Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The royal family may cost us a mint – but they bring in much more

© Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle and Prince Harry (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their new baby boy this week

Do our royals cost far too much, or are they worth every penny?

Whenever people disagree about our monarch and wider family, one side tries to point out how much money they bring into the British economy through tourism and the like.

For the opposite camp, they take too many fancy holidays, all first-class travel, and are much too comfortable spending vast amount of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

The truth, it would seem, is that they do cost significantly more than other royal families, but bring in far, far in excess of that amount.

The royals, in fact, brought in £430 million more than they cost us last year, leaving other royals such as the Spanish or Belgian ones lagging far behind.

This is the main finding of new research looking into royal expenditure, what they cost us and the UK’s financial benefits.

Overall, in 2018, the British royals contributed £595m via tourism, merchandise and the arts, while costing £165m.

This, apparently, makes them 18 times more profitable than Belgium’s royals, and an amazing 29 times more than the Spanish monarchy.

In the past five years, in fact, they have contributed £2.8 billion to the UK economy.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with sons Prince William, right, and Prince Harry prepare for a cycling trip in Tresco during their holiday in the Scilly Isles.

Next time your hackles are raised when you read how much, say, Harry and Meghan spend on a posh hotel or a new outfit, it may be worth remembering that their high profile on the world stage might in the end bring in more money than they actually spent, and another planeload of American tourists might land at Heathrow and go on a spending spree.

The main money earner, however, is the Crown Estate.

One of the country’s biggest landowners, with property valued at £12bn, it paid £329m into the Treasury last year alone.

All those tourists and Britons who paid for visits to Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Gallery raked in £41m – and you can add a further £18m in merchandise sales.

Tourism, though, isn’t always the top earner. Media deals can bring in more with any royal-related ideas.

The Crown. (PA Photo/Alex Bailey/Netflix) © PA Photo/Alex Bailey/Netflix
The Crown.

The Crown, on Netflix, and ITV hit Victoria, along with royal documentaries and other high-profile events, drew in a further £51 million for the British economy.

The royals themselves have helped broker business and trade deals worth £2.8bn over the last five years, but of course it isn’t all positive news.

They cost the country 23 times more than the royal family in Spain, with the biggest outlay being security.

The British Government pays out £47m for major events through the Sovereign Grant, for attending official duties and so on, but not the £70m for security.

There was a lot of attention focused on the security costs of Harry and Meghan’s wedding at Windsor Castle last year, but it felt like more of us enjoyed it than were angered by the cost of keeping the newlyweds safe.

And, as long as our royals bring in far more than they cost, it’s unlikely anyone will be too annoyed.


Find out more here.