Financial reports 2020-21

The Royal Household today published its annual financial statement, the Sovereign Grant Report, for the financial year 2020-21.

The Sovereign Grant is the funding provided to support the official duties of The Queen and maintain the Occupied Royal Palaces. It also includes a dedicated amount to fund the ten-year Reservicing of Buckingham Palace, a major overhaul of essential building services including electrical wiring, pipework, boilers and generators.

You can download the documents by using the following links:

Sovereign Grant Report 2020-2021, Summary 

Sovereign Grant Report 2020-2021, Travel appendix

The key financial details reported today are:

  • The total Sovereign Grant for 2020-21, including the dedicated amount for Reservicing, amounted to £85.9m (2019-20: £82.4m), equivalent to £1.29 per person in the UK.
     
  •  The £85.9m is made up of a core grant of £51.5m which funds official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of The Queen’s household, and an additional dedicated amount for Reservicing of £34.4m. The core grant equates to 77p per person in the UK.
     
  •  Income supplementing the Sovereign Grant fell 53% to £9.4m from £20.2m (2019-20) largely reflecting the impact of Covid-19 on the ability of Royal Collection Trust to open the Royal Palaces for visitors.
     
  •  Official expenditure was more than the Sovereign Grant and the supplementary income earned, with total net expenditure of £87.5 million, a 26% increase on the previous year. This was driven by significant increase in spending, £17.6m (an increase of 83%), on the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.
     
  •  £2.3m was drawn down from the Sovereign Grant reserve (2019-20 a surplus of £3.3m was transferred to the Sovereign Grant Reserve) principally to pay for work relating to the Reservicing of Buckingham Palace.

Other details in the 2020-21 report include:

  •  The unprecedented changes and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic led to the development of new and innovative ways for The Queen, supported by members of the Royal Family, to lead the nation. Almost 1,470 official engagements were undertaken across the United Kingdom and overseas.
     
  •  The Reservicing Programme continued at Buckingham Palace, with the handover of the High Priority Works Programme (subject to certain commissioning works) which included upgrading many of the main services such as installing new water tanks, a new energy centre and standby power generation.
     
  •  The completion of the privy purse door ramp at the front of Buckingham Palace as part of the improvements to step-free access.
     
  •  With Buckingham Palace largely empty due to Covid-19 the Picture Gallery roof replacement works were brought forward and work started.
     
  •  The East Wing reservicing continues with work on two new lifts starting.
     
  •  The Report includes a £2.4m payment from The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to reimburse the Sovereign Grant for expenditure incurred on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, most of which was recognised as income in the year.

Reflecting on the year 2020-21, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said:

“The majority of the year was impacted by the precautions necessary as the impact of Covid-19 set in. Plans had to change and Her Majesty’s programme, supported by Her family, had to react. The Royal Family embraced new technology with a virtual meeting with The Princess Royal and the Carers Trust being the first virtual engagement undertaken by Her Majesty. More virtual engagements followed as well as a small number of physical engagements and two addresses to the Nation and the knighting of Captain Sir Tom Moore in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle.”

The dramatic impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt on our ability to generate income to support our expenditure, but we will continue to manage any impacts through our own efforts and efficiencies.

“We also had to change our way of working to allow the reservicing programme to continue at full capacity and it was pleasing to see our spend increase significantly as key works continued at pace. This trend will continue in the current year with a deadline to ensure the Palace is ready to take part in the Jubilee celebrations next Summer.”