UK royals' spending up 17%, mostly for palace overhaul costs

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Buckingham Palace released its expense reports Wednesday, showing official expenditure went up 17% from the previous year. 

The palace's net expenditure came in at £102.4 million ($123.1 million) total, with the largest expense being Buckingham Palace reservicing at £54.6m ($65.7m). The Royal expense site said this proved a 41% increase from the previous year. As a result, the Sovereign Grant reserve was reduced by £14.6m ($17.6m) to pay for reservicing work on the palace. 

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the Royals partook in a total of nearly 2,300 official engagements, with the Royal site saying international travel was "resuming to pre-pandemic levels."

"The year covered in the report reflects some return to normality in many ways for the Royal Household with physical engagements, travel and inward visits by Heads of States undertaken," said Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, in a statement released. 

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The most expensive tour was Prince Williams and Duchess Kate Middleton's March trip to the Caribbean, rounding in at £226,000 ($272,060). 

A dog walker passes a quiet Buckingham Palace, in London, March 23, 2021. Royal accounts show the British monarchy’s publicly-funded spending rose to 102.4 million pounds ($124 million) in the past year, with the renovation of Buckingham Palace takin (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

The Core Sovereign Grant, publicly funded to support the Queen's official duties and keep up the royal palaces, came out to £86.3 million ($104m) after the Crown Estate surplus amounted to £345.0 million ($415.9m) for the 2019-2020 financial year. 

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit the Spanish Town Hospital, on day five of the Platinum Jubilee Royal Tour of the Caribbean, in Spanish Town, Jamaica, March 23, 2022.  (Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS / AP Images)

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"Looking ahead, with the Sovereign Grant likely to be flat in the next couple of years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to grow supplementary income likely to be constrained in the short term, we will continue to deliver against our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and efficiencies," Stevens said. 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales speaks with guests during a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on June 29, 2022.  (JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Most recently, Prince Charles came under intense scrutiny after receiving a suitcase full of paper bills from former Qatari prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The Sunday Times reported the Prince received a total of 3 million Euros ($3.2m) which was reportedly given for charity. 

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Following the incident, the Prince's team reported he will no longer cash donations. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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