Royal family costs Britons 56 pence each a year

Royal family costs Britons 56 pence each a year  - The public cost of the British monarchy rose by £2.4 million last year to £35.7 million ($60.6 million, 44.5 million euros), equivalent to 56 pence per person, palace accounts revealed on Thursday.

Property maintenance accounted for £13.3 million of the sovereign grant -- the part of the public purse used to fund the official duties of the monarchy -- including £3.4 million to "completely re-service" Kensington Palace, the family home of Prince William, Kate and their son George.

The 20-room apartment, number 1A, reportedly required a "complete refit" to make it habitable, including the removal of asbestos and the installation of running water in some parts.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as William and Kate are formally known, paid for furniture and fittings.

"Some of the fit-out we felt should be paid for privately. The Cambridges have been extremely sensitive to the fact that public funds were paying for a lot of this work," an aide said.

The accounts revealed that about £1.1 million was also spent on the apartment last year, bringing the total to £4.5 million.

THIS IMAGE IS INTENDED FOR ONLINE USE In a handout picture released by Kensington Palace and Camera Press on March 29, 2014 Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) pose with their son Prince George of Cambridge (C) and pet dog Lupo at their residence in Kensington Palace in mid March 2014. Prince William and his wife Kate released a rare family photo on Saturday showing the couple with their eight-month-old son Prince George, ahead of their overseas tour to Australia and New Zealand. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / KENSINGTON PALACE / CAMERA PRESS / JASON BELL" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS, NO COMMERCIAL USE - RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE - NOT FOR SALE - NO CROPPING, RE-TOUCHING OR MANIPULATION OF ANY KIND IS PERMITTED - TO BE USED UNTIL JUNE 27, 2014 AFTER WHICH TIME IT MUST BE REMOVED FROM ALL SYSTEMS (AFP Photo/Jason Bell)

In battling a "backlog" of restoration works, the royal family carried out a total of 133 projects across the estate, according to Buckingham Palace accounts.

Meanwhile, royal travel cost the British public £4.2 million in 2012/13, down from £4.5 million a year earlier.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, was responsible for £1 million of this, including £255,000 to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral in December.

The prince, the eldest son of 88-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, received a record total of £21.7 million from his private Duchy of Cornwall income and taxpayer funding.

The Duchy income accounted for the vast majority of the sum, netting £19.5 million, a rise of 2.4 percent on last year.

Under a new funding arrangement agreed in 2011, the sovereign grant is set at 15 percent of the profits of the royal estate from two years previously. The rest of the profits go into the public coffers.

Counting London's famous Regent Street and Windsor Park among its properties, as well as almost the entire seabed around Britain, the estate is now worth more than £8 billion.

This article originally appeared in : Royal family costs Britons 56 pence each a year | AFP | June 26, 2014 5:37 AM

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