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9 July 2009

Royally minted

The cost of the crown: What we give them and how they spend it

By Staff Blogger

The Queen’s income
Civil list
Funding from government to cover the monarch’s state duties, including staffing, public engagements, official entertainment and state visits

Grants in aid
Funds from government to cover travel on state business and the upkeep of royal palaces

Parliamentary annuities
£359,000, paid to Prince Philip for state duties

Government departments
Other costs including maintenance of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and secondment of equerries and orderlies from the armed forces

Note: The £41.5m total does not include the royal security bill

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Prince William
William’s training as a helicopter pilot has turned out to be rather more costly than expected. When he used a Chinook helicopter to fly himself and his brother to a stag party on the Isle of Wight, the “training” flight cost £9,000. He also used his chopper to attend a wedding in Northumberland, visit Kate Middleton’s family home and “buzz” his father’s country pad at Highgrove. The total cost for these essential military manoeuvres? £86,000.

On a charity motorbike ride in 2008 William and Harry raised £1,500 each for charity, a sum unfortunately dwarfed by the £30,000 cost of their 24-hour accompaniment by six Royal Protection Squad officers. The £3,000 raised would just cover six bottles of Cristal champagne at the princes’ preferred hang-out in Mayfair, Mahiki, where William once spent £11,000 during what was undoubtedly a particularly spiffing evening.

Prince Charles
Last March the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall toured the Caribbean aboard
a 245ft luxury yacht, Leander, which normally costs £40,000 a day to charter – but the use of the yacht was secured by Charles’s old servant Michael Fawcett, who was once paid a salary of £100,000 for duties
including squeezing Charles’s toothpaste, so perhaps he managed to get a discount.

Nevertheless, Prince Charles broke records for the two most expensive trips in the history of the royal accounts with his Far Eastern and South American tours in 2008, both of which checked in at £700,000. He also seems to be aiming for the most expensive pub visits of all time – last year it cost £18,900 to transport the Prince to a pub in Cumbria aboard the royal train. Cheers, sir!

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew seems determined to live up to his “Air Miles Andy” nickname, travelling to the Baltic states, Mongolia and China and accumulating costs of £149,430, in October alone. To be fair, he was representing the Queen as special ambassador for trade and investment, although apparently it is sometimes hard to find him enough to do during his jollies. No surprise that despite receiving a £249,000 salary from the Queen, Andrew often goes over budget on his £300,000 annual travel exes.

Princess Beatrice
No £80-a-week student digs for Beatrice: an apartment in St James’s Palace was renovated for her when she enrolled at Goldsmiths College, London. Rewiring, installing two new bathrooms, a kitchen and wood flooring was a snip at £256,000, given that the annual cost of bodyguards for Beatrice and her sister, Princess Eugenie, comes in at £500,000-plus. Neither Princess Anne’s nor the Kents’ children have bodyguards, but after one of Eugenie’s friends had her purse snatched during their gap year in Cambodia, best be safe, eh?

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