Royal travel costs revealed – why not all money spent abroad is made public

Royal travel costs revealed – why not all money spent abroad is made public

Although the overall bill for transport as part of royal duties is revealed annually, the cost of private travel is not included in the report. While the total bill for the 2018-19 fiscal year was reported as £4.6million, non-official journeys including Prince Harry and Meghan’s private jet as part of a family holiday to Ibiza, are not included.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate were commended in August when they were pictured traveling commercially when returning home from a family trip to Balmoral.

Keeping costs low, the future monarch and his wife opted for budget airline FlyBE for their 50 minute flight from Aberdeen to Norwich. The trip was expected to cost just £365 for the royal couple and their children.

However, According to the BBC, tradition suggests that any spending that is not part of royal business is solely for their knowledge.

Speculations about their humble airfare came in the midst of a public outcry surrounding the cost and environmental impact from Prince Harry and Meghan’s use of four private jets in just 11 days, which saw them fly firstly to Ibiza and then comfortably on to Nice.

While the British taxpayer is expected to have contributed roughly £2.7m towards royal transport last year, the royals also use the Privy Purse and the Queen’s personal wealth to supplement travel and upkeep.

Journeys taken as part of official duties have already seen the royal family visit Australia and New Zealand, as well as frequent trips around the UK.

Despite the focus on younger members of the family, it was Prince Charles who spent the most on official trips last year.

As part of his obligatory global work he spent approximately £1,128,753.

This figure was followed by Prince Harry and Meghan, spending £133,596.

Both The Queen and Prince William and Kate spent less than £20,000 respectively.

Surprisingly, it isn’t necessarily air travel that brings the highest costs.

In fact, it’s the Royal Train that really makes a dent, and is also the mode of transport used the most frequently.

Costing more per mile than chartered flights, the Royal Train is estimated to cost an average of £40 a mile according to a BBC report of a September 2018 trip by the Prince of Wales.

However, it’s use is less about luxurious travel and more about the imperativeness of safety for the monarchy.

Royal author Penny Junor wrote about its use in her 2005 book ‘The Firm’: “It is not quite the Orient Express, as most of the coaches are 30 to 35 years old and could do with refurbishment, but the train is extremely comfortable by any standards.“

“It is a home from home, and one of the most secure ways of accommodating the Royal Family overnight.

“Both the Prince of Wales’ and the Queen’s coaches are heavily reinforced; they are ten times heavier than the other coaches.”

Additionally, Captain Tim Hewlett who once stood as the Queen’s Senior Air Equerry, has been known to comment on the cost of security.

He told the author: “In PR terms [train travel] look like a nice cheap option, and we can stand proudly in front of the accountants and say it cost £35 for a first class rail ticket for the Queen, but the security costs are quite considerable and those are not part of our budget.”

Although the public remain in the dark about the cost of private modes of travel, whether by air or rail, the use of commercial transport options by William and Kate suggest a push towards lowering personal holiday expenses.

Published at Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:04:00 +0000