Builders are carrying out work on the East Wing of Buckingham Palace - including the famous picture gallery where paintings by Titian, Vermeer and Rembrandt usually hang - as it undergoes a 10-year programme of modernisation.
The works have contributed to an £11.2 million increase in the Royal property maintenance bill to £49.5 million, according to latest accounts.
But the overall £87.5 million cost of running the monarchy still represents “good value for money” according to Cabinet minister George Eustice.
The Environment Secretary told Sky News: “I think the system that we have with a constitutional monarchy is way better than all the alternatives, better than presidential systems.
“It means you have that stability, you have a monarch that can bring the country together. I think the royal family is good value for money. It’s a vital part of our constitution, always has been.”
The total bill is a rise of £18.1 million or 26 per cent from £69.4 million in 2019/2020 and works out at £1.29 per person in the UK.
Separate accounts for Clarence House show The Prince of Wales carried on supporting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with a “substantial sum” in the months following the couple’s split from the rest of the Royal Family, despite Harry claiming his family “literally cut me off financially”.
Charles continued to fund the Sussexes until the summer of 2020, but the duke told Oprah Winfrey he stopped getting financial support from his family in the first quarter of that year.
Funding for both Charles’s sons - the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge - and their families contributed to a £4.5 million bill for the prince, the financial accounts show.
Harry and Meghan were still listed as receiving money from Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall income, despite quitting the monarchy at the end of March last year.
The funding bill - plus other expenditure including Charles’s capital expenditure and transfer to reserves - dropped by around £1.2 million in the financial year after the Sussexes stopped being senior royals.