The British Royal Family Spent $104 Million of Taxpayer Money Over the Past Year

As Americans, we can have fun obsessing over the British royal family—especially now that California’s own Meghan Markle has joined. We shop the fashions of Markle and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, ogle their adorable children, and lament that we don’t have more opportunities to wear fascinators and tiaras. Or is that last one just me?

Of course, royal watching is even more intense in the U.K., but it also has real financial implications for Brits as the royal family is supported by, in part, their tax dollars. Because of that fact, they release an annual report called the Sovereign Grant that details spending for the year, from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. That’s how we learned that the renovations to Markle and Prince Harry’s new home, Frogmore Cottage, cost over $3 million (2.4 million pounds). Members of the family also have massive amounts of private wealth, the spending of which they do not have to report.

According to the report, Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family received $104 million dollars (82.2 million pounds) from British taxpayers.

Geoff Pugh/Getty Images

Let’s break down some of the most interesting details we learned about House Windsor’s spending from the report.

They spent $42 million on renovations to royal palaces and properties.

Along with the upgrades to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Master Archie‘s home, a number of other home design projects took up a big chunk of the budget, including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and Windsor Castle.

Travel does cost a thing.

The royal family serve as ambassadors for the U.K. across the country, commonwealth, and the world. Hence, they’re out and about a lot. According to the report, members of the family undertook over 3200 engagements during the year, with the 93-year-old queen doing 140, and the total travel costs were around $5.8 million (4.6 million pounds.)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Australia
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Getty Images

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