King Charles orders Buckingham Palace to turn heating down to save money as royal expenses soar to £107m
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The royal family, as well as their staff and guests, were living with temperatures set at 19c in Buckingham Palace during the winter. Rooms were kept at 16c when empty, according to the accounts of the Sovereign Grant, which is funded by the taxpayer.
The Sovereign Grant report reveals in 2022-23 net expenditure for the royals increased by £5.1m, or 5%, to £107.5 million. Royal aides said the increase was due to the change of monarchs, inflation and the continued costs of Buckingham Palace’s reservicing programme - the 10-year project to update the electrical cabling, plumbing and heating.
The Sovereign Grant remained unchanged at £86.3m during 2022-23. Funding of the King’s official duties and his household costs £51.8m - equivalent to 77p per person in the UK - while £34.5m pays for ongoing re-servicing costs for the palace.
Payroll costs were one of the biggest annual increases of any expenditure during 2022-23, rising £3.4m to £27.1m as staff were given a pay rise of about 5% to 6%. The report shows the royal household failed to meet its diversity target of drawing 10% of its workforce from ethnic minorities, with the 2023 figure of 9.7% - the same as last year.
The cost of royal travel was down by £600,000 to £3.9m. Spending on 179 helicopter flights topped £1m. The most expensive trip was the King and Queen’s visit to Rwanda in June last year, and a separate staff planning visit, to attend a Commonwealth leaders’ summit, which cost £186,571.
The report showed £1.6m was spent on the Queen’s funeral which included paying for engagements at Buckingham Palace and staff costs and travel. A further £700,000 was spent by the royal household on the Platinum Jubilee.