William and Kate trip: Three-day tour by royal train by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge cost taxpayer almost £48,000

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s country-wide tour on the royal train, which included a visit to Edinburgh, cost the taxpayer almost £48,000, royal accounts have revealed.

The Earl ad Countess of Strathearn at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during their recent visit to Scotland
The Earl ad Countess of Strathearn at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during their recent visit to Scotland

The 1,250-mile royal journey by rail set off from London, a few weeks before Christmas last year, to thank communities, outstanding individuals and key workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple made stops in Edinburgh Manchester, Berwick, Batley, Cardiff and Bath Spa and ended their three-day tour by visiting the Queen at Windsor Castle.

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The cost of the train is met by the taxpayer and has long been controversial with the service nearly scrapped in 2013 when it was feared the rolling stock would have to be replaced.

During the Golden Jubilee year of 2002, the train’s journeys cost £872,000.

The royal accounts revealed the Cambridges’ journey cost £47,965 and the monarchy only made a handful of major royal trips due to the pandemic.

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The most expensive was the Prince of Wales’ charter flight in October to Kuwait to pay his condolences following the death of the country’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, at a cost of £58,993.

The overall cost for royal travel during 2020-21 was £3.2 million, down by £2.1 million on the previous financial year, but despite the reduced number of trips a significant amount of the funds was used for leasing payments for the transportation.

The cost of helicopters was £2.1 million, including operating lease payments of £600,000, large and small fixed wing aircraft cost £100,000 each, rail travel was £700,000, which included lease payments of £200,000, and vehicles £200,000.

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