Under section 7 of the Sovereign Grant Act 2011, the Royal Trustees (Prime Minister, Chancellor and Keeper of the Privy Purse) have to consider whether the current level of 15% of the Crown Estate revenues from two years previously remains appropriate to determine the amount of Sovereign Grant to be paid to support Her Majesty, the Queen’s official duties. This includes the maintenance of Royal residences such as Buckingham Palace, which are used for formal entertaining and ceremonial events.
Buckingham Palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s, in the aftermath of the Second World War. The building’s infrastructure is now in urgent need of an overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure leading to fire or flood, and incalculable damage to the building and priceless works of art in the Royal Collection. In addition, by carrying out works to fix these problems, a number of benefits can be realised, including increased public access to the Palace and savings through operational efficiency gains.
The Royal Trustees have therefore concluded that the percentage used to calculate the Sovereign Grant should be increased temporarily from 15% to 25% and intend to legislate for this to be reduced once the reservicing works are completed.