The news comes as accounts revealed the Crown Estate’s profits rose by eight percent to $425 million in 2016 and 2017. The taxpayer-funded “Sovereign Grant” — which is based on the profits of the Crown Estate portfolio — is used to pay expenses such as the salaries of the Queen’s household, official travel, and upkeep of the royal palaces.
Of course, the Queen receives a large percentage of the allotment to cover her official expenditure — $54.3 million. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, heir to the throne, will also receive a 1.2 percent pay increase to $26.7 million.
Queen Elizabeth with members of her royal family. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
It was also revealed that Her Majesty’s net expenditure last year increased by $2.5 million to almost $54.3 million. However, Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, said the Queen represented “excellent value for money.”
“When you look at these accounts, the bottom line is the Sovereign Grant last year equated to 65 pence (aka 83 cents) per person, [year], in the UK,” he said. “That’s the price of a first class stamp.”
“Consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money,” he added.
The increase in funding will coincide with a set of extensive repairs at Buckingham Palace, set to cost $477 million. The refurbishment — the biggest undertaken on the property since the second world war — will renew electrical wiring, water pipes, and heating systems.
However, within hours of the renovations announcement breaking late last year, a petition was set up calling for the Monarchy to fund the project out of their own pocket. At present, the petition has garnered over 140,000 signatures.
“There is a national housing crisis, the [National Helath Service] is in crisis, austerity is forcing cuts in many front line services. Now the Royals expect us to dig deeper to refurbish Buckingham Palace. The Crown’s wealth is inestimable. This is, in a word, outrageous,” the page’s organizer Mark Johnson explained on the website.
Angry citizens were also quick to voice their concerns over the ambitious repairs.
Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace in 2015. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“I’m 18, 37 weeks pregnant and sitting in a freezing house because I can’t afford to put my heating on… can I have $477 million so I can live in a nice house where I can put the heating on…? Sorry [Queen Elizabeth], I think $477 million can be spent on other things than your palace,” one person wrote on the petition site.
“The Queen is the richest person (or at least one of) so the works can be funded privately and the ‘public’ money could then be used to make a massive difference to thousands of equally hard working and/or vulnerable people,” another added.
This story originally appeared on NowToLove.com.
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