BBC responds to royal funding 'reality check'

24 July 2017
Following the 8% royal pay-rise announced last month, BBC Reality Check claimed to have checked the facts on the cost of the monarchy in their video Reality Check: What does the Queen cost us?
Surprisingly, their fact checking simply repeated the Palace spin and gets a lot of the facts wrong.

Here's the BBC's original video:

What the BBC said:
  • The monarchy costs each of us 65p
  • The Sovereign Grant is funded by the Crown Estate
  • The Crown Estate is owned by the Queen

Republic wrote to the BBC to point out the mistakes and provide the facts.

Here's Republic's reality check on the BBC's 'reality check':
  • 65p takes the 'official' cost of the monarchy and divides it by the entire population. It ignores the true £345 million cost of the monarchy and pretends that all 64 million of us (i.e. every student, child, pensioner) is paying tax, which simply isn't true.
  • The Sovereign grant is funded by the government (i.e. the taxpayer) and is paid directly by the Treasury. This money is arbitrarily set at 25% of Crown Estate profits, but even if Crown Estate profits were £0.00, the government would continue to cough up £82.2 million each year.
  • The Crown Estate is owned by the Crown, and is entirely the property of the state / nation. As the Crown Estate itself puts it, “The property we manage is owned by the Crown but is not the private property of the monarch.” It is no more the Queen's property than Number 10 belongs to the PM.


Republic win! The BBC updates their video:

After talking with the BBC News Reality Check production team, and highlighting the true nature of public funding of the monarchy, the BBC updated its video to reflect the facts.

"Update 14 July 2017: More detail has been added about the sources of the Queen's income."

Who owns the Crown Estate? The Crown does (that means us!):

Does the Queen hand over Crown Estate profits to government, and 'get some back'? 

No, Crown Estate profits go directly to the treasury, and government chooses to hand over a percentage to the monarchy.


More of the facts published:

The BBC also updated the video to include some more of the facts about royal funding.

In addition to the Sovereign Grant, taxpayers also pay for other costs like security and royal visits.

Republic estimates the true cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is around £345 million per year.

The updated video also noted that the royals' official funding has risen 145% since 2012:


There's work to do. The 65p spin is still being spun.

The BBC's new video corrects the facts about the Crown Estate and Sovereign Grant, but keeps spinning the 65p per person Palace spin.


Republic's Royal Expenses campaign has already had a huge impact by making the BBC report the true facts.

You can help take this work one step further. Use the links below to write to the BBC to voice your concern about the nature of their reporting on royal funding.

This is a great example of the Royal Expenses campaign in action - setting the facts straight - and challenging the Palace spin. Donate to the campaign to keep up this work. 

Here's what you can do to put an end to the 65p myth:

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