UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – The UK Parliament has decided to discontinue providing Queen Camilla with an annuity, even though the late Duke of Edinburgh, her predecessor, received an annual payment of nearly £360,000 ($472,000) to support his official duties. According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on the Royal Household’s finances, Queen Camilla’s activities will now be covered by the Sovereign Grant, eliminating the need for a separate payment to her. This report, released on Friday, sheds light on the funding structure of the royal family, as the NAO strives to enhance transparency in public spending and accountability.
Queen Camilla’s Responsibilities Lose Financial Backing from UK Parliament
Queen Camilla will not receive an annuity of £360,000 like the Duke of Edinburgh. Instead, her activities will be supported by the Sovereign Grant, eliminating the need for a separate payment. This revelation brings forth several important considerations for the future.
It suggests that King Charles III’s upcoming reign, anticipated to be more demanding than the late queen’s, may significantly impact future funding requirements. The report further delves into a comparison between the funding allocated to Queen Camilla and that received by her late father-in-law, Prince Philip. He stated: “Parliament provided Prince Philip with a separate annuity worth £359,000 per annum. “Queen Camilla will not receive a separate annuity and the queen’s activities will be funded from the grant.”
Prince Philip, the Duke, and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, continued to receive an annual sum of money, even after a shift in the funding mechanism for the royal family’s activities, which were supported by taxpayers.
Previously, the royal family relied on the traditional Civil List, wherein the late queen received a payment and various grants from the government to cover official expenses. However, this system has now been replaced by the Sovereign Grant, which is calculated as a percentage of the profits generated by the Crown Estate. Despite this change, Prince Philip has remained entitled to his annual allowance.
Queen Camilla Faces Financial Setback as Parliament Withdraws Funding
The new legislation enacted in 2011 included a provision that allowed the duke to continue receiving his annuity for the duration of his lifetime. Despite his retirement in 2017 and subsequent passing in 2021, this provision remained intact.
The duke’s name was specifically mentioned in the preserved section of the previous Civil List Act of 1952. As a result, the annuity cannot be transferred to Queen Camilla, and it would require the implementation of new legislation to provide her with the necessary funds.
According to the report, the king’s upcoming program of activities, which is yet to be determined, may potentially influence future funding.
“Each king and queen have their interests and priorities which affect their schedule of events,” it said.
“Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had cut back on events and travel in recent years, in part because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. “It can be reasonably assumed that the king will be hosting more events and traveling to more engagements within the UK, and overseas at the request of the government.”
However, the National Audit Office (NAO) has suggested that there will be sufficient funds available from the Sovereign Grant to cover any additional expenses. “These changes may affect spending profiles but would be within available funding from the Grant,” the report said.
Queen Camilla Through the Years
According to the publication, a staggering £185.1 million has been allocated for the extensive refurbishment of Buckingham Palace from 2017 to 2023. These figures align with the recent data presented in the Sovereign Grant annual accounts.
This ambitious project, known as the re-servicing, spans over a decade and aims to enhance various aspects of the palace, including cabling, plumbing, heating, and other crucial areas. The estimated budget for this comprehensive endeavor stands at an impressive £369 million.
In light of these substantial expenses, the National Audit Office (NAO) has announced that its Comptroller and Auditor General will conduct a thorough audit next year to assess the value for money achieved through these major works.
By investing such a significant amount into the re-servicing of Buckingham Palace, the aim is to ensure that this iconic landmark remains in optimal condition for generations to come. It revealed: “The Royal Household told us that the project is on track and is not expected to go over budget’’. The plans for constructing an external visitor center at Buckingham Palace, unfortunately, have been abandoned.