Fresh calls for monarchy to be dissolved after taxpayer funding increases by 66%

Republican groups call the decision 'an absolute disgrace' and slam royals' 'scandalous mismanagement of finances' 

Republicans said the Queen was guilty of "scandalous mismanagement of royal finances over six decades"
Republicans said the Queen was guilty of "scandalous mismanagement of royal finances over six decades"

Campaigners have renewed calls for the monarchy to be abolished after it was revealed that taxpayer funding of the royal family is set to soar by up to 66 per cent to enable the Queen to renovate Buckingham Palace.

The Government has agreed to increase the royal grant to cover the £396 million cost of the refurbishment.

The funding was agreed by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Keeper of the Privy Purse, who together act as the Royal Trustees who determine how much public money is given to the royal family.

The incredible powers you didn't know the Queen has

In a report they said Buckingham Palace was “in urgent need of a major overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure leading to fire or flood".

This would result in “incalculable damage”, they added.

But republican campaigners said the decision was an "absolute disgrace” and called for the public grant given to the Queen to be “stripped right back”.

Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic, said: “This is an absolute disgrace. An indictment on the Queen’s scandalous mismanagement of royal finances over six decades.

“MPs have repeatedly called on the palace to fund repairs by opening up to tourists all year round and they’ve refused. If the royals can't look after the buildings and raise their own revenue to fund maintenance, it’s time to give them up.

“The royals cost the taxpayer over £334m a year and that keeps going up. We need independent inquiry and full disclosure into their spending. The monarchy's costs need to be stripped right back, put the institution on a proper budgetary footing and allow parliament to approve the budget each year.”

The Queen is reported to have around £300m in personal wealth, while land owned by the monarchy is thought to be worth more than £7bn. The royals also receive hundreds of millions of pounds from taxpayers each year.

Queen leads the nation in Remembrance Day commemorations

The renovation of Buckingham Palace will see 100 miles of electric cables being replaced, along with 6,500 electrical sockets, 5,000 light fittings and 2,500 radiators. Some 30,000 square miles of floorboards will be taken up.

Parts of the Palace’s plumbing, electric cabling and heating have not been updated since just after the Second World War.

The Queen will remain in residence while the renovation work is carried out and official functions will continue as usual.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: "The 10-year phased refit will address the essential building services on which the Palace depends.

"Miles of ageing cables, lead piping, electrical wiring and boilers will be replaced, many for the first time in 60 years.

"An independent specialist report concluded that without urgent work there is a risk of serious damage to the Palace and the precious Royal Collection items it houses from, amongst other scenarios, fire and water damage."

The monarchy is funded by the profits of the Crown Estate – land that is owned by the royal family but cannot be sold. The royals were previously given back 15 per cent of the profits but that will now rise to 25 per cent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in