|How Are the Royals Spending Their Money?|
|By KATIE KINDELAN||Jun 27, 2013, 12:01 PM|
Ever wonder what it costs to live like royalty in the 21st century? Now we know, at least for members of Britain's Royal family.
Nearly $51 million was spent on the Royal family in 2012, according to the newly released Annual Summary of Head of State expenditure from Buckingham Palace.
The monarch's multi-million dollar budget is $4 million less than it was five years ago, but with one tiny but high-profile addition to the royal family – the royal heir, the son or daughter of Prince William and Kate – due to be born in just a month, will the family's budget go anywhere but up?
Click through to see which royals spent the most traveling abroad, which royal is getting a raise and more fun facts from the Royal Privy.
Members of the Royal Family completed almost 3,000 engagements in 2012. Thirty of their trips, according to Buckingham Palace, took place overseas, with the Royals traveling everywhere from Belize to Saudi Arabia.
No trip, however, was more expensive than Prince William and Kate's tour of the Far East in September to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 31, traveled from Singapore to Malaysia, to the Solomon Islands and, finally, Tuvalu to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne.
The trip, which included Kate's first official speech overseas, drew plenty of headlines and goodwill, and rang up a tab of $561,679.
The second most expensive trip, according to the palace, was taken by Prince William's father, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla. Their tour of Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman rang in at $456,742.
Nearly $1.7 million has been spent so far by Britain's taxpayers to refurbish the future home of Prince William and Kate, apartment 1A in the 300-year-old Kensington Palace, according to Buckingham Palace.
The "apartment" is actually a four-floor house that was formerly the home of the late Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister. Since 2002 the apartment, which features a private garden along with 20 rooms, including a nursery, has been used as offices and storage for Historic Royal Palaces Trust, the palace reports.
Refurbishments to accommodate the arrival of Prince William and Kate and their growing family have included a replacement of the apartment's heating, hot and cold water and electrical services and roof repairs.
While Britain's taxpayers have covered the exterior repairs, the apartment's interior design will be paid for by the Royal Family out of their own bank account. So far Kate has been spotted shopping at chic London boutiques for throw pillows, rugs and drapes.
The renovations are expected to be completed this autumn, according to the Palace.
Just because they are royals and live in a palace doesn't mean the queen and her family can escape the normal mundane aspects of life, including home repairs.
Part of the Royals' $51 million in expenditures in 2012 was spent on removing asbestos from the basement floor ducts in the west and south wings of Buckingham Palace, according to the report. The palace's roof and gutters were also in disrepair, leading to nearly $1 million in renovations on those alone.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were not out cleaning the gutters themselves. Unlike us, they and the rest of the Royals have a staff of 436 to attend to their needs, including 184 people listed as part of the "Master's of the Household Department" staff.
Despite the devotion of a whole section of the 2012 budget report on the palace's attempts to "go green," the royals do generate waste, 5,169 tons of it to be exact, a 9 percent increase from last year, according to the Palace's figures.
Queen Elizabeth will receive a 5 per cent pay raise in income next year, according to the Palace.
The increase will take the 87-year-old monarch's income to almost $55 million, the second year in a row that funding from the taxpayer has gone up.
The pay raise for the queen, who just celebrated 60 years on the throne, comes from the profits of the Crown Estate, of which the queen gets a share.