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The cost of being royal

Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, along with other members of the British royal family, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace as part of Trooping the Colour parade in central London, Britain, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The cost of being royal

The cost of being royal

Buckingham Palace has released its annual accounts from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, and it turns out the British royal family only actually costs each British taxpayer 69 pence each year – up four pence compared to the previous annual report.

Queen Elizabeth has been given a 13 per cent pay rise, to £47.4 million for the year 2017/18. However, the head of state is not even the biggest spender in the royal family – that honour falls to Prince Charles, who carries out more engagements than any royal except, Princess Anne. The next in line to the thrown spent £362,149 (AU$ 644,186) travelling abroad aboard the RAF Voyager, the royal family’s jet. He also used the family’s most expensive transport, the royal train, on seven occasions. Each time this is used it costs an incredible AU$25,000 to run.

The Prince of Wales was also responsible for spending on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex. Prince Charles spent £4,962,000 (AU$ 8,826,347), compared to £3,529,000 (AU$ 6,277,344) the previous tax year – roughly a 40 per cent hike. This is likely attributed to the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – her wardrobe, staff and “royal training” can’t come cheap.

Despite the expenses, the royal family’s independent commercial property arm, the Crown Estate, returned £329.4 million to the public Treasury in the last year, a £12.7 million increase from the year before.

The Sovereign Grant, which pays for the salaries of the Queen’s household, official travel, and upkeep of palaces, also includes funds for a major, and much-needed renovation of Buckingham Palace which will begin next year.

No balcony appearance

The entire East Wing is the first section to undergo a makeover in the long-planned refurbishment of the palace, which will take ten years and cost the public £3,69 million.

The renovation may however prevent the royal family from making its annual balcony appearance in 2019, a spectacle at which Meghan Markle made her debut earlier this month.

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