LONDON (AP) — The amount of public funding for King Charles III and the royal family’s official duties are being recalculated for next year due to an unexpected increase in profits from offshore wind farms on the monarch’s Crown Estate, the UK Treasury said on Thursday.
Treasury officials say they will increase the percentage of crown estate profits paid to the royals from 25% in recent years to 12% next year.
Charles and the royal family receive an annual Sovereign Grant from the Treasury based on a proportion of profits from the crown estate, a large collection of land and property across the United Kingdom The crown estate is independently run and has assets worth around 16 billion pounds (almost $18 billion), including some of London’s most expensive properties.
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The crown estate also manages coastlines and seabeds across the country, and an offshore wind farm lease deal acquired earlier this year generated windfall estimated to be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.1 billion) a year.
Charles asked that the profits of the wind farm deal be used for the “general public interest” instead of funding his official duties.
The reduction in the proportion of profits to be given to the monarchy followed a review by the Royal Trustees – including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the head of the Treasury and an official known as the Keeper of the Privy Purse.
The amount of the sovereign grant for this year is 86.3 million pounds ($109 million), unchanged from the previous year. The Treasury said cutting the rate to 12% means the monarchy’s budget next year will remain the same because it will not receive an extra 24 million pounds ($27 million) if the rate stayed at 25%.
After that, the royal family’s budget will be 130 million pounds ($145 million) lower in both 2025 and 2026 than if the rate had remained unchanged.
“This money will instead be used to fund vital public services, for the benefit of the nation,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Charles is known for promoting green energybut he also talked about it the ongoing cost of living crisis and the pressures faced by millions of its subjects. The move to reduce their share of the profits of the wind farm contract would help counter criticism that the royals are out of touch with wider British society.
Under the United Kingdom’s constitutional monarchy system, kings and queens hand over profits from the crown estate — which are not the monarch’s private property, but are hereditary assets belonging to the sovereign for the duration of his reign — to the government. The Exchequer provides a fraction of those profits in the form of the sovereign grant to support royal duties.
Charles and his son Prince William They also receive private income from royal estates known as the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.