THE cost to the taxpayer of supporting the monarchy rose by just under £1 million to £33.3 million during the Diamond Jubilee year, Buckingham Palace accounts showed today.
The Queen’s official expenditure increased by £900,000 from £32.4 million during the 2011/12 financial year to £33.3 million in 2012/13, according to the royal public finances annual report.
The taxpayer funds used to pay for official air and rail travel at home and abroad for members of the Royal Family fell by £500,000 from £5 million in 2011/12 to £4.5 million in 2012/13.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Diamond Jubilee tour of south east Asia and the South Pacific was the most expensive foreign tour, costing almost £370,000 when the cost of a reconnaissance trip by members of their household was included.
There was also an increase in spending on property maintenance - money used for the upkeep of royal residences and other buildings - from £8.9 million to £9.1 million.
Payroll costs increased from £17.5 million to £18.3 million.
Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said: “In the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, the Royal Household has achieved a real terms reduction in expenditure on supporting the Queen’s official duties.
“The Royal Household has continued to reduce its expenditure funded by the taxpayer in successive years since 2008/09, achieving a real-terms reduction of 24% over the last five years.
“A significant part of the increase to the Sovereign Grant in 2013/14, supplemented by further income generation, will be used to tackle a backlog in essential property maintenance at the working royal palaces.”
Royal finances have been reorganised with a new Sovereign Grant funding model replacing the Civil List, Government funds for the Queen and her household’s official expenses, and grants-in-aid which paid for items such as royal travel and the upkeep of royal palaces.
Under the new grant, the Queen receives 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate, but from funds two years in arrears.
The grant for 2012/13 was set at £31 million, including an extra million pounds to pay for Diamond Jubilee costs, but extra money is likely have been drawn from reserves.
The grant for 2013/14, when the new formula effectively begins, has been set at just over £36 million.
The Crown Estate’s 2011/12 accounts revealed profits of £240.2 million and the final figure for the grant was rounded up to £36.1 million.