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Charles's trips cost soars to £1m

The Prince of Wales's taxpayer-funded spending on official trips increased by over 50% to more than £1 million last year even though he travelled fewer miles.

Charles's total income from the public purse rose £298,000, or nearly 18%, to £1,962,000, his annual accounts show.

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled more than 34,000 miles to and from official engagements in 2010/11, down from almost 43,000 miles the previous year.

But the cost of their travel by air and rail rose 56% to £1,080,000, with the average cost of their journeys soaring year on year from £16.13 per mile to £31.50 per mile.

Clarence House said the accounts were "skewed" because Charles and Camilla's major foreign trip to Canada in 2009 was paid for by the Canadian government.

The couple visited Portugal, Spain and Morocco in March and April this year, and toured India last October after the Prince opened the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Prince's principal private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, said: "The miles travelled have gone down because their Royal Highnesses did longer journeys overseas in 2009/10 than they did in 2010/11.

"It's all skewed by the fact that the longest journey in 2009/10 was to Canada, and the Canadians paid for it. So the cost didn't appear in our accounts last year."

He added: "Of course, that increase has nothing to do with us in that the Prince and the Duchess don't decide what overseas travel they do on behalf of the Foreign Office and the Government."

Funds from the taxpayer are used to pay for Charles's official travel, residences and communications.


From Belfast Telegraph