By Francesca James

The Bill will establish a more permanent, flexible and accountable way of supporting Her Majesty, The Queen in Her official duties. The Civil List has been paid to Sovereigns since 1760. Legislation was last substantively revised in 1972. The Bill sets out the detail of the approach announced by the Government at the June Budget 2010 and Spending Review 2010.

The Bill will:

• introduce a single Sovereign Grant based on a proportion of surplus revenues from the Crown Estate, consolidating the three separate grants used in the current system, including the Civil List;

• increase scrutiny of support to the Royal Household, bringing the audit arrangements in line with those of Government departments and allowing for full Parliamentary scrutiny of the Grant accounts; and

• rationalise other aspects of support to the Royal Household, [including allowing future incoming monarchs to extend the new Grant provisions for their reign and ensuring that all heirs, whether Duke of Cornwall or not, receive the same support.]

In introducing the Bill to Parliament, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

“[The] new Sovereign Grant ... balances the public interest that our Queen is properly funded to carry out her official duties and the completely legitimate interest of the taxpayer in proper accountability and value for money.”

He introduced his statement by “recognising the Queen’s long service and immense contribution to public life in our country.”