UK Royal Family Spending Costs Citizens about One Dollar Yearly

September 13, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. monarchy /ˈmɒnərki/ (n.) – type of government ruled by a king or queen
Example: The king and the royal family want to maintain the monarchy in their country.

2. spending /spɛndɪŋ/ (n.) – refers to the money spent or used
Example: The financial secretary monitors the government’s spending.

3. renovation /ˈrɛnəˌveɪʃən/ (n.) – the process of fixing or repairing something to bring it back in good condition
Example: The old embassy building has an ongoing renovation.

4. furnishing /ˈfɜrnɪ ʃɪŋ/ (n.) – refers to decorations and furniture inside a building or room
Example: We bought furnishings like tables and chairs for my room.

5. heir /ɛər/ (n.) – a person who receives a title and property from someone who died
Example: The king’s first child is the heir to the throne.


Read the text below.
The spending of the British monarchy from 2013 to 2014 reached £35.7 million or about $60 million, according to Buckingham [buhk-ing-ham] Palace accounts.

From £33.3 million in 2012 to 2013, the Royal Family’s spending rose by £2.4 million. The latest financial report suggests that the monarchy requires 56 pence (£0.56) or almost $1 per person from its 64 million citizens.

The official duties of the British monarchy are funded by a part of the taxpayers’ money called the sovereign grant. Out of £35.7 million, £13.3 million were spent on maintenance of the Crown Estate owned by the royal family but an asset of the government.

The Kensington Palace, home of royal couple Duke William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge [KEYM-brij], had a £4.5-million worth of renovation. Among the changes made in the 20-room apartment were the installation of running water and removal of asbestos. The couple reportedly paid for the furnishings using their own money. An assistant of the couple said that William and Kate were concerned that public funds were mostly used for the renovation. All in all, the monarchy had 133 maintenance projects throughout the estate since last year.

A part of the sovereign grant also covers the travel cost of royal family members. According to the Palace accounts, the royal family’s travel costs amounted to £4.2 million, cheaper than the £4.5 million spent in 2012-2013. Prince Charles, the heir of current Head of State Queen Elizabeth II, spent £1 million on his travels, which include a £255,000 trip to attend the funeral of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Aside from public funding, royal family members also earn from their private properties. Prince Charles reportedly earned £19.5 million from his private estate this year.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of the royal family’s spending? Why or why not?
·         What do you think the British government should do to prevent the royal family from overspending?

Discussion B

·         Would you like to be ruled by a king or queen? Why or why not?
·         What form of government would you like to have? Kindly discuss.

September 13, 2014