The new King is reportedly planning a “less expensive” coronation as the UK suffers a cost of living crisis and an unprecedented wave of protests.
This Saturday, the United Kingdom will be celebrating the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla – the first coronation in more than 70 years.
The country is pulling out all the stops: a three-day celebration including street parties and a grand public procession.
But there’s one question that appears to be on a lot of people’s minds: how much is this going to cost and who’s paying for it?
Well, the short answer: it’s complicated.
Approximately €113 million (or £100 million)
As with jubilees and other similar events, the total cost is only available months even years after the event.
But the organisers of the ceremony estimated the coronation will cost approximately €113 million.
Unlike weddings, which are paid for by the Royal Family, the coronation is a state function hence taxpayers will be footing the bill.
Much of the royal family’s expenses are covered by an annual taxpayer payment known as the Sovereign Grant.
Funding for the Sovereign Grant comes from a percentage of the profits of the Crown Estate revenue collection of lands and holdings, owned by the monarch during their reign but independently controlled by a board.
In 2022, it was set at the equivalent of €97 million – roughly €1.50 for every person in the UK.
Most of the payment goes towards property maintenance, payroll costs, travel expenditures, and events.
The late Queen Elizabeth’s coronation cost £1.5 million in 1953. That’s the equivalent of €56 million in today’s money
The doubled price tag for Charles’s coronation is mostly due to security, especially when it comes to potential terrorist attack risks — something that wouldn’t have been such a big issue back in the 1950s.
Anger over coronation as UK suffers massive inflation
But as the UK suffers a cost of living crisis with soaring food and energy prices, and also a wave of industrial action, people on social media have been critical of the Royal Family for organising such a lavish event.
“The fact that King Charles is being allowed to have a lavish coronation in the midst of a cost of living crisis is absolutely disgusting,” said one Twitter user.
“Insufficient money for doctors but we can spend millions on this,” added another social media user.
According to a recent YouGov poll, 51% of Britons do not think the coronation should be funded by taxpayers.
The Crown explained King Charles III is empathetic to these opinions and has decided to ‘slim down’ the celebrations.
The ceremony will be shorter than his mother’s – it will last 90 mins to 2 hours instead of 3 hours like Queen Elizabeth II’s.
Charles is also inviting fewer people: approximately 2,200 dignitaries and foreign leaders will be present compared to the more than 8,200 guests who attended Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony in 1953.
The King will also opt for a military uniform instead of a custom-made and very expensive coronation outfit.
For some, it’s worth the money
But for some, this is clearly not enough. Graham Smith, CEO of the anti-monarchy group Republic, called the coronation an “expensive pantomime” and shared a tweet which said the coronation will have a cost of at least €280 million.
But for some royalists, it is well worth the money. They argue worldwide TV rights for the ceremony will cover the costs and tourists traveling for the coronation will help the country’s economy.
According to the consulting company Brand Finance, the wedding of William and Kate brought in more than €1.5 billion for the British economy in 2018 alone.