Royal tour of William and Kate 2012 – is it an investment or a farce and who pays?
Royal tours don’t come cheap, especially when they involve traveling to the other side of the globe, however, information about the cost of a tour is not easy to find.
Previous Canadian royal tour expenses are documented; the 2009 visit of Charles and Camilla cost Canadian taxpayers $1.7-million, a 2010 visit of Queen Elizabeth cost $2.8-million and the 2011 visit by Prince William and Kate cost $1.2-million. These price tags do not include the security costs that Canadian governments had to bear to secure the visit.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently making their way through four countries in little over a week.
They’re experiencing sights including the skyscrapers of Singapore, the jungles of Borneo and an island paradise in The Solomon Islands.
Catherine and William are traveling with a small team including a David Manning, a key adviser and former British Ambassador.
On the ground they also have backup from local diplomatic missions. The costs of (scheduled) flights and security alone will easily go into six figures, and most of this expense will be met by the British taxpayers.
How does the British Foreign Office justify the outlay, especially in an era of austerity and public spending cuts? They see it as an investment.
The couple is representing the queen on this tour and they are promoting their own interests, such as conservation and hospice care but they are also supposed to be promoting British interests.
Cost of Prince Charles and Camilla’s one day-one night Tour to Jersey
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Jersey cost the Treasury department £60,000.
The Treasury Minister approved the payment as “contingency funding”.
Prince Charles and Camilla spent one day and night in Jersey on 18 July as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
A States spokesman said the one-off fee was made to the Bailiff’s Chambers for “costs associated with the Royal visit”.
William and Catherine head to Singapore and Malaysia
In Singapore they called on the prime minister and president. The photo opportunity looked like it could be a bilateral meeting of political leaders but without the politics, it was all smiles but what on earth did they talk about.
The duke and duchess visited a Rolls Royce engine factory in Singapore. William talked about the country being a hub for British businesses operating in Asia, he said “British business now has some £25 billion ($40B) invested here; a massive vote of confidence in this dynamic country.” It sounds like a quote from a pamphlet produced by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) the body responsible for promoting British business abroad.
The British view is that the difference between a government pamphlet and a Prince William speech is in the audience numbers. Unlike the pamphlet, William’s speech appeared across the world’s media and Catherine provided an added photo opportunity by flexing her biceps in front of an aircraft engine.
Rolls Royce can’t buy that kind of publicity but the people who are actually footing the bill are suffering the effects of a long term recession. The British government specifically consider that the young royals, Catherine, William and Harry, have the power to draw attention. Other royals just don’t hold the same interest especially when the younger ones can be seen partying butt naked or topless!
William’s uncle and aunt, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, are on their own little publicized tour of Canada right now.
Prince William and Catherine were welcomed with traditional garlands when they arrived in the Solomon Islands on Sunday, the latest destination on their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East and South Pacific.
The tour continues as the couple’s lawyers prepare to make a complaint to French prosecutors today regarding topless photos of Kate published by French magazine Closer and the Irish Daily Star. An Italian magazine has said it also plans to print the photographs.
A palace spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a criminal complaint is to be made to the French Prosecution Department.”
“It concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy.”
The couple’s legal team will also attend the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre in Paris on Monday, where damages and an injunction will be sought regarding Closer magazine. The legal action also aims to prevent further publication of the images.
There are discussions currently under way to bring the royals to crucial emerging markets like China, India and Russia.
Which country can afford the expense of such royal missions and continue to consider them an ‘investment’ of taxpayer money especially when they have become tainted by scandal?
In the eyes of most of the public in countries other than Britain these tours are a waste of taxpayer money and even beginning to become somewhat of a farce.