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On Saturday 21st April the Daily Mail reported that the Royal Family had been accused of hypocrisy by residents living near land where the Crown Estate had given permission for wind turbines to be built, even though The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh were reported to be against wind farms. The newspaper said the Royal Family stood to benefit financially from the decision because the turbines could generate annually £1 million for the Crown Estate, some of the profits from which will be used to pay for the costs of the Monarchy in future years through the new Sovereign Grant.

Clarence House is keen to point out that the Royal Family plays no part in the running of the Crown Estate, which is managed by independent trustees, and so the decision to site wind farms on Crown Estate land would not be influenced in any way by The Prince of Wales or The Duke of Edinburgh.

It is also important to know that in the case of the Prince of Wales, the vast majority of his official and personal costs are met out of his private income from the Duchy of Cornwall. The Sovereign Grant funding is primarily used to only meet the costs of the official overseas tours which he and other members of the Royal Family undertake on behalf of the Government.

As for how the Sovereign Grant is calculated, the amount of Crown Estate profits which will go to meet Royal costs each year is set at 15 per cent of the total profits, which is expected to be £34 million in 2013-14, the first year of its introduction. This figure is in line with recent amounts paid by the Government to the Royal Household to meet its costs under the current Grant-in-Aid system. The new formula for the Sovereign Grant includes a "floor and cap" element which ensures the total cannot fall too low or rise too high if Crown Estate income fluctuates beyond a certain range.

Finally, it is also worth putting in context the financial figures which the newspaper quotes for wind farm income. A renewable energy company estimates that fees for the Crown Estate from the development of wind farms on its land could reach £1 million. This would represent 0.4 per cent of annual profits of last year's income of £231m.