Currently, Royal Family members are supported by a number of revenue streams including the Duchy of Cornwall, Duchy of Lancaster, and the Grant. The money from the Sovereign Grant is where the £500m increase is predicted to come from.
Funds for the Grant come from 15% of annual profits earned by the Crown Estate, a land portfolio handled by a third party that includes significant areas such as Regent Street and much of the British coastline.
According to an investigation by Tortoise, the British government’s intentions to expand renewable energy operations could see the royals earn millions as offshore wind farms would be built on the coastline - i.e. on Crown Estate property. As a result, those businesses would have to pay rent to the Estate.
Speaking to Tortoise, Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit’s Dr. Jonathan Marshall said: “The total cumulative annual revenue from all [windfarm] projects that are currently under construction, or that could be built, is £8.4 billion. The Crown Estate would take two per cent of this as rent, or £168 million a year.”
Marshall estimated that the Crown Estate could make £2.52 billion as a result and as the royals derive 15% from that, they could pocket £500 million - despite having nothing to do with the windfarms themselves.
The Tortoise investigation also found that since the 2008 financial crisis, royal finances had “ballooned” as a result of the introduction of the Sovereign Grant Act in 2011. The report discovered that the Royal Family had more than doubled its earnings between 2008/2009 and 2020, a dramatic shift from £63.5 million to £142.4 million per year today.
Beyond the Sovereign Grant, the Queen also earns money from the Duchy of Lancaster, while Prince Charles derives funds from the Duchy of Cornwall - funds which are also used to support his children Prince William, Prince Harry and their families.
Although Harry and Meghan have stepped down as senior royals and plan to become “financially independent”, they are still supported by Prince Charles through the Duchy of Cornwall for the time being.
The Sussexes wrote on their official website Sussex Royal that they “no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, thereby making them members of the Royal Family with financial independence.”