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Britain’s Royal Finances Boosted by Record Wind Profits

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June 29, 2023

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s Crown Estate, which manages King Charles’ public property, posted a record profit last year boosted by income from offshore wind leases.

In January, the king told the British government he would like some of the profits from the first major auction of offshore wind farm leases in more than a decade, to go to the “wider public good” rather than to the royal family. He did not specify how much.

The Crown Estate, which comprises tracts of land and most of Britain’s sea bed, is an independently-run, commercial business, whose profits go to the Treasury.

They are also used as the benchmark for the level of public funding for the Royal Family.

Crown Estate net revenue profit reached 442.6 million pounds ($562.19 million) in 2022, up 129.9 million on the previous year, largely as a result of the offshore wind farm lease tender held in 2021 called round 4.

Germany’s RWE and major energy company BP were among the round 4 winners.

Crown Estate said option fees across all six projects were approximately 1 billion pounds per year, payable to the Crown Estate for a minimum of 3 years and up to ten years.

Dan Labbad chief executive of the Crown Estate said he was unable to give more detail on how the profits would be spent.

“Our remit … is to generate profit for the country. What happens with that aspect is between the royal household and treasury and we are not involved, in that,” he told journalists on a call.

The monarchy receives a Sovereign Grant to cover the running costs of the royal households and travel expenses. It is typically based on 15% of the profits of the Crown Estate but has been temporarily increased to 25% to pay for extensive refurbishment at Buckingham Palace.

In March, the government said the Sovereign Grant for 2023-4 would be 86.3 million.

($1 = 0.7873 pounds)

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by Barbara Lewis)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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