How Meghan Markle Drove up Costs for the Royal Family

Adding a new family member is not cheap, even for the British Royal Family. According to a Telegraph report published this week, Prince Charles' spending on his children's activities jumped 40 percent last year as Meghan Markle started her official royal duties.

The Prince of Wales spent £3.52 million ($4.6 million) on Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry in 2016, the Telegraph reports. That number jumped to £4.96 million ($6.5 million) in 2017. The costs include the staff for each and wardrobe costs.

Although Markle and Harry did not announce their engagement until November 2017, the Telegraph notes that the additional £1.43 million ($1.9 million) spent includes the former Suits star's expenses.

However, Markle is not solely to blame for the increase. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also taken on more public events as Queen Elizabeth II continues to lighten her workload.

The Telegraph also points out that Charles' expenditures have gradually been increasing in recent years, even before Markle entered the picture. His spending from 2016 to 2017 jumped 8.6 percent over the year before, and increased 7.9 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Royal sources would not say how much of the increase was spent on Markle's activities. Instead, Prince Charles' private secretary, Clive Alderton, pointed out how the past 12 months have included "moments of great joy for the Royal family."

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex became engaged, their wedding itself seemed to me a day when not just the sun shone but Britain itself shone - and right round the world," Alderton told the Telegraph. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they were expecting another child and the Prince of Wales's third grandchild Prince Louis was born in April."

Most of Charles' income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, his estate, which owns land in 23 counties in England. He made a record £21.73 million ($28.7 million) from March 2017 to March 2018. His expenditures on his children and their spouses does not include travel costs, which are paid by the Queen through the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Fund.

The most expensive royal trip from the past year was Charles' trip to India, Malaysia, Burnei and Singapore in October and November. The trip cost ($479,362). In total, £4.7 million ($6.2 million) was spent on royal travel.

Charles also voluntarily paid £4.85 million ($6.4 million) in income taxes last year, up 2 percent over the previous year.

The report on the Royal Family's spending also shows that Charles' charities raised £160 million ($211 million) for his favorite groups and causes.

As for the Queen's expenditures, they climbed by 13 percent, mostly thanks to the long-running renovations at Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry and Markle married on May 19. They received the titles Duke and Duchess of Essex and plan to go on their first international tour in October to coincide with the Invictus Games in Sydney.


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