Next Tuesday Buckingham Palace and Clarence House publish their annual accounts.

Royal funding gets very confusing thanks to spin and claims by the royals and their supporters.  Here are a few facts to remember:

The figures published by the palace next week relate to the spending of the Sovereign Grant, which replaced the Civil List five years ago.

The grant is paid to the royals directly from the Treasury - it is funded entirely by the taxpayer.

The level of the grant is calculated by a formula that is pegged to the income of the Crown Estate.  The Crown Estate does not pay the grant.  The deal struck between the government and palace means the grant can never fall below the level it was at the previous year - but it can keep rising regardless of need.

The Crown Estate is a publicly owned and managed property portfolio.  It doesn't belong to the royal family and - crucially - if the monarchy were abolished it would still be publicly owned.

The Sovereign Grant has risen 18% since 2011, to £42.8m - which represents a fraction of the total annual cost of the royals.

A more accurate annual cost of the monarchy is £334m.  That includes many hidden costs such as security, costs met by local councils, unpaid taxes and revenue from the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster.

With 18 so-called working royals, each royal costs an average of £18.5m a year.  This includes the likes of Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Kent, who most people wouldn't recognise and haven't heard of.  Although not officially counted as working royals Prince Andrew's daughters Eugenie and Beatrice also bill the taxpayer for travel, accommodation and security.

It is wrong to claim the monarchy costs just a few pence per person.  That claim, usually quoted as 56p each, is spin made up by Buckingham Palace.  The figure divides the official cost by every person in the country.  More importantly no other public spending is dismissed in this way.  £334m - or even £42m - is a lot of money.  The higher figure would pay for 15,000 new nurses or police officers.

It is wrong to claim the monarchy is good for the British economy. Despite some spurious reports to the contrary there is no evidence to support claims about tourism or trade.  Tourists would continue to flock to Britain if there was no monarchy and our history, heritage and palaces would still be there for people to visit.

You can find out more about the cost of the royals at

You can find out more about the Sovereign Grant at