in Trondheim, Norway. Norway’s small population of just more than five million means its royal family costs its citizens £4.99 (€5.46) per head

Europe’s hardest working royals 
Country Rank   Name  Events Per Day
Great Britain Princess Royal  447  1.2
Great Britain  Prince of Wales  398  1.1 
Norway  King  349  1.0 
Norway  Crown Prince  327  0.9 
Great Britain  The Queen  283  0.8 

‘Neither of the monarchs since 1976 have, for example, actually occupied the royal palace, and King Felipe reduced his civil list payment by 20 per cent on his accession in 2014.’

Sweden costs the same as Britain, Denmark costs £1.75 (€1.92) and the Netherlands’ is £1.95 (€2.14).

Norway’s small population of just more than five million means its royal family costs its citizens £4.99 (€5.46) per head.

The British royal family’s Sovereign Grant currently includes an extra payment, made over the course of ten years, for Buckingham Palace’s renovations.

In seven years’ time the taxpayer funding will go back to 60 per cent of what it would have been by then. 

In 2018 the British royal family completed 3,793 engagements, including overseas visits.

The Swedish royals: Princess Sofia, Queen Silvia, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Princess Estelle, Crown Princess Victoria, and Prince Daniel of Sweden attend a concert hosted by Lilla Akademien, a music school for children, at Vasa Theater on February 13 in Stockholm

In contrast the Belgian royal family did a total of 468, the Norwegians 696, the Swedish 843 and the Spanish 290.

Britain has an higher number of working royals – with 15 listed in 2018. In contrast, Belgium listed 12; Norway four; Sweden seven and Spain just two. 

The Sovereign Grant report for 2019-20 said: ‘The royal family completed almost 3,200 engagements a year across the UK and overseas — many more than the Queen could undertake alone.

‘The activities of the wider royal family are vital in bringing the institution of monarchy into direct and personal contact with all sections of society, including the disadvantaged and the marginalised.’ 

How much do royal families cost? 
Monarchy of  Active members  Cost to state  Per capita
Norway €26.4m €5.5
Netherlands  €40.1m  €2.1 
Denmark  €11.0m  €1.9 
Great Britain  15  €84.6m  €1.3 
Sweden  €6.3m  €1.3 
Belgium  12  €11.8m  €1.0 
Spain  €7.8m  €0.2 

Pictured, King Felipe VI of Spain (second left), his wife Queen Letizia (left), their daughters Princess Sofia (front left) and Princess Leonor (front right), former King Juan Carlos I (second right) and his wife former Queen Sofia (right) in 2018

Dr Morris revealed the British royal family are more likely than others to pay visits to local events rather than focusing on ‘high’ functions.

It comes after it was revealed Prince Charles is planning to strip back the royal family to just him, William, Kate and their children when he becomes king in wake of Prince Andrew’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Charles, 71, wants to cut down on the number of working royals after the Duke of York was forced to step down over his links to the convicted US padeophile.

The heir to the throne has long been reported to want to slim down the royal family, but Andrew’s scandal is believed to have accelerated his plans, reported The Daily Star last year.


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