Taxpayers are not paying for a wedding!

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Seen so many posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc about “the taxpayer paying for the royal wedding” 🙄

Ok, I’m not a 'royalist', but I am generally quite pragmatic, so firstly; No, we’re not.

However, unlike all these ridiculous posts, I tend to like to support my argument with evidence


Firstly, the royal family do receive money from the Government, yes. This is the “sovereign grant” and is typically 15% of the total profits of the Crown Estate from two years prior. It could hardly be called a 'hand out', however.

The Crown Estate is land, properties, assets owned by the royal family. ALL the profit from that gets surrendered to Government, and the royal family gets back 15% to pay for the upkeep of the estate (and palace staff etc). Effectively, it’s an 85% income tax (with no loopholes or avoidance!)

In 2013 the Crown Estate made around £267m. So, in 2015, the Queen got £40.1m back. The government, however, netted £226.9m of this.

(As an aside, that’s been increased to 25% temporarily to pay for the repairs to Buckingham Palace - but that’s irrelevant)

Additionally, the Queen gets about £19.2m in income from the Duchy of Lancaster (property she owns!) … The royal family also have private investments etc of course.

At the LAST royal wedding, the UK taxpayer paid for security etc and the total cost of that was around £7m. But this is no different from any other event that requires that sort of security.

Conversely, in the year following the last royal wedding there was almost an additional 800,000 tourists according to the ONS - if each tourist spends £500 here (the average spend of a tourist is widely debated, some will spend more, some less); then thats £400m income in tourism.

The “approved memorabilia” will probably net £20-30m too.

At worst, the royal wedding likely ‘costs’ us nothing. At best, it brings huge value to the UK through tourism.

But people will always co-opt such things to further their own agenda, however divisive and ill-informed it might be.

-RM

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