Prince William and Kate Middleton | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images
It seems like we’re always hearing about members of the royal family traveling here and there for official visits and tours. But did you ever wonder who was paying for all those trips they take abroad?
The British royals do a lot of traveling overseas in an effort to promote good relations with other countries, however, their means of transportation getting from one place to another differ from time to time. Sometimes they’ll take a private jet to travel from one destination to the next while other times they are seen flying commercial.
Kate Middleton, who opted to take the private jet for her and Prince William’s most recent Canadian tour, flew British Airways for her solo tour to the Netherlands in 2016. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also been spotted flying commercial. In December 2017, the pair were seen sitting in the back of the plane on a commercial flight to Nice, France. Even Queen Elizabeth herself has flown on budget airlines during her reign.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
How they get around can depend on where they are going and for what purpose, which is the reason for the change in transportation most times. The royals have a limited travel budget and typically only request the private jet for official visits, not personal trips. The British taxpayers usually foot the bill for their travel expenses, but not always.
On occasion, the country they are traveling to pays for the trip. For example, in October 2018 when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s headed to Australia for their tour the Australian taxpayers, not the British, picked up the costs. Residents of the country also paid when the queen flew there for a five-day visit in 2006. Her Majesty’s whole visit added up to more than $1 million then, so it’s safe to assume that Harry and Markle’s cost a lot more.
Prince Charles is also an extravagant traveler. For a trip to Romania, Italy, and Austria he managed to rack up more than $200,000 in travel expenses. That number though doesn’t seem like much compared to how much was spent when he hopped aboard the private jet and visited India, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore.
Prince Charles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
According to Vanity Fair, that trip came out to more than $475,000. The Prince of Wales also has no problem using the family’s most expensive mode of transport, the royal train, to travel from place to place. Palace officials though claim that Charles uses the “appropriate” transportation for his foreign trips.
“I sense that personal connections, or what the jargon might call people-to-people links, will have a very important role to play in defining this new chapter in relations with our friends and neighbors around the world,” said Clive Alderton, the Prince’s principal private secretary.
The Express noted that between 2016 and 2017 British taxpayers coughed up almost $6 million for royal traveling.
Read more: Which Member of the Royal Family Refuses to Shake Hands With Fans and Why?
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