Heritage

The Royal Family's Biggest Spender Last Year Was Prince Charles

His trip to India, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore alone cost $475,000.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/ KARWAI TANG
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Once a year, the royal family is required to make its financial information available to the public. Among other things (including the fact that the royal family costs each British taxpayer just 69 pence per year), the 2018 reports revealed that Prince Charles's travel habits don't come cheap, especially given that taxpayers foot the bill for expenses on official royal visits through the Sovereign Grant.

His trip to India, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore in the fall of 2017 with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was the most expensive of any royal tour last year, costing £362,149, or roughly $475,000. The second most expensive royal trip of the year, Princess Anne's visit to Ghana and Sierra Leone, cost a fraction of that, £68,815 or $90,000.

In addition to his travel expenses, the financial reports also delved into Charles's other income: the revenue surplus of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Time reports that the Prince of Wales is worth $400 million, a sum which primarily comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, 53,000 hectares of land in 23 counties, which was created by Edward III in 1337 "to provide an income for his son, Prince Edward." The Duchy always goes to the monarch's "eldest surviving son and heir."

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According to the Duchy's newly shared financial documents, Charles received £21.7 million, or $28.6 million between March 2017 and March 2018, a 5 percent increase year over year. That money goes to fund Prince Charles's "public, charitable and private activities and those of his family," including not only the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, but also the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Penang, Malaysia in 2017.

The report also clarifies that while the Duke of Cornwall receives an income from the Duchy's revenue surplus, he does not have access the Duchy's capital value. It indicates that he pays income tax, but he does not pay capital gains taxes on the Duchy.

"The Prince pays capital gains tax but not in respect of the Duchy of Cornwall because he does not receive the capital gains (as he is not entitled to the capital assets)," reads the FAQ section of the Duchy's website. "Although The Duchy is exempt from capital gains tax, the Duchy’s capital gains have to be reinvested in the business and cannot be distributed."

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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