Queen and Royal Family costs taxpayers an extra $320,000
Queen Elizabeth inspects soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, during the Ceremony Of The Keys at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Monday. The ceremony marks the start of Holyrood Week in Scotland with the Queen and Prince Phillip attending Diamond Jubilee events accross the country. (Reuters)
It’s a good thing the Queen got the bulk of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations out of the way before now.
That way, the yelping over just-released royal expenses didn’t get in the way of the feel-good days of yore.
The Annual Report into Royal Public Expenses was released Monday, revealing increased travel costs for the Royal Family and a slight rise in the cost of the monarchy for each Briton (Canadians are spared) to 83 cents (Cdn), not including police protection.
Among some of the more eyebrow-raising items in the financial report for the year ending March 30:
- Prince William and Kate spent $83,000 (all figures Canadian) for the one-way flight from Los Angeles to London for their seven-person entourage on the last leg of their North American tour last July.
- Prince Charles and Camilla spent $735,000 for the private jet that got them through the Middle East, South Africa and Tanzania last year. The Palace explained that scheduled flights were not available.
- Prince Harry’s Jubilee tour of the Caribbean and Brazil racked up $171,000 in airline costs.
- Even though Prince Andrew stepped down from his role as UK Special Representative for British trade in July 2011, he completed several commitments the rest of the year, all adding up to about $559,000 in travel.
- Total costs for the Royal Family hit $51.6 million, an increase of about $320,000 over the previous year.
The Palace noted that spending in several areas decreased, notably the cost of the Royal Household staff. The cost of running the press office, for instance, fell about $160,000 to $638,000.
That was offset by the increased travel costs – up $160,000 to $9.7 million – and more maintenance costs for the royal residences (up $480,000 to $19.4 million).
The Palace pointed out that over the last three years, spending in real terms has still been reduced by 26 per cent.
That math didn’t sit well with republicans, who argue that the costs of royal protection and spending by local towns hosting the royals adds another $300,000 to the totals.
“This increase is indefensible and morally repugnant,” said Republic president Graham Smith. “As Britons face deep cuts to public services and struggle with rising prices, the royals continue to help themselves to our money.
“The Windsors are not just financially reckless -- they are out of touch and out of control.”
The Palace accounting comes on the heels of the money report from the Prince of Wales, which showed an 11.8 per cent increase in funding.