Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Royal family spent £1m globetrotting for Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Tuvalu, Soloman Islands
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Tuvalu, Soloman Islands

The royal family criss-crossed the globe at a cost of almost £1m to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year.

While the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh remained at home touring the UK, their family travelled around the Commonwealth to mark the milestone.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee tour of south east Asia and the South Pacific was the most expensive foreign trip, costing almost £370,000.

India welcomed the Duke of York for a visit that took in many of the country's major cities from Calcutta to Delhi.

A long-haul scheduled return flight from England to India cost almost £32,000 while a chartered plane that flew within the Asian country cost £89,000.

The Princess Royal visited South Africa and Mozambique to celebrate her mother's 60-year reign, travelling on a scheduled long-haul return flight between London and Johannesburg costing just over £42,000.

A chartered plane took the group around the two countries for £27,325. On another Jubilee trip Anne visited Zambia at a cost of almost £30,000.

Charles and Camilla's official visit to Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman cost £300,000. The overall travel budget, paid for by the taxpayer, was down £500,000 to £4.5m during the last financial year.

A royal aide said: "There was a hell of a lot more travel going on last year and it was done at a lot lower cost because the style in which people were travelling was better value for money."

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year also saw the UK stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

She starred in the London 2012 opening ceremony and the next day flew to Scotland on a chartered plane for £15,823.

For the opening of the Paralympic Games a month later, she flew by chartered plane from Scotland to London at a cost of £16,000.

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