Prince Charles: Entertainment, gardening and a 'staycation'









The Prince of Wales spent £65,000 on his gardens, more than £500,000 on official entertaining and over £200,000 on stationery, his accounts showed today.





Heir to the throne Charles set aside £2,000 more for tending to flora and the grounds of residences than in the previous financial year.

The future King was also faced with rising utility bills which jumped almost a third, rising £43,000 from £139,000 to £182,000.

Other details of official costs, which the Prince funds from his personal income from the Duchy of Cornwall, showed that he spent £66,000 on donations and gifts, £347,000 on computer systems and £171,000 on external consultancy and professional fees.

His stationery and office equipment costs rose 19 per cent from £183,000 to £218,000.

The rise came in the year that Princes William and Harry set up their own joint household in St James's Palace with new letterheads featuring their own personal ciphers.

Charles's official entertaining and reception costs went up £111,000 from £416,000 to £527,000.

His housekeeping and office cleaning bill fell by £27,000 to £105,000

Costs for residences and offices not paid for by Grant-in-Aid rose by more than a quarter of million from £419,000 to £703,000.



Meanwhile, the Prince helped to cut his personal costs last year by staying in the UK for his holidays.

As the economic crisis gripped the country, heir to the throne Charles embraced the "staycation" instead of heading off overseas.

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall retreated to their favourite home, Birkhall on the Balmoral estate, where they enjoy fishing and walking in the Scottish countryside.

They spent the summer, New Year and Easter at the holiday home, which used to belong to the Queen Mother.

Although the couple usually spend the summer months at Birkhall, Charles often also enjoys a quiet, reflective break in the isolated monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, but did not travel there this year.

Camilla holidayed in the Caribbean with her grandchildren in the 2007-2008 financial year and in the past has been known to spend time in the Mediterranean.

There was no skiing trip for the Prince either. He last went privately two years ago.

The decision to stay in the UK played a part in helping Charles' non-official expenditure fall by more than half a million pounds from £2,217,000 to £1,710,000 - a drop of 23 per cent.

Sir Michael Peat, the Prince's senior aide, said: "All holidays last year were taken in the UK.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that all holidays will be taken in the UK forever."

Sir Michael added: "It is a recession and we are looking at all costs very carefully.

"Clearly with the example the Prince of Wales sets, he looks at his personal costs before he looks at his official costs because his official costs are related to his duties and responsibilities to the country and clearly he doesn't want to cut back there if at all possible."

Asked about celebrations this year, Sir Michael said: "There were some parties. Of course, there was the Prince's 60th birthday."

But Clarence House refused to reveal any more details of Charles's personal spending of £1.7 million or be drawn on where other savings were made.

A spokesman said: "It's private. We're not going to give you details about personal spending."

Charles appears to be following a nationwide trend with his holiday plans.

In February, the Office for National Statistics showed UK residents made fewer trips abroad last year than they did in 2007.

They made 68.82 million visits abroad in 2008 - 1 per cent fewer than the year before.

In March, tourism minister Barbara Follett backed a campaign to encourage people to holiday in Britain instead of overseas.

Currently the fifth largest industry in Britain, domestic tourism is worth £114 billion and represents 8.2 per cent of the nation's economy.

Charles' father the Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace in June to promote the country's tourism industry.

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup