Queen’s income from private estate tops £20 million

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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The Queen’s income from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate has increased by almost a million pounds to just over £20 million, new accounts have revealed.

The money the Queen receives from the duchy – a portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the sovereign – increased by 
4.9 per cent, figures for the 2017-18 financial year have shown.

The net surplus the head of state received from the duchy, which is used to fund her public and private activities, rose from £19.2m to £20.1m.

Nathan Thompson, chief executive officer and clerk of the Duchy Council, said: “This has been another positive year for the duchy with strong growth in almost all of our business sectors.

“The continued push on restoration and a more focused in-house approach to the management of our surveys has served us well this year and contributed significantly to further improving tenant relations, reducing voids and increasing efficiency.”

The Duchy of Lancaster has seen the value of its holdings increase by 2.9 per cent, rising from £518.7m to £533.8m.

It is the custodian of thousands of hectares across England and Wales, including key urban developments, historic buildings, high-quality farm land and areas of great natural beauty.

The estate is not subject to corporation tax as it is not a separate legal entity for tax purposes, but the Queen voluntarily pays income tax on revenue she receives from the duchy.

Royal accounts released last month showed the Queen’s annual expenditure soared by around 13 per cent as a decade-long programme of renovations began at Buckingham Palace.

The taxpayer funds received by the monarchy to pay for official duties and other expenditure – the Sovereign Grant – rose from £42.8m to £45.7m, with payroll costs, travel and property maintenance all increasing compared with the previous year.

The Queen’s expenditure also rose from £41.9m to £47.4m, while there was a 16 per cent rise in the income generated by the royal household to supplement the core Sovereign Grant.

The duchy’s 45,600-acre holdings have provided an independent source of revenue for the monarch’s “Privy Purse” since 1399.

It has grown 200-fold since her accession in 1952 when the surplus was just £100,000, and as recently as 2012 it was only £12.9m.

The money is used to support the royal duties of her children the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex as well as a number of other minor members of the royal family.