A travel bill fit for a Queen: Middle East flights cost £356,000

The Queen last year reduced her cost to the British taxpayer by £1.8m, despite a substantial rise in the amount spent on royal travel.

Transporting the royals: click here for graphic (110Kb)

While Buckingham Palace insisted that a £2.1m rise in the cost of moving members of the House of Windsor around on official business was largely due to changes in leasing arrangements of the royal helicopter, even with that taken into account, the cost of royal travel rose £600,000 – or 11 per cent – to £6m. The most expensive journey was the state visit last November to the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh which cost £356,253. An official Foreign Office trip to India by the Prince of Wales and Camilla, whose overall cost to the British taxpayer grew by 17 per cent in 2010/11, according to Clarence House's annual accounts published last week, cost £298,089.

Meanwhile, the price of transporting Prince Andrew in his controversial role as a UK trade ambassador was more than £350,000. He made six official trips, including £121,810 spent flying the Prince and his party business class to Italy and Central Asia.

According to the Queen's official expenditure for 2010/11 published yesterday, it cost £50 a mile to use the royal train, compared to £17 by air. A particular favourite mode of transport of the Prince of Wales, one rail trip he made in February from London to Penrith, returning to Uttoxeter, cost £25,074. In June, a journey by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh from London to Crewe left a bill of £17,248, more than 50 times the cost of the most expensive standard ticket, according to Republic, which campaigns for a democratic alternative to the monarchy.

It claimed on another occasion that no public engagements were undertaken by Prince Charles and Camilla, despite charging £29,786 for a return charter flight from Clarence House to Balmoral. Clarence House said that because the Queen and the Prince of Wales were "always on duty", travel between residences was regarded as official expenditure.

Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse, said the Queen's official expenditure had fallen by 5.3 per cent to £32.1m last year and that the royal household would continue to reduce its costs in line with public spending. While there was a cut in spending on property services from £15.4m to £11.9m, revenues from the Royal Collection and palaces via paying visitors generated an extra £900,000 for the Queen's coffers. Much of the future savings will come from the rescheduling or cancelling of planned building work, which includes the refurbishment of state rooms at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
News
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking
people
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...

Recruitment Genius: Lift and Elevator Contract Manager - London

£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Engineer - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Engineer is required to...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Hull - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence