The biggest financial blunder in royal history was made by mad old George III when he came to the throne in 1760. Because his grandfather, George II, hadn’t managed to pay for civil government, as he was obliged to, the new king cut a disastrous deal: he gave up the hereditary revenues from his Crown Estate in return for Parliament paying the civil government bill, and giving him money from the Civil List.Read the rest here.
Today, the Crown Estate has a property portfolio worth £7.6 billion – including 356,000 acres of farmland and forest, and a chunk of the smartest bits of London – and an annual profit of £240.2 million, in 2011/12. Meanwhile, until this year, the Civil List was paying the Queen only £7.9 million a year. You do the maths – George III was no accountant.
Last week, all that changed as, for the first time in 250 years, the monarch got their hands back on the Crown Estate – or a small, but extremely valuable, chunk of it.
After the Coalition’s 2010 Spending Review, George Osborne announced that, from this year, the Civil List would be replaced by a new Sovereign Support Grant – paid for by 15 per cent of the Crown Estate revenue...
...The monarchy remains astonishingly good value – at under 58p [that's pennies A/O] per head of the British population, or around 0.005 per cent of total public spending. That’s not much to pay, in return for secure constitutional government, a dose of national pleasure and incalculable billions in tourism income and national branding value for UK plc.