The cost of the monarchy to the public reached £35.7million in the last tax year, Buckingham Palace accounts have revealed.The Queen's official expenditure from the sovereign grant – the system of finance given from the public purse to support the monarchy – shows a rise of £1.9million from the previous year. More than a third of the funding was spent on the maintenance and restoration of royal properties including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, reside with Prince George.
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More than a third of the Queen's spending went on the upkeep of royal properties
A total of £13.3million went towards a "backlog" of restoration work, which included the removal of asbestos and the overcoming of problems such as no running water at Apartment 1A.William and Kate's home underwent a "complete reservice", but while major works were covered by public funding, the royal couple are understood to have met the costs of internal furnishings such as a new kitchen.
The Christopher Wren-designed, 20-room living quarters, which were once home to Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon, were last refurbished in 1963. Public spending on its renovation has totalled £4.5million over the last two years. Other work included the removal of asbestos in the basement of Buckingham Palace and new lead roofing at the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, where staff had reportedly used buckets to catch rain and protect art and antiquities.
Prince Charles and Camilla on their visit to India
Meanwhile, the royal family's travel costs show that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall's visit to India totalled £434,000, and a charter flight to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela cost £246,160.Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse, said: "We take our responsibility to run as efficient an operation as possible. In our view we think that we do as good a job as possible in terms of trying to maximise the value for money."