The monarchy has never been funded like other public bodies, which are
usually set an annual budget based on what they actually need to spend.
Until 2013, the costs of the monarchy – that's the Queen in her role as
head of state and the other working royals – were funded by a civil list
payment and a number of separate grants covering travel, property
maintenance, communications and other expenses.
All these costs have now been rolled into one single annual payment
called the “Sovereign Grant”. This has been set at 25% of surplus
revenue from the crown estate - a publicly-owned property portfolio -
resulting in a payment of £76.1m for 2017/2018.
However, the Sovereign Grant is just one part of the total cost of the
monarchy. The royal family's security bill is picked up by the
metropolitan police, for example, while the costs of royal visits are
borne by local councils.
Meanwhile, income from the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall
– despite belonging to the nation - goes directly to the Queen and
Prince Charles respectively, depriving the treasury of tens of millions
of pounds every year.
When all this hidden expenditure is included, the real cost of the
monarchy to British taxpayers is likely to be around £345m annually.