Charles received £21.7m last year

Updated: 

Horse Racing - The Royal Ascot Meeting 2014 - Day Two - Ascot Racecourse

The Prince of Wales received a record total of £21.7 million from his private estate and taxpayer funding in the last tax year, official figures have revealed.

Charles's income from the private Duchy of Cornwall combined with money from the public funds increased by almost £1.5 million from £20.2 million in the previous year.

Nearly all of the cash came from the Duchy, which raked in £19.5 million after a rise of 2.4% or around half a million pounds compared with 2012/13.

The amount of money drawn from the state funded sovereign grant and government departments for official activities of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall nearly doubled compared with the previous year to almost £2.2 million.

Courtiers said the rise in the use of public funds was mainly down to the fact that the travel costs of Charles's official engagements had returned to a "more normal" level after being "artificially low" last year when many trips conducted to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee were funded by other countries in the Commonwealth realm.

Figures released by Charles's office show that just over £1.3 million of public funds were spent on official travel by him and his wife.

William Nye, principal private secretary to Charles and Camilla, said: "Funding from the sovereign grant and other government departments bounded back to the same level as the year before after a one-off reduction in 2012/13, when it was artificially low."

The couple travelled 45,850 miles to and from official engagements in the UK and overseas. This included £434,000 on his visit to India by the Prince and the Duchess in November, £255,000 for Charles to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral in December and another £245,000 on a trip to the Middle East.

Chartered flights were used on all three occasions.

It was a successful year for the Duchy of Cornwall, a 677-year-old estate of agricultural, commercial and residential property that provides private income to the heir to the throne.

Mr Nye said the boost in cash from the Duchy was down to higher rentals and "some clever management".

Charles pays income tax voluntarily on the profits provided by the Duchy and his bill for last year was £4.2 million.

His accounts showed that more than 65% of his after-tax private income - £9.9 million - was spent on official and charitable duties, with staff costs accounting for £6.3 million. The total official spending for the last year was £12.1 million.

The Duchy is also used to fund the official duties of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as well as Charles's "non-official" expenses such as personal staff.

Mr Nye said it had been a year of "celebration and service", with jubilant events such as the birth of Prince George as well as major state occasions such as Charles representing his mother for the first time at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

He rejected suggestions that the Queen's eldest son lives a "lavish" lifestyle.

"The Prince of Wales lives the life of the heir to the throne," he said. "He lives in London in a royal palace and has staff who enable him to do the job that he and Her Royal Highness have created for themselves."

Tax tricks to improve your wealth

Tax tricks to improve your wealth