Monarchy cost ‘dropping in real terms’

The cost of maintaining the royal palaces has remained static since the start of the century, meaning funding the monarch’s residences has dropped by 19 per cent in real terms.

The figures, published in a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) today, call into question republican arguments about the cost of the monarchy and show evidence the government has had some success limiting the cost of maintaining the royal household.

But the office voiced concerns there were no measurements for how the residences were maintained.

“The royal household is making efforts to be more efficient in how it uses its funds, but there is no measure of how effectively the palaces are being maintained,” said NAO head Tim Burr.

“The royal household and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) need to develop a way of measuring the condition of the estate over time, so that the department has confidence that the future of these national assets is secure.”

The property section of the royal household receives £15 million of public funds.

However, it also generates £3 million from visitors to Windsor Castle and from renting out accommodation on the estate.

Since 2000/01, it has more than doubled the number of properties available to let from 16 to 36.