LONDON: Official trips by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla cost the British public almost £1 million last year but total net royal funding remained constant, official accounts revealed Wednesday.Charles and his wife’s nine-day visit to Mexico and Colombia in October and November 2014 cost £446,000 ($701,000, 628,000 euros), while his six-day visit to Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi came in at £262,000.
The couple’s four-day trip to the United States, which took in a meeting with President Barack Obama, in March this year set back the public £240,000.By contrast, his son Prince Harry’s six-day trip to Brazil and Chile cost £86,000.In total, the royal household spent £5.1 million on official travel, up £900,000 on the previous year.
The figures are included in the annual report on the sovereign grant — the part of the public purse used to fund the official duties of the monarchy.They showed the public cost of the British monarchy to be £35.7 million, equivalent to 56 pence per person, and the same as last year.Property maintenance accounted for £11.7 million of the grant with major projects including the refurbishment of the Buckingham Palace pantry, removal of asbestos in Queen Elizabeth II’s London residence and renewal of the palace’s slate and lead roof coverings.
Under a new funding arrangement agreed in 2011, the sovereign grant is set at 15 percent of the profits of the royal estate from two years previously. The rest of the profits go into the public coffers.Counting London’s famous Regent Street and Windsor Park among its properties, as well as almost the entire seabed around Britain, the estate is now worth more than £8 billion.