Royal travel costs revealed: Duke and Duchess spent £52k on one flightPA


The Queen's annual accounts for 2011-2012 have been published by Buckingham Palace - and travel accounted for £6.1 million of the £32.3 million of royal spending.

The accounts show that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their seven staff cost the taxpayer £51,410 for a one-way flight from Los Angeles to London at the end of their tour of North America last year.

The Duke and Duchess, along with their foreign relations adviser Sir David Manning, were given free upgrades to first class by British Airways, while other members of staff flew in business class, which can be eight times more costly than an economy seat.

According to the Telegraph, the rest of their trip was paid for by the Canadian government, which provided a charter aircraft for their party.

A reconnaissance visit to California by the Duke and Duchess's staff cost the taxpayer a further £15,094.

The figures revealed that royal spending went up £200,000 to £32.2 million - the equivalent of 52p for every person in Britain - though the keeper of the Privy Purse said spending had gone down by 26% over the past three years if inflation was taken into account.

It emerged that the Duke of York - often dubbed 'Airmiles Andy' - spent more than £378,000 on taxpayer-funded trips last year, despite stepping down from the role as Britain's trade envoy.

He spent £81,000 on one trip to Saudi Arabia alone, one of four trips he made on chartered flights, which accounted for £225,000 of the total.

One two-day trip to Teesside and Belfast cost £10,470 after the Duke chartered an aircraft to make the round-trip to London.

Prince Harry's tour of the Caribbean and Brazil cost £107,098, while the most expensive trip of the year was the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's tour of the Middle East and Africa last November, which cost £460,37 after a private plane was chartered for the whole trip.

Just five days earlier, Prince Charles spent £67,215 on a trip to Riyadh to attend the funeral of the Saudi crown prince, Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

Royal aides say chartered flights are only used when scheduled flights are unavailable, but even when the Royals fly on scheduled flights, all the staff goes business class.

The Royal flight's helicopter was used 153 times by different members of the Royal family, at a cost of £549,183, while chartered helicopters cost £276,719 and 47 other charter flights costing less than £10,000 each added another £338,054.

According to the Daily Mail, Republic, the organisation which campaigns for an elected head of state, says the real cost of the monarchy to the taxpayer was actually more than £200million when factors like security and expenses incurred by local authorities hosting royal visits were included.

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