The 6.1 per cent rise – twice the rate of inflation – was blamed by palace officials on increased maintenance costs on royal residences and higher travel costs, up £400,000 to £6.4 million.
A five day trip in May to the United States by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh cost £415,000 including a £23,000 helicopter trip to watch the Kentucky Derby.
The £40 million work outs at the equivalent of 66 pence per person in the country which is less than two pints of milk or a download of an music track.
Buckingham Palace disclosed in the annual report today that there is a yawning £32 million black hole in the finances which has caused a major backlog of essential repairs.
The palace is now seeking a minimum £4 million annuual increase in the £15 million grant for the maintenance of the royal palaces. Ministers have pointedly refused the request from the Queen.
The funding shortage is now so acute that officials cannot afford to redecorate the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. Some of them have not been redecorated since the Queen came to the throne in 1952.
Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse who is the Queen’s accountant, said: “We were unsuccessful in securing more money from the government. It was a major disappointment to us. That money was badly needed.
“With no increase in funding for 12 years the backlog in essential maintenance has continued to grow. In the absence of any increase in funding the backlog of works is estimated at £32 million.
“This backlog relates to essential maintenance and does not include any allowance for projects such as redecoration of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace – most of which were last redecorated before the Queen’s reign.”
The Prince of Wales took the royal train from Gloucestershire to Penrith to visit the Black Swan pub at a cost of £19,000.
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