Cost of royal family to UK taxpayer rises to £67m

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Frogmore Cottage has been renovated with £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money, royal accounts have revealed.

Harry and Meghan’s country residence, close to Windsor Castle, underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single home for the couple and their baby son Archie. All fittings and fixtures were privately paid for by the duke and duchess.

The renovation of a home for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry added to the costs. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The renovation of a home for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry added to the costs. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Accounts for the Sovereign Grant, which funds the Queen and her household’s official expenses, show the monarchy cost the taxpayer £67m during 2018-19 – an increase of almost £20m on the previous financial year.

A large amount of the rise was due to work updating the decades-old services at Buckingham Palace and maintaining the occupied royal palaces.

The Core Sovereign Grant which helps fund the work of the Queen and her household, and pays for other activities like official royal travel, increased by £3.6m to £49.3m.

Accounts also showed that despite retiring from official public life the Duke of Edinburgh maintains an office with a private 
secretary and receives £359,000 annuity from the Treasury.