King Charles speaks with Camilla

King Charles coronation: Taxpayers foot £250m bill amid crisis

Claims the event cost the taxpayer up to £250million

The bunting should be down by now, and the last crumbs of any quiche should be gobbled up – now that it is all over, how much did the King Charles coronation cost us?

Reports ahead of Saturday’s (May 6) service at Westminster Abbey and subsequent celebrations indicated the event could cost taxpayers as much as £250million. That’s because it was a state event, and paid for by the government using public money. And that’s despite claims the monarch’s personal fortune could be as much as £2billion.

King Charles looks impassive during coronation
A coronation doesn’t come cheap but the cost is paid for by taxpayers, rather than royals (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

King Charles coronation cost

Nonetheless, some taxpayers might like to know where their taxes went on paying for Charles’ big day. To that end, one publication has looked into how much of residents’ cash was spent by local councils on celebrations.

As it turns out, some spent absolutely nothing to mark the crowing of Charles and his wife Camilla. One, however, reportedly splashed out £180,000.

Furthermore, amid a cost-of-living crisis, openDemocracy’s findings suggest four of the top-spending five councils were in London.

Celebrations take place at Buckingham Palace
Celebrations at Buckingham Palace ahead of last weekend’s flypast which saw royal family members assemble on the balcony (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

How to find out how much your council spent on the coronation

It is possible to find out what openDemocracy reckons your council spent on the coronation by checking out the table at the bottom of this page here. Councils from across the UK are listed in alphabetical order. There is also search box to type in any council’s name and bring up the results for that local authority.

Published ahead of last weekend’s coronation, figures obtained by openDemocracy indicated councils planned to spend more than £13,000. And twenty-six councils are said to have been on track to splurge more than £50,000 each on celebrations. In total, councils forked out £3.8million on coronation events, the news website claims.

King Charles is attended to during his coronation
How much did your council shell out for coronation celebrations? (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Which council spent the most on the coronation?

Additionally, openDemocracy highlighted how Ealing Council in west London reportedly spent £182,000 on a live screening, performances, fireworks and more. The council reportedly said it would need to make £2million of savings from its budget for public health, adult social care, and leisure centres.

Newham Council in east London spent the second most – £168,000 – according to openDemocracy. Barking and Dagenham Council, the fifth most deprived borough in the UK, reportedly spent £155,000.

The fourth biggest spender – £150,000 – was reportedly Richmond-upon-Thames Council. And Sheffield Council are said to have followed that, with £101,000 spent.

The website sent Freedom of Information requests to every local authority in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland asking how much they were planning to spend on the coronation. 286 out of 317 councils replied, with 160 indicated they had plans to spend money on the occasion. Among those councils which did not spend extra cash were York, Dover, Chelmsford, Epping Forest and Hampshire.

Read more: Who pays for the coronation of King Charles? How much does it cost?

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer