Charles’s bill for Harry, Meghan, Kate and William
The funding for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s activities in the year Meghan officially joined the royal family contributed to a £5 million bill for the Prince of Wales.
Charles pays for the public duties of Harry and Meghan and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and some of their private costs, out of his multimillion pound Duchy of Cornwall income.
Royal accounts showed that the prince’s bill for the Sussexes’ and the Cambridges’ activities, plus other expenditure including Charles’s capital expenditure and transfer to reserves, was £5.05 million in 2018-2019, up 1.8% or £89,000 from £4.96 million in 2017-2018.
Over two years, the figure has risen more than £1.5 million from £3.5 million in 2016-2017.
In the year Harry and Meghan married, Charles’s non-official expenditure increased by £155,000, up 5.2% to £3.16 million.
Clarence House’s annual report provides no detailed breakdown of the funding for the activities of the Sussexes and the Cambridges, with royal sources saying the details were private.
The prince contributed to the Sussexes’ wedding and hosted Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding reception at Frogmore House, where the newlyweds enjoyed a spectacular firework display and partied until 3am with celebrity guests.
A royal source said: “Their expenditure is met by help from their father or things that they would pay for themselves from their private expenditure.”
A video released as part of the yearly review featured footage of Meghan walking down the aisle at St George’s Chapel and being met by a beaming Harry.
The source added that having the Cambridges and Sussexes among the working royals supporting the Queen was “a great opportunity for the whole family” .
They added: “I wouldn’t say it was placing additional financial burdens.
“Everything is well within budget and works incredibly harmoniously.”
As heir to the throne, Charles is entitled to the surplus generated by the Duchy of Cornwall’s vast portfolio of lands, buildings and financial investments – which includes the Oval cricket ground and 67,000 acres of Dartmoor.
The prince’s annual private income from the hereditary estate fell slightly by £103,000 to £21.63 million in the year 2018/2019.
The private landed estate was created in 1337 by Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.
Official costs of the Prince of Wales’s London office and official residence Clarence House jumped by 252%, rising £478,000 from £190,000 to £668,000.
The bill, met by taxpayers through the Sovereign Grant, covered work on the roof, the portico and the perimeter wall.
A royal source said: “The point is that there is this great building which is an old building and a venerable building and from time to time it needs a bit of maintenance, so we’ve had to do works this year on the roof, the portico and some work to shore up the perimeter wall.”
Charles’s tax bill decreased by £152,000 to £4.7 million.
The cost of the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall’s official travel by air and rail rose by almost a third (31%) – jumping from £1.01 million to £1.33 million.
The prince’s taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant income was up 66%, to £1.99 million, to cover the increased cost of travel and the Clarence House building works.
On the lack of breakdown of the cost of the Sussexes and Cambridges’ activities, a royal source said: “The whole thing is accounting for private money.
“There is a huge amount of information here about the prince’s private expenditure which I suspect most of us do not do for our own private expenditure.
“Even so there is a line clearly, and a line that we’ve always respected.”
On the cost of Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the source said: “This is a very open and transparent set of accounts, but, like any family wedding, we’re not going to get into saying exactly what it costs.”
The accounts revealed that Charles employs around 134 full-time equivalent staff – including 18 personal staff ranging from chefs, valets and secretaries to estate, garden and farm staff.
Of his 116 official staff, the prince has the equivalent of 1.3 full-time butlers, 4.4 chefs and kitchen porters, three chauffeurs, nine housekeepers, 2.5 valets and dressers, and 5.7 orderlies, among others.
His staff wage bill came to £8.65 million.
The prince and Camilla carried out 638 official engagements in 2018-2019, including 165 overseas engagements in 14 countries.
The year was described by Clarence House as one of “great personal happiness” for Charles, with the Sussexes’ marriage and the birth of Prince Louis.
The heir to the throne’s principal private secretary Clive Alderton said: “There were plenty of highlights but the events that stick out most in my mind include that fantastic day down at Windsor last May when Prince Harry married to Meghan Markle.”
He said another major highlight was future king Charles being backed by 53 Commonwealth heads of state and government to eventually succeed the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
Mr Alderton said: “As I said to the prince at the time, it’s not bad to win an election, and with a 100% approval rating really isn’t bad at all.”
Charles also marked his 70th birthday in 2018.
The Prince of Wales’s charities – The Prince’s Trust, the Prince’s Foundation, and the Prince’s Charitable Fund – raised over £90 million over the course of the year.
Greenhouse gas household emissions were up 2.5% by 25 tonnes to 1,042 tonnes, while emissions for travel went up 6.6% to 927 tonnes.
A royal source attributed the rise to Charles and Camilla travelling 13% further in distance in overseas travels at the request of the government.
But the prince’s greenhouse gas emissions from office and domestic energy use fell by 22% due to the use of new solar panels and the installation of motion sensitive lights.
– The annual review covers the period from April 1 2018 to March 31 2019.