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Queen for a Day: the Cost of Royal Life

Being a royal is a considerably costly enterprise. One must not only be dressed in the finest garb – there is also security, transport, housing, food and a panoply of other expenses to be attended to. Thankfully for the royals, it’s the taxpayer who must foot the bill. In the UK for example – and we’ll be focussing on Queen Elizabeth II and her family in this article – the Royal Family costs each person 56 pence per year; roughly the price of a chocolate bar. Spread across a population, that’s a massive budget. But where does it all go?

Outfits – $54,000 per year

Each royal’s clothing costs are likely to differ significantly, but in any case the Queen, King, Prince or Princess in question is likely to spend significantly more than you or I on their outfits. British eyebrows were raised in 2012, with the revelation that the new Princess Kate commanded a clothing budget worth $54,000 per year – significantly higher than the average wage for a British worker. You really start to get a picture of the cost of royal life when you consider the fact that Catherine’s clothes cost over $150 per day!

Royal residences – over $18 million per year

Fair enough, we all like to keep our homes looking smart, but it’s difficult to grasp the sheer scale of cost involved in keeping the British royal family’s residences pristine. With a peerless property portfolio featuring Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace and one of the world’s most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace, the royals certainly have a significant task on their hands in keeping their homes in pristine condition, especially when you consider the fact that many of their historic properties require expert attention from specialist tradespeople.

Security – over $150 million per year

There’s no denying the fact that the royal family are especially vulnerable to security scares, but even so, a total annual bill of over $150 million for round-the-clock monitoring of over 20 royal family members seems an extraordinarily hefty sum. Anne, the Princess Royal was the victim of a kidnap attempt back in the 1970s, so there’s no wonder exceptional security measures have been taken.

Transport – around $15,000 per hour

Costs vary depending on the mode of transport, but the estimated hourly expense of transporting the Queen and Prince Charles by air is in excess of $15,000!

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