The latest news on Prince William and Kate Middleton


03 Jul 2012

Story Summary

In the Annual Report into Royal Public Finances, it was also disclosed that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's tour of the Middle East, South Africa and Tanzania cost taxpayers £460,387.

The royal couple undertook the tour in a private jet as it is understood it would not have been possible to complete the tour by scheduled services.

Other extensive costs included Prince Andrew, or 'Air Miles Andy', clocking up an incredible £378,000 bill on flights, while Prince Harry's jubilee tour on behalf of the Queen in March cost £107,098.

The bill for the Duke of York's overseas visits as controversial UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment came to an end in July last year following the intense scrutiny he faced over his relationships with a series of controversial figures, including a convicted paedophile.

But he reportedly had a number of commitments to fulfill so continued to enjoy travelling the globe as trade envoy.

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The cost to the taxpayer of supporting the monarchy rose by £200,000 to £32.3 million during the last financial year, the Buckingham Palace accounts showed.

The Government also provides money, known as grants-in-aid, to cover the areas of royal travel, property services and communications and information.

The taxpayer funds used to pay for official air and rail travel at home and abroad for members of the Royal Family increased by £100,000 to £6.1 million from 2011 to 2012.

Although the Queen and the Royal Family allegedly only cost the taxpayer 52p per person last year, the Buckingham Palace figures do not include the cost of providing security and police protection for members of the monarchy.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman asserted that all travel was undertaken at the request of the Government and every possible step was taken to ensure they were as cost effective as possible– insisting that spending had been reduced by 26 per cent over the last three years.

Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said: "The Queen was very keen that the Royal Household should play its part in reducing its expenditure according and is pleased at what has been achieved."

Meanwhile, figures also revealed that there was an increase in spending on property services by the royal family this year - with money used for the upkeep of royal residences and other buildings rising from £11.9 million to £12.2 million.

Royal finances are currently in a transitional phase, with the old system being slowly phased out as a new Sovereign Grant funding model is introduced.

The new model will replace money from the Government funded Civil List, which covers the official expenses of the Queen and her household, and grants-in-aid.

Currently, around 70 per cent of Civil List expenditure goes on the salaries of the Queen's staff, from footmen to chefs in the royal kitchen.

Wages have been frozen for the last two years and the accounts showed that the money spent on salaries fell from £10.2million to £10million in 2011 to 2012.

Under the new grant, the Queen will receive 15 per cent of the profits from the £6.7 billion Crown Estate.

The grant for the 2012 to 2013 financial year has already been set at £31 million but for the following year, when the new formula begins, it is estimated to be worth £36 million.

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