Prince Charles left to count £720,000 cost of Kate Middleton

PRINCE Charles received an extra £232,000 from the taxpayer last year, but also saw his own costs rise following the addition of Kate Middleton to the Royal Family, official accounts have revealed.

PRINCE Charles received an extra £232,000 from the taxpayer last year, but also saw his own costs rise following the addition of Kate Middleton to the Royal Family, official accounts have revealed.

The amount the Prince of Wales received in grants-in-aid and money from government departments rose from £1,962,000 to £2,194,000 in 2011-12 – an 11.8 per cent increase.

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However, his own outgoings increased by £721,000, with the costs of the royal wedding and his daughter-in-law’s wardrobe making a dent in his wallet.

The figures, published by Clarence House, list the prince’s total income and expenditure for the last financial year.

Although they do not outline the cost of William’s and Kate’s wedding in April last year, it is believed the cost of the dress, flowers, food and hotel bills was split between the prince, the Queen and the Middleton family with the total bill amounting to less than £500,000.

Kate’s clothing costs were also not listed, coming instead under the broad heading of “expenditure for official duties and charitable activities”. Spending on this rose by nearly £400,000, from £9,444,000 to £9,831,000.

Charles pays for much of the public work of sons William and Harry, and wife Camilla, through his private Duchy of Cornwall income. The income from this landed estate rose by 3 per cent to £18.3 million.

Official travel, which is paid for with taxpayers’ cash through grants-in-aid – along with communications and the upkeep of royal residences – rose a massive 22 per cent. A spokesman for Clarence House said there were a number of reasons.

“The increase was due to several factors, including more overseas visits by the prince and the duchess, more overseas visits by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and by Prince Harry, longer distances travelled during those visits, and the inclusion in the latest financial year of part of the costs of a spring tour in 2011 to Portugal, Spain and Morocco.”

During the last financial year, Charles and Camilla travelled almost 48,000 miles to and from official engagements at home and abroad. They toured Norway, Sweden and Denmark in March, and last autumn visited South Africa and Tanzania while Charles visited Kuwait and Qatar.

William and Kate embarked on their first tour as a married couple last summer, visiting Canada, while Harry carried out a Diamond Jubilee tour to the Caribbean in March.

This led to an increased carbon footprint for the eco-conscious prince with CO2 emissions for overseas travel up from 438 tonnes to 1,206 tonnes, almost a threefold increase.

The accounts showed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, have the equivalent of nine full-time staff, up from 7.8 the previous financial year.

Graham Smith, chief executive of the campaigning group Republic, commented: “At a time when the country is facing sweeping cuts to public spending, Charles Windsor wilfully helps himself to whatever travel funds he wants or feel he needs.”