And while most would expect significantly higher bills to be flying out of Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle, plenty of people have still raised an eyebrow at just how much the royal family costs British taxpayers.
The monarchy’s expenses were released yesterday, and amid all the inevitable noise about the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Frogmore Cottage renovations cost double what was first estimated, plenty of other financial footnotes went almost unnoticed.
(To be fair, the official finance list is an incredibly dense 94-page document).
All up, it showed that the royals cost British taxpayers $150 million last year.
But here’s a detail you probably missed: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s home had quite a pricey upgrade this year too.
While Harry and Meghan’s refurb may have been $4.38 million, the Cambridges’ “resurfacing” work on their Palace Avenue driveway came in at $1.8 million.
According to The Sovereign Grant Report, it had been “deteriorating at an accelerated rate” and had a number of “pot holes and trip hazards”. As part of the job, the sub-base was repaired and a “thicker ‘resin bound’ top layer” was added.
There were plenty of other surprising additions to the list. Here are some of the highlights:
Royal train travel cost $1.46 million last year — despite the fact the royal train only did five journeys.
Operating lease payments for the private carrier cost $365,000 annually, and each journey costs an average of $40,000.
MOST EXPENSIVE ROYAL
Prince Charles has the dubious honour of racking up the highest travel costs among the royals last year.
The overall travel budget for the entire family was $4.92 million — and Charles’ own personal travel cost accounted for nearly half of that with $2.36 million.
The costliest trip? Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ tour of the Caribbean and Cuba in February, which brought with it a whopping $759,000 price tag.
HOUSEKEEPING, HOSPITALITY — AND STATIONERY
The cost of housekeeping and hospitality for Buckingham Palace came in at $4.1 million — with $3.09 million of that just on food and drink.
Meanwhile, spending on IT services was $6.9 million — up $1.45 million from the previous year — which included $2 million on printing, postage and stationery.