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HM the King’s Household receives a yearly financial amount from the State Budget. In words of the Royal Household, this budget assignation is

 intended to fund the staff and functioning costs directly payable by H.M. The King’s Household, as well the maintenance of the Royal Family. The objective of this budget assignation is to ensure that the Office of the Head of State possesses a sufficient budgetary allowance for the Head of State to be able to perform his duties with the independence that is inherent to his Constitutional functions.

The King may freely dispose of this sum to finance the Royal Household, which, like other Constitutional Bodies(e.g., the Congress and the Senate) is not subject to examination by the Court of Auditors. Nevertheless, H.M. The King’s Household does have a Comptroller, belonging to the Corps of Comptrollers and Auditors of the State Administration.

After Iñaki Urdangarín’s involvement in a corruption scandal and in “the spirit of transparency and modern times” according to La Zarzuela, the Household published a breakdown of the 2011 budget. It was the first time since 1979 that the King’s salary was made public.

The document, which can be consulted in Spanish at their website, starts with a bar chart displaying the evolution of the financial amount received by the King’s Household in the last five years. It also explains how a 2.2% of the amount perceived in 2010 was turned to the treasury to help Spain’s budget deficit and how the allocated sum for 2011 was reduced a 5.2% from the previous year. The overall amount for 2011 was € 8,434,280.

Bar Chart from the Royal Household. €Million per year

The Royal Household is also fully subject to current legislation regarding labour and taxation matters, and all members of the Royal Family are obliged to pay all due taxes, for which purpose they annually submit income tax returns and meet their tax obligations. The salaries paid by the King’s Household are fixed and regulated like their peers in other ministries and government bodies. In a pie chart, they explain how the allocated sum is distributed:

Distribution of the Royal Household's assignment

  • The biggest portion of the budget (47.89% of the total sum or € 4,039,000) is used to pay the personnel salaries(the ones directly paid by the Royal Household, the Head of the Household, the General Secretary, the Head of the Military Chamber, the management staff, 2 civil servants and 5 other employees), the staff’s social security contributions and social provisions and bonus and overtime for all employees, the ones paid directly by the King’s Household, and the ones paid by other government bodies.
  • The second most important item (38.83% of the total sum or € 3,275,000) is used to finance the running costs of goods and services, including renting of equipment, expenses of repairs and upkeep of vehicles and small machinery, office supplies, insurances, the hiring of consultancy firms and services companies, luncheons, dinners and receptions offered by the Royal Family, transport, board and accommodation expenses for the Household personnel when needed…
  • A 2.44% of the total budget (€ 206,152) is destined to cover unplanned expenses (e.g., a bolt of lighting striking La Zarzuela) Last year this money was used for the expenses caused by the King’s operation in a public hospital: the extra staff needed, the catering, the disturbance his presence caused in the clinic (a wing was cleared for security concerns) If the amount is not needed, it is used for other uncovered expenses, e.g., to replace glassware.
  • The smallest item, 1.19% of the yearly assignation (€ 100,000) is used for office and information technology equipment, software licenses….
  • Lastly, the Royal Family receives a 9.65% of the allotted money (€ 814,128) HM the King has a yearly salary of € 140,519 and an extra assignation to cover representation expenses of € 152,233. After taxes(45%), the total amount His Majesty received in 2011, combining salary and representation expenses, was € 161,013.6. HRH the Prince of Asturias receives half this sum. His yearly salary is € 70,259 with € 76,117 destined to cover the representation expenses. After paying taxes( 40%), the total amount(salary plus representation expenses) was € 87,825.6. The Queen, the Princess of Asturias and the Infantas Doña Elena and Doña Cristina do not receive a salary. His Majesty distributes an amount set aside for them every year in order to cover their representation expenses. For 2011, the total amount was € 375, 000. Neither the Duke of Palma de Mallorca nor Don Jaime de Marichalar while he was the Infanta Doña Elena’s husband have ever received money from the King’s Household’s budget.

What royal expenses are not covered with this yearly assignation?

  1. The State and official visits undertaken by the Royal Family. These trips are paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for 2011 €415,050 were set apart for 15 trips.
  2. The Palaces, buildings and residences belonging to the State, by law, are maintained by the autonomous agency Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage). La Zarzuela Palace belongs to the State and thus, the bulk of its upkeep is paid by National Heritage. As the agency does not disclose the spendings on the different palaces, it is not possible to know how much La Zarzuela’s maintenance costs.
  3. H.M. The King’s Household is no exception from other Constitutional bodies and Ministries in that its security expenses are met by the Interior Ministry. All of them, for obvious reasons, are unknown.
  4. Likewise, those expenses concerning official vehicles and their drivers correspond to the State Transport Service (Ministry of Economy and Finance). They do not disclose the amounts spent on the different bodies and administrations.
  5. The salaries of most civil servants working at the Household are paid by the Presidency Ministry. However, bonus and overtime are paid by the King’s Household.
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