Prince William and Kate Baby: Having a Royal Family Ain't Cheap. Who's Paying For It?

Having been a hopeless romantic as long as I can remember, when Prince William married non-royal Kate Middleton (despite her already looking the part, like the beautiful princesses of Disney films) I was glued to the screen, staying up until the early morning watching their nuptials. It was extravagant, and I imagine millions of young girls watched the wedding with a sigh in their hearts. It was like a fairy tale come to life. Since then, I’ve made following the Royal Family into a guilty pleasure, becoming fascinated with the constant glamour and glitz and the omnipresent question, “Who the hell pays for all this stuff?”

Well, the answer is that it's mostly federally funded grants. Recent Buckingham Palace accounts show that Queen Elizabeth II will be getting a royal bump in her income — 5% to be exact. The Royal Portfolio showed that the Royal Family procured £253 million (that’s a whopping $380 million for us Yanks) in the last fiscal year. Which, understandably, causes eyebrows to raise and lips to blurt, “What the what!? Where does that come from!?” According to the Royal Finance website, there are three different sources of funding for the Royal Family.

1. First is the Sovereign Grant, which is the amount of money provided by the federal government to the royal household in order to support of the official duties of the monarch. These duties include the maintenance of currently occupied royal palaces. The Sovereign Grant is provided by HM Treasury and works to consolidate funding that was previously provided through the Civil List and the Property Services. HM Treasury is now responsible for monitoring the application of the Sovereign Grant.

2. Privy Purse and Duchy of Lancaster is another source of funding. This is a historical term that describes the income from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is used to meet both official and private expenditure by the monarch. The Duchy of Lancaster is a portfolio of royal land, property, and assets. The main purpose of this funding is to provide an independent source of income.

3. The last source of funding is the queen’s personal wealth and income, which is derived from her personal investment portfolio and private estates (ooh la la!).

This is probably more information than anyone needs about how the Royal Family makes (earns?) its money, but I, for one, now know where to put my investments if the American economy tanks.