Royal finances 2017: William, Kate & Harry’s costs rise

Royal finances 2017: William, Kate & Harry’s costs rise

The royal finances were released yesterday – both the Queen and Prince Charles released their financial accounts for the 2016-17 year (from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017). In this article, I am only going to look at the expenses for Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry.

The travel expenses for the Royal Trio are paid for by the Sovereign Grant (and can be found in the Queen’s report) while the rest of the Trio’s official expenditure is paid for by the income from the Duchy of Cornwall (and can be found in Charles’ report).

The Sovereign Grant report only itemizes the journeys which cost £15,000 or more, but of the itemized journeys William, Kate, and Harry cost a grand total of £179,608. William and Kate’s India and Bhutan tour alone cost £97,703 (just in travel costs, not including clothes, etc). Below is the itemized list of the Trio’s journeys:

  • Royal | Method of Travel | Date | Trip | Cost (£)
  • William & Kate | Scheduled Flight | April 9-17, 2016 | India and Bhutan | 35,372
  • William & Kate | Charter | April 9-17, 2016 | India and Bhutan | 62,331
  • William, Kate & Harry | Charter | June 30 – July 1, 2016 | Somme | 24,241
  • William | Scheduled Flight | Nov 15-17, 2016 | Vietnam | 37,334
  • William & Kate | Charter | March 17-18, 2017 | Paris | 20,330

The travel costs for the above tours also include the costs associated with staff undertaking visits in advance in order to plan the tour programs.

Big tours that were not included in the itemized list include William and Kate’s Canada tour, and Harry’s Caribbean tour.

The summary of other journeys costing less than £15,000 each include: 213 helicopter journeys totaling £731,889; 56 charter flight journeys totaling £512,635; unknown amount of scheduled flights totaling £124,825; and unknown amount of scheduled rail journeys totaling £77,703.

Travel by between residences is categorized as official. The summary of journeys costing less than £15,000 each is not broken down by household nor by journey, so of those totals we don’t know how much of it went to the Canada tour, the Caribbean tour, Kate’s trip to the Netherlands, travel between residences, the Trio in general versus the other royals, etc.

Outside of the Trio’s travel costs, their expenses are paid for by the income from the Duchy of Cornwall. Charles’ reports does not itemize the expenses of William, Kate, and Harry, instead lumping it all together with other expenses as “Funding for the activities of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, other expenditure including capital expenditure, and transfer to reserves”. In fiscal year 2016-17, that totaled: £3,529,000. We have no way to know how much of that sum is being spent on the Trio versus other expenditure, or how much is spent on each individual Trio member.

The amount disclosed as “Funding for the activities of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, other expenditure including capital expenditure, and transfer to reserves” has risen steadily over the last few years:

  • Fiscal Year | Cost (£)
  • 2014-15 | 2,965,000
  • 2015-16 | 3,249,000
  • 2016-17 | 3,529,000

That number will only continue to rise as the Trio increases their royal duties, the Cambridge children get older, and Harry gets married and has children.

You can access the Queen’ financial reports here, and Charles’ financial reports here. You can read an explanation about the Queen’s and Charles’ financial reports at the Telegraph.

The Royal Foundation of the Really Long Name has released their 2016 financial reports as well. I will cover that in a separate post (which won’t be completed until next week as I don’t have time to go through those this week).

Kate Middleton Trooping the Color 2017

Prince Harry Trooping the Color 2017

William accepts LGBT award

156 thoughts on “Royal finances 2017: William, Kate & Harry’s costs rise

  1. “The Royal Foundation of the Really Long Name”

    Love it!!!!!

    213 helicopter journeys totaling £731,889; 56?

    Really? Was it necessary to have those expensive copter flights? Did that include the pilot’s pay? And the cost of the helicopter too?

    1. Agree Cathy. William, Kate and Harry donated money to the families of the fire and I read that it was £ 10,000. When I think about the amount of money Kate spends on her wardrobe I get angry.

      Off topic, but I want to talk about the last post where I talked about the new pictures of Meghan Markle at the airpor. I said Meghan “LOOKS” trash not that she “is” trash. There is difference. I saw her at airports and she didn’t look so bad. I already had problems when I was misunderstood on this blog. Now I understand why Wildrose wrote in another blog that she doesn’t comment here anymore.

      1. Saying someone “looks trash” is still harsh and really doesn’t do much to facilitate conversation. And imagine saying it to someone in person… I would probably cry if you said it to me!

        I also get angry when I think about how much she (Kate) spends on her wardrobe. It just seems ridiculous. I completely understand spending big money on one or two outfits a year for very special occasions, but a lot of the designers she wears are not accessible to the average person and therefore I don’t see how her wearing them promotes the economy in any positive way.

      2. Wildrose decided to stop commenting here because she got mad when I asked her to stop using all caps.

        If you wanted to comment on Meghan’s outfit, there is a way to do it without insulting her personally. You could have said “I dislike this outfit” or “She’s worn better airport outfits” instead of “She is awful and looks trash”.

        1. I think the question here are the words. How many times was said on this blog that William and Kate are a disgrace, that they are imature, that William is a childman, arrogant, is this a criticism or an insult? Many people would say its s criticidm, but the line between a criticism and an insult is very small. Kate and the Middletons were called social climbers many times here. Isn’t this an insult? Like Alexandra said imagine saying it to someone in person. Who would say those words to William and Kate in person? Kate was also called names because of her outfits. I repeat I dont think Meghan is trash, even if the word bother some people. Thanks. God bless you.

    2. William and Kate use a helicopter like it’s a taxi! I have a problem with them wanting to live in Norfolk then get to write of the travel expense when they need to be in London
      I’m sure they’re not the only ones dating this but if they want their primary residence to be outside of London, they need to foot the bill to get back there

      1. Hi Sarah

        Maybe they are avoiding the congestion charge by using the helicopter for trips into KP and London?

        1. They can use the helicopter all they want. I have a problem with them writing the cost off. That would be like me choosing to live the same distance as they do from where I work then submitting an expense for gas and mileage to my boss. They’d laugh in my face and say I could live closer to work.
          There was a wkend last yr where William was playing polo both days but he was seen at a horse show with Kate and fam so that means he used the helicopter 4x in one wkend!did that come out of his private funds or were the taxpayers charged for that too?

      1. MavenTheFirst: “What is wrong with this picture?”

        Everything. That’s what.

        I don’t so much have a problem with the cost of travel outside the UK but the cost of their helicopter and train travel is appalling.


    This states the Canadian tour cost about $855,000 plus another $2million for the RCMP security costs. The final cost of the tour I don’t think was provided yet by BC.

    And for what? The Canadian tour was a massive waste and having the indigenous peoples perform for the colonial overlords was borderline racist. It’s not like Will and Kate dropped any of their own money to help anyone.

    I don’t know how the UK taxpayers accept this. It is frankly nuts.

    For clothing alone last year, didn’t Kate hit close to 250k?

    1. Seriously? I know she spends a lot but it’s like getting a frequent coffee– it seems quite expensive but then the sums, all put together, are knock your socks off shocking.

    2. The tours to Commonwealth countries are little more than holitours that suck money from the host country. They represent a fading past, not the future. Goodness knows what they achieve beyond showing the royal a good time: the best of food and luxury accommodation, beautiful gifts of vintage wine etc. A meeting with a G-G, perhaps an investiture, or meeting. A bit like entertaining distant relatives you don’t know, rarely see, and have little in common with.

      Occasionally, the UK/BRF has floated the notion that Charles (in earlier days) and William would be good G-G’s and/or would like a residence supplied at our expense (with servants and all the accoutrements), all thankfully rejected with deftness by successive Australian governments.

      Still, kids are dragged out of school to provide crowds for the cameras, supplementing the dwindling band of monarchists and those curious to see celebrities they’ve read about in magazines. That old chestnut of royals being good for tourism is trotted out, but proof is never offered, ever.

    3. +1. I wish I could like your comment more.

      You nailed it with your view of the First Nations performances for them. I also blame our government for that too…The entire visit was a complete waste of our time and money. I seriously doubt that BC needed their help in raising awareness of what a beautiful province it is.

    4. The Canadian trip was a huge waste of money but it was even more of an eye opener to me about them. Until this trip, I tried to find a postive, no matter how small but this trip did away with that.
      We saw Kate acting rude to their guests/hosts so she and Charlotte could be a prop. We learned they can’t even be bothered with reading their briefs, we saw them looking totally bored at events, the event for soldiers and their family’s seemed to be Charlotte and George show with Wk seeming to interact with a bare minimum with the people at the event, we saw how they can’t even let the tourism peeps send out a tweet that the kids were at a petting zoo when the official reason for this trip was to promote tourism!!! Not to mention the little boy who gave kate flowers and she shucked them off when he was still in eyesight!
      After that, I realized they’re not going to change and so I should stop trying to make them better than what they are

      1. And they were rude to the hotel employees in Yukon by not taking a photo with them and not eating any of the food but ordering out for pizza. This was a hotel that had renovated just for their visit and deserved something to confirm their visit for future guests. Charles would have taken the photo.

        I have to laugh at how Trudeau was more popular than them at their arrival as well. He was also born with privilege and money and yet he has done something with his life. His family was also ridiculed in the media and yet he turned it into opening awareness of mental health issues and not just spouting bs and platitudes.

      2. @Sarah

        I still shudder at the thought of Kate waggling that bunch of flowers at that ADC (aide de camp). It was rude of her to did that when the boy was still there and it was also very rude of her to do that to the ADC. He would be a high ranking serviceman, with years of service, and did not deserve to have Kate treat him like a lackey to run and fetch things from her.

    5. That cost was paid by the Canadian taxpayers. It’s probably why it’s not included in their overall travel accounts.

      Any tours not are not mentioned in the royal accounts are paid by the host country of each unmentioned tour.

    1. I really hope that if Harry gets married they shorten the name to just The Royal Foundation. The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of X is just ridiculous.

          1. Perfect name and tagline!

            Actually the tagline should be used every time the trio steps out, so that we can understand their great import to our lives with their ‘work’.

      1. And the foundation was started so W&H would be some charitable duo then he sprung engagement to Kate on everyone, so they had to shoehorn her in there…

    1. I get sometimes it is easier for some of these locations and can occasionally come out as cheaper considering they pay for the whole staff to go, as well, but really, that’s what I was thinking.

      The government has a VIP plane now similar to our Air Force One. Why can’t they use that?

      1. Why did they need a charter flight to Paris? Eurostar was good enough for the Queen and Prince Philip. BA fly 11 times each day. Was charter really the cheapest and most sensible option?

        1. Not for that!! 🙂 I agree with you it’s very stupid. Why can’t they be frugal regarding this as HM has done? They’re too precious. I get for places like Bhutan or whatever. But to Paris? And she flew charter to Luxembourg as well.

          1. Ellie, I’m not sure the Queen is frugal either. A train trip to unveil a statue of her mother cost £22,000. See article in my post below.

      2. Charles and Camilla have been using that new VIP plane and it’s super expensive.

        1. But isn’t that the point of it? For royals, and government officials, to use so they stop spending money on charter flights and so on? No matter how ya slice it it’s gonna be expensive.

    2. In some circumstances it would be more cost-effective to charter an aircraft if carrying an entourage, but honestly, members of the BRF do what they like for two simple reasons: (1) They are not paying for it, and (2) They have people to justify those personal choices. Since they are not fully accountable for what they spend, and are so removed from life experienced by UK people, and the money keeps rolling in regardless, it’s no wonder they don’t give a crap about anything except their comfort, convenience and sealing themselves off from ‘commoners’.

      I see that when Charles took the Royal Train, a train that only he and the Queen/Phillip can ride, it cost just over £46,000 pounds for two days.

      The Queen, and Charles/Camilla can use the Govt refurbished plane; even so, C+C’s costs using the plane for a tour of Romania, then Italy and Austria cost the taxpayer £154,000.

      You have to ask whether what they do is worth this expense in terms of measurable outcomes benefiting the public they are meant to serve. This would be my core question with every bit of expenditure.

      1. I bet a lot of the travel is personal. Until they are held accountable we’re spinning our wheels here. The best thing to do besides interpreting the numbers is to hold those whiners’ feet to the fire every time they complain. Indeed, how arrogant do you have to be to ask for *public* donations for a ridiculous fetish statue of saint Mummy while spending money like water and never yours.

        1. I suspect so too, Maven.

          Want to go to Africa and re-imagine the Empire with you as its head? Chuck in a meeting with an official, and bingo, it’s a work trip and the taxpayer is billed.

          Think it’s a bore to spend a couple of hours travelling by car? Call up the personal helicopter to get you in, and more importantly, out, asap.

          Ah, the statue of Saint Mummy… the two men have more than enough money to commission the memorial of choice. If the public can visit, it would have been a nice gesture to give it to them. Personally, I prefer memorials like gardens and such that live and grow, or scholarships, grants etc rather than static things, but to each their own.

          1. Agreed about memorials, Jen. Who actually does statues of famous people anymore? It seems rather narcissistic when it’s your own family who won’t even pay for it themselves. Di was okay but no Mother Teresa. In the end she wasn’t even an HRH and isn’t buried in the Abbey. She was a private citizen, just like thee and me and not more special. It’s as if the boys are creating the cult of Diana. When’s the temple scheduled?

          2. Richard palmer was tweeting this am that the Archbishop of Canterbury is doing the private service to re dedicate Diana’s grave!! I just can’t with them any more.
            1) don’t know why they need to rededicate the grave
            2) I prefer this to be private but why announce it and just feeds more of their private narrative
            3)archbishop of Canterbury is needed to do this?
            4) ????????
            Enough already

        2. The Althorp Bloviator announced a year ago that the grounds of the island were being renovated under the direction of Wife3 and be completed by this summer. Would think that the ‘rededication’ is the culmination of the project. There has been nothing written about the statue (which the brothers want the public to pay for) since March. No sketches, no announcement of design, type or artist since then. Everyone has been so busy that there hasn’t been time to give it proper attention I guess.

          1. Maybe the public donations haven’t come through as expected? Surely they’d hit up their rich friends? I thought it was a done deal, simply because the timeframe for design, fabrication and installation was so tight. You could only meet it if some things were in place eg sculptor, sketches, materials, money. Interesting point about the rejuvenation of Althorp. Do W+H see much of their uncle ie enough to want to give him some free PR to get the public to trek out there?

      2. Nevermind the charters abroad. They take helicopters between residences or anywhere they want and bill it to the taxpayer.

        A couple of years ago William flew to Gloucestershire to commune with spy central in what was billed as a private visit. As soon as the media pointed out that this helicopter ride was going to cost thousands to his pocket, the palace reversed and said he was actually on an official visit thus taxpayer was picking up the bill.

        A few more of those snaffus and suddenly all helicopter travel was deemed official in the accounts. No more dogging him about payment.

        As far as we can tell, they use that helicopter like the bus. And if not available the Duke of Westminster’s plane is available. Poor Hugh has to earn those godfather stripes.

        1. Are the helos cheaper than the train? Driving I understand takes awhile, if you’re like Anne who goes up to Scotland for example for a lot of her engagements; I can see using the helos then, but otherwise, why can’t they drive?

        2. We are also not told which residences count in this, just that all travel for HM&PP, C&C, W&K between residences counts as “official”. For all we know, flights from London to Middleton Manor are being paid for here.

  3. Ye gods and gadzooks. My blood pressure can’t take this anymore. This spending is *obscene*. And I mean all of them. To have a public pity party with numbers like these- well I want smack them. Never Again do I cut them any slack. Ever.

    Meanwhile all we can do is look at the waste and rage.

    1. I feel disgusted with humanity every time I read this stuff. I just can’t believe people just accept it, especially when the fundamentals of their lives are being dismantled. But more, what does it say about a family who are happy to take to such an extent? And according to Ginger Boy, the world needs them ‘cos they’re a force for good… or did he mean greed?

      1. Maven and Jen, I feel the same incredulous anger at how truly venal Harry, W&KM are. That they have no real skills and deign to grace the public with their occasional presence is appalling. That they continue to divert an increasing amount of resources from much more vulnerable and deserving people speaks to their coldness and indifference. Charity work my a**. Their forays into mental health and conservation are shallow with short lived benefits to anyone.

        Now it’s reported Harry is getting a £ millions refurbished apartment. Wonder which fund that will come from. We see your hypocrisy, Harry, and are not impressed.

        1. No, the apartment is not his. They are fixing the roof of the Gloucesters’ apartment. There is talk it could potentially go to Harry once they move out. They don’t need the space–but nor does Harry so he is in the two bedroom house on the estate.

          1. Ultimately, it will be his for the taking. That the Gloucesters live there now doesn’t negate the fact that he is a whiner who is blind to his privilege while the normal, working poor are taxed to support this profligate family. Seems morally very wrong.

          2. I’ll still be surprised if he ends up with both a big London space and a country one. If ultimately he ends up in that space? If it means the 70-something Gloucesters get to retire as a result, they might be happy with the exchange.

            The Gloucesters were said to have offered up their space for W&K before they grabbed 1A instead. It may be they are looking to get out of the royal engagement gig, including trading their London space for a country pile.

            Who knows, that sweet cottage at Windsor might be available to them Grace-and-Favour after the recent passing of Margaret Rhodes.

            (From Tatler article)

          3. I think the Gloucesters are kind of over it. They live low-key lives and seem like good people who raised some wonderful human beings. Richard wanted to be an architect; sadly, his brother died, so that put the kibosh on his plans so he’s directed his royal work into supporting art and architecture schools and scholarships and done a lot of the bread-and-butter stuff. Brigitte seems lovely promoting music and the arts. I can’t imagine they need that massive pile in KP and are probably looking to downsize, especially as they may not be needed under Charles. I think they would welcome it as neither wanted that life but stepped up to help HM back in the day when she really needed the cousin support.

            1A is awful considering it was used by the charity and totally fine for them but not enough for W&K…who had to rip it all apart.

          4. I think they’re over it too. They’ve done their bit, even when they were thrust into it. I don’t think their allowance for engagements is all that big, although their KP space is large. Last year, she was photographed wearing the exact same outfit 2-3 times in the same week for royal engagements and a garden party. There’s being thrifty, and there’s not having a whole lot of money for fancy work clothes.

  4. Honest question from an American:

    When the Queen used Britannia to travel through the Commonwealth was it more or less economical than all these chartered flights? I know the yacht must have been very expensive to maintain as well, but considering how much traveling the Queen used to do especially as a young Queen traveling for six months at a time, was Britannia worth the money?

    1. Cookie, I don’t know about the cost efficiencies of the Royal Yacht Britannia in its lifetime, 1953-1997, though back in the day airline travel was not as ubiquitous as it is now, plus a yacht was an accepted mode of travel. The world moves a lot faster now.

      The idea of a new royal yacht was floated (!) last year, no doubt to gauge public reaction; rumor had it that the Queen wanted a yacht. Mind you, it was dressed up with all sorts of promises that a yacht would be great for doing business.

      Britain no longer has an Empire. The Queen no longer travels vast distances. The UK has decided to remove itself from the European Market. There has been a divisive election, a fire that spoke to official contempt for the poor, terrorism. Some Commonwealth countries will move to republic status after the Queen dies, selecting their own Heads of State. Is there need for a new yacht? Can the UK afford a yacht, along with the private train that only three people can use, or helicopters used like cars? Or is it expected that dumb taxpayers are to fork out for more luxuries?

      1. If the queen wants a yacht she should pony up the money herself. She’s good for it. Maybe downsize a bit. Kate would be thrilled. The gluttony is bottomless, and endless.

        1. I actually respect John Major’s conservative govt for attempting to put a cap on royal spending.

          Windsor castle nearly burns the the ground…..john Major’s govt doesn’t just hand the Queen a blank cheque to repair it. He forces her to finally start paying income tax. He forces her to open the palaces to meet some of the costs of upkeep. And he decommissions some of her taxpayer funded toys like Britannia.

          The UK went through several terrible periods from WW2 through to 1997, economically speaking and the Queen never thought to voluntarily cut her spending OR pay any tax until her hand was forced by that castle nearly burning down in 92!!

          1. Oh that’s interesting, Herazeus. Some fundamentals haven’t changed. Interesting to see the costs of the Britannia and the royal train were gob-smackingly high even then. What is wildly different is the current ‘younger’ royals spending up a storm and doing bugger all to deserve it. The work ethic is completely different to that of 1991. But 26 years later the same questions of concealed costs remains, as do questions of level of luxury supplied and what the yield is to the taxpayer. Thanks for the resource.

          2. Herazeus, That article makes me think that the BRF will endure forever. Howard Brooks-Baker doubted that the monarchy would still be around because of its enormous cost with little return but they are alive and thriving and richer. And the queen plays this (apparently successful) game with the public where if it complains she sends out her people to unruffle feathers. Dysfunctional relationship between monarchy and public that seems to work.

          3. I found that article today too when I was looking for one about Princess Michael and the royal Fabergé. Didn’t know their archive was online free. Does anyone remember a story about her raiding a recently-deceased royal’s home at KP for Fabergé (and antique linens?) and Charles being upset about it? This is way back in my memory bank but I cannot find any articles to support it.

  5. I wonder if anyone has ever done an ROI study of the BRF? I believe so. Meaning, what is the return on this expenditure? I imagine it’s actually very, very favorable, just on tourism alone, nevermind other industries like fashion, or the monies raised for charities. When you consider the spending that the BRF stimulates, these numbers are actually quite low. When you look at costs, you are only looking at half of the equation. For example, Kate may have had an “outlandish” clothing budget, but “the Kate effect” stimulates several millions in income to the fashion industry, no?
    Actually, I just found this example study:

    1. This is very interesting, Karen! Thank you for sharing. I hadn’t thought about it in terms of ROI, particularly when it comes to Kate’s fashion spending and the “Kate Effect.” I do think a lot of the foreign trips are wasteful and place unnecessary strain on local governments, but I’ll try to be more particular over which new outfits I get stroppy about.

    2. All these studies habe been found to be PR bokum.

      The top ten most visited palaces in the world don’t include any British Palace.

      All the UK tourists boards, by county and nationally, frequently release polls of most visited sites or even reasons why people visit the UK. Only the Tower of London makes it into the top 20 sites/ reasons and most people don’t remember that it is a royal palace. Most people only remember it as a prison and State Jewels museum.

      The BRF have branded themselves as the face of the UK, but that doesn’t translate into their being the reason visit the UK. Tower of London apart, they don’t even make the top 100.

      1. I would suggest that the overwhelming press coverage of the BRF helps keep the UK on people’s minds – which is a very good thing for tourism. Visitors may or may not be coming to “see” a certain palace, but the BRF is directly, or indirectly, a PR machine for this tourist destination.

        1. Aside from seeing family we went to the UK to see a lot of the attractions like KP, BP, etc, so that does bring in tourism I’d imagine. BP was packed!

        2. The UK will always have tourists just like BC doesn’t need the voracious Cambs to increase tourism (so laughable); the UK has history and beauty etc. etc. Who needs to see a bunch of silly toffs to make one’s life complete? That’s just celebrity.

          Seriously, get rid of the RF and open up all the grounds and palaces and watch tourism and income skyrocket. The BRF are a massive drain and an impediment no matter which way you slice it. The only tourists I imagine still left in support of it love fairy tales and Disney.

        3. Karen: that’s not true at all.

          We have shakespeare, pubs, stone henge, the London eye, Scotland, the lake district to name a few.

          People visit Versailles to see the amazing construction of it, with no sitting King gor over 200yrs. It is probably one of the most visited site in the world, and not because it’s residents are repeatedly being sold to the world.

          I wager most people don’t remember the inhabitants of the Alhambra Palace in Spain, the Forbidden City in China or know who King Ludwig of Bavaria is, despite his very famous castles. Ps the disney logo is inspired by and or based upon Ludwig’s castles.

          Egypt has been a very popular destination without anyone being able to put a name to any particule pharoah.

          Once in a while the BRF might focus the world’s attention on the UK, but their influence on that score is highly exaggerated.

          1. “This other Eden, demi-paradise,

            This precious stone set in the silver sea,
            This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this
            Los Angeles”. 😉

            L.A. Story

          2. I respectfully disagree. In today’s competitive market for tourist destinations, it’s very useful to have the BRF’s press coverage as a reminder of all the wonderful things about the UK. I have not visited the UK since 1992, but with all the press coverage around Kate, it reminded me how wonderful that part of the world is – and it made me want to visit again. That is how it has worked for many travelers I know. IF the BRF were not giving the UK free PR, tourism boards would have to dramatically increase their budgets to remind people to visit. All of the destinations you mention are wonderful, but they are not necessarily on people’s minds when considering a vacation destination. What people see online inspires them. To be clear, nobody I know visits London expecting to bump into the queen ; ). But she (and her family) can still inspire a trip to happen. When you see Carole Middleton breeze into Wimbledon, doesn’t it make you want to go? How about when the BRF heads to Scotland? Doesn’t a trip to Scotland in August sound great? I’m American, so it may be different if you grew up in England.

          3. I’d automatically avoid anywhere related to Carole Middleton. I’d also make note of the fact that Carole Middleton is not royal and she never will be.

            You can respectfully disagree, but the professional tourism agencies do the books, count the numbers, do the surveys. That’s their job. They prove, time and again, that the royals bring no net benefit in tourism revenue. France doesn’t need modern royals to get people to visit Versailles; the UK doesn’t need modern royals to get people to visit the UK.

          4. From what I’ve read, VisitBritain considers the press coverage that the BRF provides “invaluable” – they simply don’t know the “magic number” it contributes to the economy. That’s different from suggesting that it contributes nothing to the bottom line.

          5. Karen, I think the visual expression of monarchy is attractive to locals and visitors alike, along with the UK’s rich history. Of course, royalty is part of that history and folk are interested in that, but not the present lot of royals.

            I am from a Commonwealth country, and have grown up with all the tangible signs of monarchy (eg on currency) and intangible (system of governance, language, food, cultural traditions etc). Plus we’d get tours pretty regularly. Whenever I am fortunate enough to visit the UK, I am drawn to the vibrancy and resilience of its people and certainly see my own nation’s roots there; it is a genuine delight and privilege to meet people, experience the everyday as well as national treasures like the V&A, Covent Garden et al. But no, the thought of royalty does not influence any aspect of a visit.

            Wimbledon is for experiencing brilliant athletes in action; can its traditions and talent stand alone without social climber Carole Middleton? I really think it can. And by the way, she is not royalty. Does the BRF holed up in Scotland influence a decision to visit? No, not at all because Scotland is simply glorious in is own right.

            The old chestnut of the BRF being good for tourism is never proven with hard evidence; it’s floated to keep people in line, to keep the status quo, to keep people fearful of the unknown should royalty be abolished. The monarchy has more to lose, in status and materiality, if the system collapses. So the word ‘magic’ is used to describe them. No-one can come up with a number because it does not exist.

        4. BTW – I understand Carole Middleton is not royalty ; ). I’m just suggesting that even Carole Middleton can inspire someone to buy something, or go somewhere. I’m also not suggesting that Scotland “needs” the BRF for tourism – I am very simply suggesting that all of the press articles, books, etc. is positive PR for the UK. If “VisitBritain” were to attempt to purchase that sort of PR, it simply could not be done.

    3. I actually think the idea of the BRF helps tourism, not the ones in the palace right now. People like the idea of old kings and queens, hence why so many visit the Tower of London. But it has nothing to do with current royals. I think tourism might go up if there were no current BRF because then people could visit Buckingham Palace for more than 1 month a year.

      As for the “Kate effect”, it just isn’t there anymore. The first few years of her marriage it was true. But now, people on Ebay don’t sell her clothing for as much or as quickly as they used to. And her off the rack stuff doesn’t sell out. The J-crew crop pants she wore a few weeks ago were almost already sold out. The website said only a few left before she wore them. So, the selling out had nothing to do with her and that may be true of other items. She isn’t that popular anymore. So, she doesn’t bring in millions of pounds for the British fashion industry anymore. Especially since most of what she wears is designer now.

    4. I don’t get the argument that tourism is driven by the Royal Family. Maybe for huge events like Will and Kate’s wedding, but year after year, I think this is doubtful. I’m looking into a trip to England, and I have no pretenses that I may see any part of the BRF. There are other attractions to see.

      So much of what Kate wears is bespoke. Maybe at first, such as the dress she wore to announce their engagement, a huge buzz and Kate-effect was created. But not now. There has been no run on hair nets and bad extensions lately!

      1. +1 Jenna!

        “There has been no run on hair nets and bad extensions lately!” made me lol.

        Funny story: I ride horses and one of the littlest girls I ride with just competed in her first show. She absolutely refused to wear a hair net and could not wrap her mind around why it would even be necessary, so in a ploy to get her excited about it I told her that “Princess Kate in England wears one too!” Her response?

        “Well so does the lunch lady at my school which is not OK.”

      2. Kate often debuts things a few seasons after they were first designed so there is no real Kate effect, just low inventory on an item that was out of date anyway.
        Plus who really wants to dress as dowdy old Kate. Her clothing doesn’t work for casual, or business and most of it is old lady styles. Since she never had a job she doesn’t know how normal women with jobs have to dress for work. Even in conservative settings like law firms, her outfits are silly and frivolous and nothing any other woman at the age of 35 would wear.

        Amal Clooney probably influences more women, because some of her outfits could be worn for work attire and her casual look isn’t always skin tight jeggings with wedges.

        1. During a tour of European capitals in the 1970s, I saw the queen wave from the back of her car as we strolled down a street–I was told it was some sort of bank holiday. I was more impressed with the small shops, the people and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, a tiny basement joint where elegant women and tuxedoed men poured Champaign from iced silver buckets. Count Basie’s Band played that night and it was the biggest live musical thrill I’ve ever experienced. I barely remembered seeing the queen.

    5. There is no evidence what the BRF contributes to tourism in monetary terms, if anything. They are not on view, as in a zoo, nor do they do eight shows a week. Who travels to Britain on the off-chance of seeing the Queen? If the publicly-owned palaces were available and open all year for tours, revenue would increase, along with income generated by letting out freed-up office space. True market rates could also be achieved for KP apartments. As Herazeus has stated, only the Tower of London is currently rated in the top 20 attractions. France generates greater revenue from Versailles; no monarch in attendance.

      To get to their magic number, the company cited, Brand Finance, considers the Crown Estate, The Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall as private, tangible assets of the Windsor’s. Not true. The company also suggests future profits be made by charging companies to hold Royal Warrants, as well as treating Kate, George and Charlotte as commodities whose value is yet unfulfilled ie products not directly allied to them. as we know, Kate buys up lots of clothes but does not necessarily wear them until a season or two later; hence, the outfit has already sold out long before her first, and often, only wear of the item.

        1. If Brand Finance is a London based company and they don’t know that the Crown Estates, the duchies of Cornwall and lancaster do not belong to the Windsors and never have, then no wonder they are marketing the wrong information.

          The websites of those entities state boldly that they are not personal property of the Windsors and were infact created as an act of parliament to pay for govt.

          Clearly and siccinctly.

          Next time i see a brand finance marketing campaign, i’m going to automatically assume they are lying because this information is not hidden and is easily checked.

          And if other companies and people are using Brand Financing information, then god helps us all.

    6. Over the past decade or so, I suspect that Julian Fellowes and JK Rowling have done more to boost the British tourist industry than the royal family.

  6. When was Harry’s Tour of the Caribbean? Wasn’t that nov or dec? When do we know if the taxpayers got a refund for his little jaunt and breaking the policy of not combinging official tours with personal trips? Or were have forgotten about that

    1. It was shortly after his relation with Meghan was outed and after the statement so November.
      I would like to know as well if the taxpayer payed for his visit to Meghan in Toronto. People rightfully criticized Andrew for this practice and as a result it was forbidden. He also should be held accountable for this.

        1. Nic919 : I meant in November, right after the tour he went to see her when KP announced he was going home directly. Therefore he lied and mixed pleasure and work. As Andrew, he should be held accountable for this.

          So, everytime a royal goes abroad, it is the local police who pays or does the BRF pays the local police ?

          1. I think the RCMP covers it because Canada still has the Queen as head of state and he is in line for the throne. I don’t know if local US police would cover his security.

            Canada has a plane that it sends for the BRF to use for official visits. Since his visit in November wasn’t official, then it would be UK taxpayers covering it if he didn’t pay himself.

          2. I’m a bit late to this one. Did Harry personally say he was going straight back to the UK or was it a leak? Or was it announced by KP? Personally I just don’t trust what comes out of KP, after the spelling mistakes in their Instagram feed and announcing that W & K were going to Pippa’s wedding etc, it just seems like they are putting out press releases without really thinking about the content?

          3. Grr that makes me upset Nic! We can fund this but can’t get more done with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission…I have a headache from rolling my eyes so much today

      1. It was stated by KP that he paid his own ticket, and also it was implied he was paying security.

        When royals visit the US, US taxpayers pay a big chunk of the added security. It isn’t that the royals aren’t bringing their own RPOs and security, but the visited nation ponies up a lot too.

      1. So do they release if they got a refund or are we to just believe that Harry was in the up & up and did the right thing if it wasn’t

  7. W&K visited SIS today privately, for reasons unknown…

    And there will be a rededication ceremony of Diana’s grave at Althorp on the 1st. Bizarre. They wrangled the Archbishop of Canterbury to do it, too.

    1. This was a last minute “let’s look busy since we haven’t been seen in over a week and a report is out showing we spend a lot of money” visit. If anyone needs a visit it is the fire victims. Pretty sure the MI6 folks didn’t really care.

    2. Is a re-dedication at the grave common? I’ve never heard of this. Of course, it’s W+H’s choice though I wonder why they chose to publicise a private, family visit. It certainly guarantees the press being on alert for the Cambridge’s and Harry to appear en route. The brothers are really pushing this hard, especially getting the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the service.

      1. And why would you do this on the deceased’s birthday of all days? Why not on the anniversary of the death itself? Clearly the brothers are using every opportunity to make the most (extend that pity party) of the 20th anniversary of her death.

      2. I don’t get what their pr peeps are doing lately. Like announcing they would be attending pippa’s wedding then putting out statement re the wedding and now this. If these are private, why even mention it! And we all knew they were going to be at pippa’s wedding so no need for that statement
        Are they going to have count as an actual event? And I guess they don’t want to be “normal” now, they had to get the Archbishop of Canterbury for this private rededication

        1. Sarah, I don’t think they know what to do. What’s clear, I hope to them, is that if they really were interested in a concerted heartfelt day of remembrance they’ve blown it big time. It’s now all about them and their privilege. Like everything else they’ve done it’s been haphazard. Have they announced any definite plans on how they plan to mark the anniversary?

        2. I am thinking that it’s to tone down the bad press of “They’re not doing anything/they haven’t been seen in weeks”. They’re placating the public with tid bits about how ‘busy’ or whatnot they claim to be

    3. Just saw that they plan to bring George and Charlotte to this re-dedication. I really don’t think that is a good idea: Everything will go right over Charlotte’s head, and George is at the age where he’ll be questioning it all and take everything very literally without fully understanding anything. Death itself will be hard to explain to him, but he’ll probably get that someone who should be important to him is covered up in a deep hole on a lonely island–and that’s the stuff of nightmares.

      1. Yes, I find that bizarre too.

        Leave the kids at home this time. They won’t get it and it could be bad for George, my son is a bit older and has no clue about death, really. We tried to explain it to him when my cat died last year. He just asks if my kitty will ever come back from heaven. 🙁

      2. I disagree. This is a private ceremony where they can practice behaviors and expectations on a less public space. Other than that, it’s also never too early to know how important your grandparents were. Who are we to say that this is too much for their children when we don’t know anything about them.

        Personal note: I was three when I attended my great grandmother’s funeral. Not every child is the same, but the instructions of what I was permitted to do/not do still stays with me. That was also a moment where I first grasped how important she was to my family.

        1. Agree, Max. Private ceremony, they can do what they want and bring who they want.

          Not sure what they hope to accomplish by publicly announcing a private event before it actually happens. Maybe hoping to drum up
          public funds for the Diana memorial.

        2. I completely agree that George and Charlotte need opportunities in private to learn how to behave in public. And yes, of course it’s never to early to know how important your grandparents are, but I would still say that there are better ways of doing so other than going to a graveside service. I don’t think I have to know anything specific about George and Charlotte to think that in general for this age group this kind of event, the concept of burial, isn’t a great idea. Visit and play on the grounds at Althorp, go to places she loved, plant trees or flowers that she loved, take the children to charities she supported, attend a private family celebration of her life in a church, etc. There are plenty of other options for George and Charlotte to learn who Diana was and why she was important.

        3. I am cynical and think the kids are being brought to improve their PR. It was also specifically announced they would be attending, not sure why that is even necessary for a private event. Now the paps have three days to set up a place to capture photos of the kids.

      1. Fifi I was wondering the same thing :). Thanks Ellie. So, I don’t get why they visited them today. Did it count as work? Or did they visit to discuss their private protection? I honestly don’t understand. Why announce private visits unless they are counting them as work?

        1. I have no idea! I know the royals have visited before to just see what they are up to a bit, like Charles has been earlier this year; it was embargoed then info was released, and some pictures. When Charles went I think it was just to commend people who work there and tell them thank you for their work.

          1. You’re welcome, friend! I just recall Charles visiting earlier this year so wanted to throw it out there. Don’t think it was a secretive as this, I remember it on his diary before it happened.

    4. Announcing the rededication of Diana’s grave and that Will, Kate and Harry will attend is purely for PR. You only announce a private event ahead of time if you want attention. Otherwise it would remain private.

      I also think the rededication of a grave is odd, but if the family wants to do it, then it is their business. But clearly they want the publics interest and therefore it is not just for their family. This all just screams of PR.

      1. And the kids. Don’t forget that KP announced that the kids would be there too. They barely confirm them for public events.

    5. They had questions about a couple of Bond movies and wanted demonstrations and explanations. Does anyone visit SIS ‘publicly’?

    6. It is strange to announce it publicly, because they will then attack anyone who intrudes by photographing them driving in to the estate for this “private event”. It was already announced by the Estate that Althorp would be closed that day. Could easily have been out of respect for Diana instead of for an event, to block loads of visitors stomping around on her birthday.

      As for those who insist they had to make an announcement because otherwise they’d get in trouble for not doing something? I don’t think so. I appreciate they’re doing something on her birthday instead of on the anniversary of her death, but announcing a private event publicly is just the same bait-and-switch with the press they’ve done for years. They could have waited until next week and announced the event had already happened. As no one knew they would do this at all? Whether on her birthday, the anniversary, or any time in between, we wouldn’t have been any the wiser.

      C&C in Canada that day.

      1. It was known for months too that Charles would be in Ottawa for the 150th celebrations of Canada Day. I have to wonder when this rededication was planned.

  8. The recent royal allowance has increased 8%! I wonder if it is because P.H. is geting married? I have read that M.M. is flying from Toronto to London!

  9. About the re-dedication of the grave, hadn’t Charles Spencer allowed it to become really overgrown, and the lake full of algae, so maybe a refurbishment was necessary. At the time, it was hidden from the public so as not to turn Diana into a martyred saint. Now I think that is exactly what they wish to do.

    I suspect that Charles Spencer may have plans to allow some public viewing of the sight, since his Diana exhibition no longer makes him money (since the boys reclaimed her effects).

    1. Fifi, I think you are right. PBS recently aired a documentary on Althorp with uber charmer Charles Spencer talking about its history, including the room where Diana practiced tap dancing and how renovations were underway for her grave site. I guess he finally got around to it.

    2. Perhaps he is using this whole re-dedication thing as PR. You know how he uses his dead sister’s memory at every time after treating her like absolute garbage whilst she was alive. He’s a disgusting pig.

      I think her death in general turned her into a martyred saint. The boys (men honestly) are throwing themselves into this media-created myth. It’s disturbing, honestly.

  10. Awww look at these three grown kids crying about their lot in life and screaming to the uncaring heavens, “Mummy I don’t want to be a King! I don’t want to Work!”- while they get ferried around in helicopters. What a tough life they have; I weep for them.

    1. I wouldn’t say Kate cries about it, she loves it–the money, the adulation, the houses, everything paid for by Charles and she can just spend and spend, just the darn work, but she got what she hung on years and years ago!

  11. Ellie, coming late to the Mary discussion from the other thread. I was a Mary fan at the beginning, but she has been her own worst enemy in many ways. Ditto Mette-Marit.

    Proof from Mary’s co-workers that she ditched a going away party to chase princes at the pub. Fred was her third choice that night. Proof from housemates they had a one-night stand, then he went back to his long-time girlfriend.

    Mary going to Starmakers, then lying on video about going to Starmakers. Mary dumping all of her overdue credit card bills in the trash before she moved to Europe, which were then found by a reporter. Publicly stating in the engagement interview that she wouldn’t stand for infidelity, when their own relationship started through cheating. Constantly overspending. Buying a new tiara, when she already had three at her disposal.

    I think she does well in her role, but isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with her work days. Nor are most royals. She often seems a better representative than Fred does, as he has gone through his own “poor me” phase.

    IMO her work around loneliness is some of her best and truest work, as I think she probably has been very lonely at times. First when she was in France, alone, not speaking French, no real job, and only sometimes visited by Fred. Then again once she moved to Denmark but they weren’t engaged yet, because she never knew which people she could trust. I don’t think her father moved to Denmark because he wanted the high-life as the FIL to the heir; I think Mary needed him.

  12. I think announcing the “private” grave rededication is partly PR. W&K have no problem keeping info private when they want to. Of course, it’s up to W&K but taking G&C to the service, if true,  is weird to me. It’s not the same as taking children to a family funeral when the children had met the deceased. Even doing that depends on the children and their age. But taking them now, maybe as a way to “know Diana”? There are better ways as others have said. Personally I think it is a way for Will to say to Charles “I’d rather my children spend time at Mummy’s grave than spend time with you alive.” I realize opinions about Charles are mixed here. But IMO to fully “grow up” we all have to recognize our parents are/were human and are/were flawed as all human beings are. That goes for both Charles and Diana as parents.

    1. And Charles and Camilla are busy, you know, working.

      William deliberately keeps his children from his father. It’s cruel, considering whatever his faults Charles was a wonderful dad–to the point Diana was jealous he liked to bathe them, change them, cuddle them, be with them as babies. They were both good parents in their own ways and loved their kids very much. I don’t think Diana would approve of how William treats his father, considering the two were getting on before she died.

  13. Well… I know for fact that Kate flew with public transport when she went to the NL and back home in one day. First class, I’m sure, but still. That can’t be been more than a hundred pounds. Can you imagine how cheap all their little trips could be. but then, these welcome parties and all their staff coming along and all kinda keeps them from doing public fly transport all the time, I suppose.

    1. When she went to Lux, she went private. She could have taken either of the daily morning flights from London to Lux (on Luxair), and taken either of the daily evening flights back. She flew private jet.

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