The Windsor Monarchy

What Is Monarchy?
The Family
The Power
The Crown
The Partiality
The Glory
The Wealth
The Crown Estate
The Cost
Religion & Race
Our Civil Rights
The Excuses
The Future

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The Monarchy

A Brief Guide: How Much Do They Take From Our Pockets?

Most Expensive Monarchy

The Windsors are the most expensive monarchy in Europe. Republic, in its Royal Expenses report, has estimated the total taken from the people each year to fund the monarchy to be £345m. That is eight times the amount admitted in official statements.

2023 Update

"Slimmed-Down" Monarchy To Take 45% More of Our Money

Charlie Windsor became the hereditary head of state in 2023 and encouraged the idea that his would be a slimmed-down and less expensive monarchy.

So, in the words of the Financial Times (FT), "it was something of an about-turn when the Treasury announced last month that, far from cutting the royal cloth to match the times, the monarchy would instead be getting a pay rise of about 45 per cent"

The FT reported that public funding of the Windsor family would increase from £86.3mn in 2023/24 to £124.8mn in 2025/26. And then to £126mn in 2026/27. And these are conservative figures.

These increases are possible because the "sovereign grant" gives the Windsor clan a percentage of the profits from the Crown Estate. This public property holding has been given ownership of the seabed up to 12 nautical miles from the country's coast. And the proliferation of wind farms whose owners must pay a fee to the Estate in order to operate has made that seabed very profitable for that Estate.

Its profits are expected to go up from £442.6mn in 2023 to £1.04bn in 2023-4. In the period up to 2031 these profits are expected to reach £8bn.

In a smart trick Charlie announced that in the public interest he would not take the extra sovereign grant money this would result in.

In Britain's strange democracy the amount that the monarch is paid is decided by a panel of just three people, the prime minister, the chancellor of the exchequer and the monarch's financial adviser. It would be a surprise if all three were not ardent monarchists.

This unaccountable three did decide to reduce the Windsors' share of Estate profits from 25% to 12%.

But despite this apparent cut, according to the Financial Times the Windsors' income will still be on what it called an "upward trajectory", reaching, on a conservative estimate, well above £100mn a year by 2026.

As if this were not enough, income from The Royal Collection Trust, which manages an art collection, is expected by the Treasury to increase from £10mn to £16mn in coming years. And the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall will bring the Windsors upwards of £50m a year in extra loot.

The unaccountable Windsors refused to comment on the FT report.

2021/22 UPDATE

The Windsors spent £102.4mn of the British people's money in 2021-22. That was up 17% from the year before.

Their travel cost taxpayers £4.5mn, utilities £3.2mn, payroll costs £23.7mn, and housekeeping and hospitality £1.3mn. Property maintenance cost £63.9m

A Caribbean tour by two family members cost £226, 000. Charlie Windsor spent £138,00 on a visit to Barbados.

The Guardian reported more details of the huge cost of the family.

A family affair

One reason for this is that in the kingdom, unlike republics, the people have to support a family, not just the head of state.

Charles Windsor was paid more than £20m a year just for being the son of the hereditary head of state. That money came from the Duchy of Cornwall. His dad, Philip, had no duchy. His consolation prize was an annual grant of about £400,000.

And there are also 15 relatives of queen Windsor, sometimes known as "minor royals", who also live on lavish state benefits paid from the pockets of the British people. The justification given for these payments is that these relatives carry out public engagements that take very little of their time.

From Our Public Resources

The clan gets its huge income from a number of sources. A large part is taken from the income generated by public property holdings. Some of it comes directly from the taxpayers. The total cost to the people has been estimated by the monarchist Telegraph newspaper at £300m a year.

The best known income is the "sovereign grant". This has been paid since 2012 and is taken from the income of the public property portfolio known as the "Crown Estate", which includes the seabed around Enland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Until 2016 15 per cent of Estate income was transferred to the Windsor family each year, giving them £42.8m in that year.

In 2016 the prime minister, the chancellor of the exchequer and Windsor's chief financial officer decided amongst themselves to increase the percentage to 25 per cent for 10 years to pay for improvements to the family's main London home, Buckingham Palace. In the 2018-19 year alone that gave the Windsors £82m.

This grant replaced "civil list" grants that were paid directly from taxes. Its introduction was one of the most shameful concessions to hereditary privileges that Britain's parliament has ever made. The change was intended by supporters of the fuedal institution to strenthen the privileges of the Windsor family. It reduces public and parliamentary scrutiny of spending on the clan. And it provides a high chance of an automatic annual increase in income as the profits of the Estate rise. It was also a concession to the Windsor belief that the Crown Estate belongs to them.

The feudal family say that they give back more than they take by "surrendering" to the state the income from the Crown Estate, which they claim to be their private property. The Crown Estate is, in fact, the property of the people of Britain. The Windsors have no more right to it than the Prime Minister has to 10 Downing Street.

"The Monarchy must continue to play a vital role in the affairs of our nation in this new century; . . . (the Labour Party intends) to support the Chancellor . . . to strike a fair and workable balance between the legitimate needs of the Royal Household and the interests of the taxpayer."
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, supporting giving the Windsors 15% of so-called Crown Estate income.

The Duchies

Queen Windsor and her son Charles also take the income from two "duchies". These are property holdings and investments that members of the Windsor family are allowed to benefit from. Whoever becomes Britain's hereditary head of state also becomes the "Duke of Lancaster". The eldest son of the head of state is automatically the "Duke of Cornwall".

The monarch is given the revenue profits from the 45,600 acre Duchy of Lancaster and his eldest son is allowed to take the income from the Duchy of Cornwall. This Duchy's land holdings include the 70,000 acres of Dartmoor. In 2023 the duchies generated a total of £41.8m in spending money for the Windsors, some of which was spent on official duties.

Charlie was not the only family member to benefit from this feudal arrangement. It has been revealed that the Duchy of Cornwall paid a sister of Charlie's wife £1.5m for styling holiday lets and providing furniture, furnishings and "retail stock".

The Windsors claim that the Duchies are their private properties, except when it comes paying taxes.

In 2011 the Cornwall duchy argued before an information rights tribunal that it was a "private operation". The tribunal ruled that in fact it was a "public authority".

And in a "memorandum of understanding" on taxation published by the government in 2013 the Duchies were described as "crown bodies". Unlike private organisations such bodies are exempt from tax. The memorandum was signed by representatives of queen Windsor and her son, happy to escape the taxes paid by citizens.

Parliamentary Annuities

"Annuities" were paid to the current monarch's grandmother and father. He was given a £395,000 annual handout, getting on for three times the salary of the prime minister.

According to press reports Ms Windsor's mother, now dead, also lived the high life at the expense of the people on this handout. Fifty personal staff, four lavishly furnished homes and a taste for the fanciest of dining out, soon exhausted the £643,000 welfare payment that she received annually from British taxpayers.

From the Dead

The Windsors even boost their incomes by taking from the dead. When someone dies in Cornwall without leaving a will their estate is taken by the Duchy of Cornwall if they have no surviving relatives entitled to inherit from them. Similarly when a person dies in parts of Lancashire and in other parts of England and Wales that belong to the Duchy of Lancaster, their estate is added to the wealth of that Duchy.

Spending for the family by government departments and local authorities

Various government departments contribute around £5m for the administration of the honours or class system, servants, palace maintenance, ceremonies and overseas visits. Local councils pick up the bills when a Windsor visits. Republic has etimated the annual cost to taxpayers of these visits at £21.5m.


Security costs for numerous family members are kept quiet but have been estimated by the Republic group at about £102m. The large number of homes and many family members make the cost of police protection much higher than it would be for a democratic president.

"The Windsors are very good at working three days a week, five months of the year and making it look as though they work hard."
Mark Bolland, former Windsor press officer.

Other costs to the people include (2013 figures)

High Living

In recent years the annual costs to the people for the considerable running expenses of Ms Windsor's household have included:

Other spending has included:

Traveling In Style

Transport for the family cost the British people £4.7m in 2017 - 2018.

£1m of that was spent by the head of state's son, Charles Windsor.

To enable the Windsors to get around in style taxpayers fund a 9-car train costing as much as £900,000 a year, or £20,000 per journey. Taxpayers also pay as much as £4.8m for helicopters and Air Force and private planes.

The family did have its very own ocean-going yacht called "The Britannia". In 1997 the Labour Party government decided that it should not be replaced.

But many Conservative MPs did not give up hope that the feudal family should once again be able to sail around the world in style at the expense of the taxpayers. In 2012 Education Secretary Michael Gove wanted to spend £60m of the peoples money on a new yacht. And by 2016 other Conservative MPs had upped the ante to £120m.

Thirteen staff are employed to organize their travels and the administrative bill has been as much as £300,000. The bills presented to the taxpayers for payment in a recent years have included


Accommodation for this large family is a highly expensive part of the bill. The Windsors are provided with seven homes, 160,000 square meters of land and 1000 staff to look after the properties. Fifteen craftspeople are employed just to care for the furniture.

In 2015-16 the Windsors billed the people £16m for the upkeep of their homes. But this may not seem so bad if you remember that in 2013-14 they sent us the bill for a £3.4m refurbishment of an apartment for just two family members.

In June 2000 a report by the National Audit Office revealed the following costs:

Other items charged to the taxpayers have included £150,000 for new silk walls and gold gilding in one of the palaces and £300,000 for double glazing and sash windows at the Windsor's castle in the borough of Windsor

The costs to tax payers were even higher than they needed to be because major maintenance work must be scheduled so that it does not disturb queen Windsor.

Public Relations

The cost of justifying these feudal privileges is also carried by the taxpayers. The family have increased their spending of the people's money on public relations to £0.5m a year, as they recognise the need to work harder to keep their confidence trick going. They have developed their Web site at the people's expense in a partisan effort to persuade children that the feudal institution is defencible.


Only in 1998 were the accounts for the massive expenditure on transport and accommodation opened for parliamentary inspection.

But the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons (PAC) and the National Audit Office (NAO) were still forbidden from looking at how the family spent the money the taxpayers provided for the Civil List. Instead, in June of 2002, the Windsor family published their own annual civil list accounts for the first time, for information only.

Since 2011, when the Windsors started to take 15% of the profits of the Crown Estate, the NAO and PAC have had the responsibility of ensuring that the money is well spent. But the government has ignored their criticisms of Windsor spending.

Every ten years there has been a review of the Civil List payments by the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Windsor's head of finance. Such infrequency was said to be necessary for the "honour and dignity of the Crown" to be upheld.

The family is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act as, despite the tax funding they receive and the privileged part they have in the government of the nation, they are not considered to be a "public authority".

Equal Opportunities

The hereditary head of state's annual accounts tell us that "the Royal Household is committed to Equal Opportunities and all appointments and promotions are on merit."

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