This is a very common question to make in reference to the Royal Family when dealing with if Australians pay for the Royal Family. In this article, the debate about Australians paying for the Royals will be finished right here, since it’s a mute point in of itself which will be discussed at the end of the essay. But without any further comments, let’s get started.
But before we talk about how Australians affect the Royal purse, firstly, we must discuss on how the Royal Family gets their money in the first place. This topic goes way back before Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, in fact, all the way back to King George III. Yes, that King George, the one that lost the American colonies and was the King that first established the colony of New South Wales. At the time when King George III lost the American colonies, the King had trouble paying his bills and racked up debt. Even though during the time, King George III owned large swaths of land in the United Kingdom, the profits of their rental was far too small to cover his expenses such as maintenance, security, food and so on.
So King George III cut the Parliament a deal, for the rest of his life, he will surrender his profits from the rents on his land (Crown Land) in exchange for getting a fixed annual salary (Civil List) and having his debts removed. The UK parliament took him up on the deal, believing that the profits from the rents would pay off long term.
Now with that short history lesson out of the way, how well did parliament do? Let’s compare their profits and losses.
The cost to maintain the Royal Family in the UK is forty million pounds per year. However, the revenue paid to the UK from the Crown Lands is two hundred million pounds per year.
Two hundred million in revenue, subtract forty million in salary costs, equals to One Hundred and Sixty million pounds. You’ve read that correctly, the United Kingdom earns One Hundred and Sixty Million pounds in profit, every year, from the Royal Family.
Doing the math for the individual, One Hundred and Sixty Million pounds divided by Sixty Two million people is about two pounds and sixty pence. Because of the Royal Family, the British people’s taxes are actually two pounds and sixty pence cheaper each year than they otherwise would be.
The One Hundred and Sixty Million is just the easily measurable money the United Kingdom makes from the Royal Family. The Royal Family also gain their money from their golden goose, Tourism. Around twelve million tourists visit each year spending over seven thousand million pounds. Which does make those direct profits look rather small in comparison. In which, goes directly to the UK.
The Royal Family in the UK actually do bring in quite a lot of benefits and make up for their costs by providing more wealth than losses.
Now, with that out of the way, and to the meat of the question at hand. Do Australians pay for the Royal Family?
The Royal Family and the institution of the Australian Crown does not cost Australians a cent. It doesn’t cost us anything for its upkeep and maintenance.
The only exception to this is during state visits where the host country must pay for the accommodation, travel costs, events, security, etc, of a visiting head of state. It’s a standard practice throughout the world and not exclusive only to Monarchies nor Australia. If a President of a Republic came over, we’d still have to foot the costs.
An argument that is often reoccurring in Australia when it comes to Royal Visits is the argument that Australians “regularly pay” our Monarch via our taxes is a myth and a lie created by the Australian Republican Movement since that is only applicable to the UK and not Australia.
On the topic of Royal Visits to Australia, said visits also boom Australia’s tourism industry, where tourists visit the areas where the Royals visited. Such as with Prince Harry visiting Melbourne, Sydney, Fraser Island and Dubbo, especially for the latter where it swelled in tourism after Prince Harry’s visit, generating revenue which then went back into the Australian government, outweighing the costs of the visit and putting Dubbo on the map as a point of travel.
Indirectly, the Royals input more wealth into Australia than their cost of visit. And Australia and Australians as a whole, benefits from their visit.