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Prince Charles Gets 18% More from Taxpayers

Charles, Prince of Wales (from Official Royal Wedding Photo - April 2011)According to annual figures released this week, the funding that is given to Prince Charles from UK taxpayers rose by nearly 18% last year. Government Departments and grants-in-aid rose from £1.66 million to £1.96 million.

How does this work? Government Departments meet expenditure in relation to provision of staff on support from armed services. Some of the costs from taking official overseas trips are also taken care of, as the visits were at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The Queen’s Household is also paid 3 grants-in-aid for communications, property services and travel – which are partially used to support official activities.

Figures show that the Prince used more money on air and rail travel costs, which were up 56% from £692,000 to £1.08 million last year. He and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall travelled 34,000 miles to and from official engagements, and over 14,000 miles were overseas trips – including Morocco, Portugal and Spain last March and April, as well as India for the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last October.

However, the couple travelled 8,600 fewer miles than the year before. The rise in travel spending is explained by the fact that the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall undertook a major royal trip to Canada in 2009, which the Canadian Government paid for. The Principal Private Secretary to the Prince, Sir Michael Peat, says that the figures look skewed because this trip was the longest the royal couple took in the 2009-10 year, which was paid for. Because they took longer journeys overseas during the preceding tax year also makes sense of why their carbon emissions for the 2010-11 year are down 22% to nearly 4,000 tonnes of CO2.

The family also had a big increase in the number of letters received because of the announcement last November that Prince William and Catherine Elizabeth were engaged. The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry get many letters every year. For example, they received 35,968 letters – most from the UK and some from around the world. In the last year, Charles personally wrote 2,164 letters, while Camilla wrote 1,374. Together, they wrote 13.

The private income that the Prince of Wales makes comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, which comprises of residential, commercial and agricultural property. Income from the estate was up by almost 4% to about £17.8 million last year. The extra income after official costs was £8.35 million, which incurred a tax bill of £4.4 million, or 50%. This is over £900,000, or 26.2%, more than the tax bill for the year before. Prince Charles also increased his personal spending by 50% to £2.5 million. Some of this was to cover the marriage of Prince William to Catherine in April, but most of it went to a rise in donations to charity.

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