No one argues that the British monarchy is an expensive institution to support. Annual costs for the family and its retainers are over thirty million British pounds (forty million dollars). Yet numerous estimates put the income royals generate for the United Kingdom alone at over twenty-five billion pounds (thirty-four billion dollars) annually. Tourism, souvenir sales, and intangible 'goodwill' the Queen and her popular grandsons Princes William and Harry create account for this impressive financial figure.
Most of the direct costs of the monarchy are covered by the Sovereign Grant. Per its annual report, this paid 37.9 million pounds (fifty-one million dollars) for the year 2014-2015. It comes from annual income produced by the Crown Estate. Commonwealth countries also bear significant costs for the monarchy apparatus within their own countries, mostly coming from the Governor Generals' offices.
The Sovereign Grant
This grant is the means of transferring a percentage (typically fifteen percent) of the income from the Crown Estate back to the monarchy. This figure increased to twenty-five percent in 2017 so Buckingham Palace, the Queen's office and residence in London, could be repaired and renovated, with work to finish in 2027. This grant, which comes from property nominally owned by the Crown anyway, covers the majority of the public expenses of the monarchy in the United Kingdom.
It does not apply towards the costs for maintaining the monarchy's Governor General offices in the over fifty Commonwealth countries. These costs vary nation per nation but easily run in the millions of dollars annually. The four largest nations of the Commonwealth outside of Great Britain include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Papa New Guinea.
Canada's Governor General's office costs 50.5 million dollars annually, or $1.44 per Canadian resident. The Australian Governor General office costs run over 17.5 million dollars, around seventy-six cents per Australian. New Zealand has expenses of around thirteen million dollars for just over two dollars per Kiwi. None of these figures are breaking the bank, but they also do not include significant costs for royal state visits' security bills either.