How much will King Charles' coronation cost and who will pay?

It's going to be spenny...

a close up of a blue King Charles coronation flag and a Union Jack flag in London ahead of the coronation
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

With the historic event mere days away now, members of the public want to know how much King Charles' coronation will cost and who is fitting the bill.

An international guest list, a carriage procession along the streets of London and a crowning ceremony that will see King Charles crowned alongside Queen Camilla (with many wanting to know what crown Camilla will wear). These things certainly don't come without a cost, so it's no surprise that people are interested in the estimated budget required to pull off the upcoming coronation.

The last time the UK experienced an event like this was Queen Elizabeth II's coronation back in 1953. But sources have already suggested her son's special day will cost significantly more. Here's what we know so far about the cost of King Charles II's coronation.

How much will King Charles III's coronation cost?

The Operation Golden Orb committee - aka the organisers of the grand event - estimate that King Charles III's coronation will cost over £100 million. Though no official sum has been shared to date.

The approximate cost of King Charles' coronation is roughly double what was spent on the Queen's coronation 70 years ago. Factors like inflation and security have been given as a reason for Charles' coronation costing considerably more.

A source told the Sun: "In today’s money the 1953 coronation cost around £50million but estimates for King Charles’s are twice that because of things like security, which weren’t such a big issue back then.

Security certainly will be one of the biggest costs of the coronation planning. We can take the recent example of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration which set the Metropolitan Police back over £8 million. For the four day event, 8,982 shifts were worked by the force's officers.

It's likely that the cost for security at King Charles' coronation could be more than this figure, because of the extra security needed to protect high profile individuals attending the event - such as European royalty and heads of state from around the world.

Policing minister Chris Philp confirmed this in his interview with LBC, telling Nick Ferrari: "We’re providing protection for hundreds of foreign heads of state, overseas heads of state who are attending as well." He added that security will be a "huge operation" for the historic event which he hopes will be similar to the "fantastic" handling of the Queen’s funeral.

Who will pay for King Charles's coronation?

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed: "Given the coronation is a national state occasion, funding sources will include the sovereign grant and the UK government."

The Sovereign Grant is essentially an annual lump sum that is given to the King to support his official duties, engagements and maintain the occupied Royal Palaces, like Buckingham Palace. Whilst the government hands over the grant money, the funds are generated by British taxpayers. For the financial year 2022-2023, the Sovereign Grant has been confirmed as £85.3 million

"It has always been the case that the government have paid for Coronations," explains Oliver Dowden MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. "The reason for doing so is that the sovereign is our Head of State and it is important that we mark that properly. It is right that we celebrate this moment in the life of our nation and do so in an appropriate fashion and in away that the nation can come together in celebrating."

The BBC have additionally stated that Buckingham Palace will fit some of the Coronation bill via the Privy Purse. This is the private income a monarch receives from the Duchy of Lancaster - a portfolio of land, property and other assets that have been held in trust for the Sovereign since 1399.

A recent YouGov poll revealed that over half of Brits do not believe the coronation should be paid for by the government. A further 51 per cent did not think that the coronation cost should be paid by taxpayers either. Only a third of those polled were happy for public money to fund the event. 

Amidst the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the new monarch has made some cost-cutting measures to try and keep the coronation bill down. Philip Turle, International Affairs Editor at France 24, has said that Charles' coronation will be much shorter than his mother's - between 90 minutes and 2 hours, versus Queen Elizabeths' 3 hour-long ceremony.

The guest list for King Charles' big day is also smaller than the 1953 coronation with 2,000 guests invited in comparison to Queen Elizabeth II's 8,000 attendees.

It's also been reported that Charles will forgo the coronation gown and all the grandeur of a new outfit, and instead will wear a military uniform. The Queen wore a custom made coronation dress by designer Norman Hartnell for her crowning ceremony, which took 8 months to make.

How much will the coronation generate?

Whilst the coronation cost is predicted to be £100 million or more, the amount the coronation will generate is likely to be significantly higher.

"Worldwide TV rights will more than cover the cost and it will be a massive boost to tourism. Hotels are already being booked out for the coronation weekend," a source told The Sun.

Indeed, when Prince William married Kate Middleton back in 2011, it brought with it a reported £2 billion for the UK economy.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June 2022 was said to generate a £1.2 billion economy boost thanks to tourism and merchandise.

"Events like this really kick-start the recovery, don’t they? And they put Britain on the world stage again," Patricia Yates, chief executive of the VisitBritain tourism board told Fortune.

Of course for those wanting an exact figure, we won't know until after the coronation has been and gone.

Related features:

Video of the Week

Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.