Emoluments are granted to certain members of the Royal Family by special legislation. The relevant legal regulations in force since 1 January 2014 entail some substantial differences from the previous system.
An emolument can only be granted to:
- The presumptive heir to the throne
- The King or Queen who has abdicated
- The surviving spouse of the King or Queen
- The surviving spouse of the King or Queen who has abdicated
- The surviving spouse of the presumptive heir to the throne
Each emolument is set by law at the proposal of the government. The emoluments are entered annually in the common budget programme of the General Expenditure Budget of the Federal State.
His Majesty King Albert II receives an annual emolument for life of €923,000. As a transitional measure, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid and His Royal Highness Prince Laurent retain their annual emoluments of €320,000 and €307,000 respectively.
These emoluments consist of two parts. One corresponds to remuneration for services rendered and is subject to income tax. The other covers operating and staff expenses. The legality and regularity of the latter are examined by the First President and the President of the Court of Audit.
The receipt of an emolument may not be combined with the receipt of other taxable income from a professional activity.
The members of the Royal Family who receive an emolument submit an annual report to the Prime Minister on their activities in the public interest during the previous year. The Prime Minister hands this report over to the Houses of the Federal Parliament.