Royal welfare benefits

The Sovereign Grant, which until 2011 was known as the Civil List, amounts to multi-millions in annual handouts to Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family. This includes several million to Her Majesty annually as well as smaller but still sizeable payments to almost every other senior member of the Windsor clan.

The Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

The Royal Family in festive mood on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

A large percentage of the funds pay for salaries of Royal staff. The scheme also includes direct payments to distantly related Royals for performing official duties and attending functions.

Lots of washing up: Staff members lay the state banquet table in the ballroom of London's Buckingham Palace

Royal staffers ‘set tables’ in Buckingham Palace’s ballroom.

We summarize the history of the Civil List in our book THE ORPHAN CONSPIRACIES: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

The Civil List dates back to 1689 when Parliament, on the accession of William and Mary, agreed to pay the Royal Family 600,000 British Pounds Sterling for Royal expenses. These were enormous sums in the 17th Century and it’s worth noting that before this date such expenses were paid almost entirely from the Monarch’s hereditary revenues.

Royal corruption in regards to the Civil List was not uncommon. For example, during his reign from 1760-1820, King George III used his annual sum of almost a million pounds sterling as a political weapon by rewarding his supporters in Parliament with under-the-table bribes and pensions.

Besides the Sovereign Grant, the British Parliament also forks out hundreds of millions more every year to preserve the Monarch. These expenses include maintenance fees for Buckingham Palace, the Royal yachts and the Royal train, airfares and other travel expenses as well as round-the-clock security. The aforementioned 2012 CNN article written by Graham Smith also mentioned the Monarchy costs British taxpayers £202 million, or approximately US$340 million, annually.

These vast sums of taxpayer money that are paid to the already flush Windsors reflect the warped priorities of the British welfare system – a system which deprives many impoverished families of all but the barest of essentials.

Of course, the grasping people Her Majesty alluded to in that informal talk with President Reagan don’t comprise the beneficiaries of the Sovereign Grant. In the Queen’s mind, a social security system for her uber-rich Royal clan is obviously much more moral and necessary than providing for the poor and those in genuine need.

Little wonder the Windsors have often been accused of being snobby elitists by the British public at large.

It has been claimed by various conspiracy theorists that all American Presidents are subservient to the House of Windsor and surreptitiously look after the interests of the British Royals. But more about that in our next post.

Read more in The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy – available now via Amazon at:

A book that’s for the common people…the 99%.



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