We're keeping Prince of Wales afloat
A raft of foreign trips for the Prince of Wales and his family saw their cost to the taxpayer rise by more than ten per cent in the last financial year as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began married life.
Charles’s accounts, released yesterday, show his income from grants-in-aid and Government departments rose from £1,962,000 to £2,194,000, an increase of £232,000 during 2011/12. The figures cover the Duchess of Cambridge’s first full year as a royal but her cost to the taxpayer and to the Prince – who funds much of her public work and official clothes – was described as “fairly marginal” compared to the overall total by a royal aide.
Charles, through his private income from the Duchy of Cornwall, which covers larges swathes of the West outside the county, pays for much of the public work of William, Harry, and Camilla, with taxpayers’ footing the bill for official travel, communications and the upkeep of royal residences
Cash generated by the Duchy – the estate, which includes Highgrove in Gloucestershire, given to the heir to the throne to provide.
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an income – went up by 3 per cent to £18.3 million.
But spending on official travel by air and rail came to £1,318,000 – up £238,000, or 22 per cent, from the previous financial year.
Asked about the increase.
Paddy Harverson, the prince’s communications secretary, said: “Well, it’s important to say this is the Government spending the Government’s money rather than us, because they determine where their royal highnesses go on overseas official travel.
“It’s gone up basically because there have been more members of the royal family travelling further afield to more countries then in the previous year.”
During the last financial year Charles and Camilla toured Norway, Sweden and Denmark in March, and last autumn visited South Africa and Tanzania, while Charles visited Kuwait and Qatar.
William and Kate embarked on their first tour as a married couple last summer, visiting Canada, while Harry carried out a Diamond Jubilee tour to the Caribbean in March.
Graham Smith, chief executive of the campaigning group Republic, called for the Government to bring royal spending under proper control.
He said: “At a time when the country is facing sweeping cuts to public spending, Charles Windsor willfully helps himself to whatever travel funds he wants or feel he needs.
“This ‘something-for-nothing’ culture in the Royal Household must end. Where the Government requests a royal makes an official trip, the costs must be met directly by the relevant department.
“All other royal travel should be paid for by the Royal Family.”