Royal Family racked up whopping £5MILLION in travel costs last year

Royal Family racked up whopping £5MILLION in travel costs last year

The globetrotting royals racked up more than £5million in travel bills last year as they criss-crossed the world.

The Prince of Wales and his entourage clocked up £1.2million – nearly a quarter of the total – in just 17 trips costing more than £10,000 each.

He and the Duchess of Cornwall also took the royals’ most expensive trip of the year, with a one-week visit by charter flight to Mexico and Colombia in November costing £446,159.

Prince Charles’s jet-set lifestyle sent his carbon footprint soaring by more than 40%.

A Clarence House source said Charles is passionate about environmental issues but his official commitments mean he cannot control his carbon emissions.

The source added: “We leave it to you whether that’s hypocrisy or whether that’s courageous.”

Charles and Camilla also made a charter trip to the US in March costing £239,710.

Another charter flight, when Charles went alone to the Middle East in February, cost £262,212.

The travel costs of Princes William and Harry were much lower as they mainly travelled by regular scheduled flights.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew to New York in December for £16,975, while Prince Harry’s trip to Brazil and Chile in April cost £19,304.

The Duke of York made six official trips at a cost of £154,895 – including a £62,856 day trip to Kuwait by charter plane.
The royals took 63 trips costing more than £10,000 last year – up from 47 the year before.

Many of the trips were at the request of the Government, said Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse.

Royal helicopter trips cost £586,361, and another £1.2million was spent on building a new aircraft hangar for the chopper after the firm that previously housed it went bust.

Overall spending remained flat from the previous year at £35.7million, while £2.2m was added to reserves.

The Sovereign Grant, which funds the Royal Family, will rise by 6.7% to nearly £43million next year.

It means Royal funding will rocket by 43% in just four years thanks to a generous deal agreed by Chancellor George Osborne, while the rest of the country struggles under his austerity cuts.

But Sir Alan insisted the Royal Family provided “excellent value for money” at a cost of just 56p per person in the UK.

He said: “We’ve worked hard this year to bear down on costs.”

But anti-monarchy campaigners Republic claimed the true cost of the monarchy was eight times higher than the Sovereign Grant.

The costs of security, expenses for local councils from royal visits and the loss to the Treasury from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall bring it to almost £334million a year, the group said.

Meanwhile it was revealed low-paid admin staff working for the royals are finally getting the living wage following a series of exposes by the Daily Mirror, it was confirmed yesterday.

The payroll costs of 497 Royal staff have risen by £500,000 to £18.7million, much of it due to the decision to pay the living wage which is understood to have benefitted around one in seven staff.

A Royal source confirmed: “We are paying the living wage now.”

Daily Mirror

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