In the service of the King

Not only is Norway a Constitutional Monarchy with representative Democracy,
The royal family is tax-funded and thus the country is practically a neo-feudalistic state with actual serfdom. What this means in simpler terms: The middle-class work to support a man and his family, that is living in a castle.

king salute


In 2016 Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet revealed that the monarchical family and the royal court might cost a little more than previously known. After digging through the tax spending posts in the massive budget directory provided by the state, Dagbladet researchers found some anomalies, that should be under the post of public spending on the Roaylty but instead was hidden under different Government departments.

The number of $28,42 million is the official price tag for the Norwegian Royal family. What to add to this number that Dagbladet found?

Oh, nothing, just $14.3 million that went to the maintenance of the King’s ship and land-based property, personal military aide-de-camp and official foreign trips. Spicing up the bill by about 50%.

On top of that, there is an undisclosed amount going to the Monarchs Police escort
(In Norwegian: Den Kongelige Politieskorten), the cost blacked out for security reasons.
That money is budgeted from the Justice Department and with some detective work and educated guesses a moderate estimation of $13.4 million. This is the lower, very
conservative number, which Dagbladet underlines in their article.

With the new total of $56.12 million we can do a mathematical exercise:

We were 4,1 million people sharing the burden to support the national budget with income tax revenue in Norway back in 2016. Now, granted, income tax is far from the only path for money to show up in the public coffers (and then redistributed), but its a more practical number to work with here.

$56.12 Millin / 4.1 millions = $13.6 per person.

Which doesn’t sound like a lot per person, but since this is purely tax-funded: How long would it take someone like me to work off this bill of $13.6?

With an income tax of 25% and a salary of $19/hour, I produce $4,75/hour in tax revenue. I need almost 3 hours to work off this bill. That said, some economists believe that the royal family is creating value through tourism and similar links, I’m still skeptical of those kinds of analysis – Especially since questioned, neither government officials or the Royal Court could explain the bump in numbers or even produce the same number, and confuse the issue with obfuscation. If there is no consensus on costs, it would be impossible to claim a net gain.

In any case; I’ve done my three hours of service to the King and his kin this year and I hope they appreciate my continued involuntary financial support.


Dagbladets article (in Norwegian), detailing spending

The Locals article on the issue (in English)

Nettavisen article on the subject, with 2 government officials giving 2 completely different numbers. (in Norwegian)

Government official page trying to adress the issue with a 3rd number, not the same as the above ones (Norwegian)

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