Prince Charles's public funding increases by 11.8%

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled nearly 48,000 miles for official engagements

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Public funding for Prince Charles increased by 11.8% during 2011/2012, accounts for Clarence House show.

The accounts showed the Prince of Wales's funding from grants-in-aid and government departments rose from £1,962,000 in 2010/2011 to £2,194,000.

The cost of travel by air and rail for the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall to attend official engagements was £1,318,000, up from £1.08m.

His spokesman said the spending represented good value for money.

The prince's private income from the Duchy of Cornwall rose by 3% to £18.3m.

After deducting business expenditure the prince paid £4,496,000 in tax at the 50% rate.

Of £9.38m spent on official and charitable duties, £6.7m - or 68% - went on staff costs.

Official travel

It's become a fixture of the royal calendar - a chance to peek at the prince's spreadsheets.

For a second year, the amount of taxpayers' money spent on the heir to the throne has gone up.

For a second year, his officials say this is down to the overseas travel he is asked to do on behalf of the government.

Read in one way, by his supporters, the Annual Review is a testament to the hard work of a man still waiting to fulfil his destiny.

Read in another way, by his critics and those seeking an elected head of state, the figures reveal a royal spending £6.7m on 135 staff.

What the published accounts don't reveal is the cost of the dresses of the newest royal, the Duchess of Cambridge.

To do so, suggested an aide, would be "rather impolite".

The figures are contained in the Annual Review 2012, which covers the activities of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The accounts show that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled nearly 48,000 miles (77,248km) to official engagements in Britain and abroad.

The countries they visited included South Africa and Tanzania, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The prince also travelled to Kuwait, the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

They also visited 86 towns and cities in Britain.

The prince's spokesman, Paddy Harverson, said: "Members of the Royal Family travel abroad on behalf of the government, indeed at the request of the government, to support British interests overseas and I think everywhere their Royal Highnesses went during the year there was a real return on that investment."

Prince Charles's contribution to Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton is not itemised in the report, but forms part of non-official expenditure totalling £2,609,000.

The annual report said the prince and duchess helped raise, directly or indirectly, £131m for charity.

It said Prince Charles's 16 charities "represent, as a group, the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the UK".

Anti-monarchy group Republic said the claim was "absurd and cynical in equal measure".

"That figure is simply the total income of all the charities he is connected to, many of which are little more than lobbying firms for the prince's political agenda," chief executive Graham Smith said.

"Prince Charles gives little back to the country yet has a deeply held sense of entitlement when it comes to accessing public funds. We believe time is long overdue that the government brought royal spending under proper control."

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