The Royalist has been digging into the Royal Accounts published on behalf of the Queen yesterday, and they continue to yield fascinating nuggets of information.
Some of the juiciest financial details are contained in a section about journeys costing over £10,000.
Royals Get Upgraded
It’s reassuring for the British aristocracy to know that a title still gets you bumped up. William and Kate were upgraded to first class by British Airways after spending £52,000 on business class seats for their flight home from their American trip last year. They flew from Los Angeles to London with a seven-strong entourage. No word on whether the staff members who went out on an advance reconnaissance trip – at a cost of £15,000 – got the same treatment.
Prince Charles is The King of The Spenders
The bill for Wills and Kate, both 30, was short change compared to the ever-extravagant Prince Charles. He spent a staggering £460,000 on private flights to take him and Camilla on a tour of the Middle East, South Africa and Tanzania last October. Courtiers said it would have been impossible to complete the trip on scheduled services. Palace officials have been quietly briefing that the young royals are more prepared to make economical travel decisions than their parents’ generation are.
The Royal Train Costs £20,000 a day
The Royal Accounts show that virtually all train journeys made on board the Royal Train – a luxurious fleet of coaches orignally commissioned by Queen Victoria - cost a staggering £20,000 each. During the year there have been 13 journeys with an average distance of 912 miles per journey. During these journeys a total of 13 nights were spent on board. The Royal Train comprises nine coaches, including coaches for Household and railway staff, the Police, communications equipment and electricity supply. Five to eight of the coaches are used at any one time.
Up, Up and Away For Air Miles Andy
Prince Andrew - whose latest nickname in the British Press is “Air Miles Andy” - ran up a £378,000 bill in his last three months as a UK trade ambassador, before standing down over his links to a convicted paedophile. One six-day trip to the Middle East cost £81,000 on a specially chartered plane. A week-long trip to China came in at over £72,000.
Harry’s Jubilee Tour
Prince Harry, 27, cost £107,000 in flights on his Caribbean tour for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Costs were kept to a minimum as Harry travelled with a small entourage, and also flew commercial to Miami before picking up a PJ for the island-hopping portionof the voyage. A hundred grand well spent, says the Royalist.
The Queen once commented that the chopper had changed her life more profoundly than it ever had Anne Boleyn’s. In total, the Queen’s helicopter flew for 541 hours at a cost of £1,435 per hour.
The Unknown Duke
The Queen’s cousin, the almost unknown Duke of Gloucester, cost the British taxpayer over £90,000 in travel expenses when he was sent to attend the funeral of King Tupou V in Tonga. Gloucester lives at taxpayer’s expense in Kensington Palace.
Charles Paid For Portaloos
Charles paid up to £100,000 for the use of Buckingham Palace for the Royal Wedding. His contribution included covering the cost of installing portable toilets.
Monarchy Cost 52p per head
The Palace figures revealed the cost of running the royal household cost £32.3m last year, equivalent to 52p for every person in the UK. Travel was the biggest cost, followed by salaries for royal servants, hospitality and ceremonial duties. The Palace said costs in real terms were down, and that the public got good value for money from royals’ overseas visits, adding: “They strengthen Britain’s relationships with other countries, and contribute to economic and strategic goals.” The bill excludes the estimated £200m cost of security.