How much will the Coronation cost and who pays the bill?

·4-min read

Festivities are still taking place to celebrate King Charles III’s Coronation, which took place on Saturday (May 6).

Thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the historic event, watching King Charles and Queen Camilla travel through London before arriving at Westminster Abbey, where the official crowning took place.

Hundreds of world leaders, celebrities, foreign royalty, and friends and family were all in attendance.

But how much is the event estimated to have cost and who pays for it?

Here is everything we know:

How much does the Coronation cost?

No budget has been revealed officially but it is set to cost many millions.

The UK Government has refused to comment on the expected amount it will total but some predictions have suggested it could cost around £100 million.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Given the coronation is a national state occasion, funding sources will include the sovereign grant and the UK government.”

Who is paying for the Coronation?

The bill will be footed by the taxpayer, which is why many want more clarity on the final total.

A YouGov poll found that more than half of Brits do not think it should fall to the Government to pay for the coronation. A total of 51 per cent believe the ceremony should not be funded by public money, compared to a third of those asked who did.

Who has been vocally against the bill?

Labour MPs have called for more clarity on the final cost, citing the cost-of-living crisis and strike action being taken around the country by publicly funded workers, including nurses and junior doctors.

And with only a third of people interested in the coronation, according to a YouGov poll, is it value for money and in the public’s best interests?

Labour’s Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East, called for a House of Commons debate on the amount of public money being spent on the coronation given the difficult economic times. While Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarch campaign group Republic, said: “Charles is already king. There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime.

“At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.”

How much is King Charles worth and what has been the Palace response?

Labour MP Richard Burgon revealed in the House of Commons this week how King Charles is worth billions, and suggested he should have paid for his own coronation.

He said: “The King has a reported personal fortune of £1.8bn and, given the monarch already benefits from not paying inheritance tax, it’s easy to see why so many people are not happy with this.”

However, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden revealed how King Charles has requested a “slimmed-down event” without “lavishness or excess” as he is “mindful of ensuring that there is value for the taxpayer”.

He added: “It is a marvellous moment in our history, and people would not want a dour scrimping and scraping.”

How much were previous coronations?

Similar events in history have come with a rather hefty price tag.

Figures are varied as to how much Elizabeth II’s coronation cost, but it was reportedly £912,000 in 1953 — the equivalent of an estimated £20.5m in today’s money. While Charles’s grandfather, George VI, was crowned at a cost of £454,000 in 1937 — worth £24.8m in 2023; the most expensive coronation of the past 300 years.

However, the New York Times reported that the 1953 event was actually the most expensive ceremony ever held by the monarchy, costing £1.57 million or the modern equivalent of £56 million. Even her namesake’s coronation, that of Elizabeth I, which was thought to be a lavish affair, only cost a little more than £6m in today’s money.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was William IV, who did not want a coronation at all back in 1831, and ended up going for such a small affair that it became known as the ‘penny coronation’, costing £43,000 — worth £3.6m today.

So, if estimates are correct, and King Charles’s coronation really is costing around the £100 million mark, then this “slimmed-down event” will actually cost four times the record for the most expensive coronation, or twice as much if we go with the New York Times figure. However, with security more of an issue these days, the higher price tag this time around is attributed at least in part to ensuring the King’s safety.