Saturday 20 July 2019

Revealed: British royals spent millions on hospitality and housekeeping, according to newly released accounts

Donald and Melania Trump met the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family during the state visit to the UK (Toby Melville/PA)
Donald and Melania Trump met the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family during the state visit to the UK (Toby Melville/PA)
US President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Melania Trump, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace (Jeff Gilbert/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Laura Elston

The British royal family's household spent £2.3 million on official hospitality and housekeeping last year, including £1.7 million on food and drink, royal accounts showed.

Some 240 receptions were held by the Master of the Household's Department, as well as 158 lunches, nine garden parties and 75 dinners at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James's Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2018-2019

About 160,000 guests were entertained at the residences during the 12-month period from April 1 2018 to March 31 2019.

Spending from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant included £1.7 million on food and drink.

Cleaning and laundry and other items came to £600,000, while the wine and spirits bill was £400,000, with wine being held in stock to age.

Large-scale events hosted by Queen Elizabeth included the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting opening ceremony in the Buckingham Palace ballroom in April and the state visit by the King of the Netherlands in October.

US President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK took place in June 2019, so will be accounted for in next year's financial report.

Buckingham Palace's Sovereign Grant report showed that the royal household spent £3.8 million on information technology, up £800,000 from the previous year, and £1.1 million on printing, postage and stationery.

Official hospitality and housekeeping also cost £2.3 million in 2017-2018, while in 2016-2017, it was £2.2 million.

PA Media

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