When I first started covering royal tours, years and years ago, I always thought that the royals themselves picked up the cost of the tours. By “the royals themselves,” I mean… the tours came out of the royal budget somewhere down the line, or failing that, the money came from the British government. Some of that is true. For example, Kate’s tour clothing money comes from Charles, and the British Foreign Office spends money coordinating everything for the tours. But the bulk of the tour expenses come from the countries hosting royals. It’s insane. Which is why all of the royals’ Jubbly Commonwealth tours have been criticized so heavily in recent weeks – why are these countries picking up the tab for William and Kate to do the bare minimum? Apparently, Kensington Palace was and is aware of the criticism, so they’re trying to send the message that Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica are not (solely) picking up the tab:
The cost of this tour is being borne jointly, according to a Kensington Palace source, by the host countries, the Sovereign Grant (money given to the monarchy by the British Treasury), and Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. A specific breakdown or further details have not been provided, but it’s possible that some figures will eventually find their way into the public domain through royal accounts or other means.
The question of payment for the visit has already been reported on in Jamaica’s media, with the Jamaican Observer reporting last month that Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, told a press briefing that Jamaica would be responsible for some costs such as security but said that the Government was “not paying for the visit.” The disclosure, which tallies with the information from a royal source, highlights that the three Commonwealth realms being visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will not be asked to foot the bill for all the costs associated with the trip.
One of the biggest expenses for any royal tour is security, and it’s more than likely that Belize, The Bahamas and Jamaica are paying for the Keens’ security and perhaps nothing else. But even then, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars for just a couple days of photo-ops. But it’s interesting that Kensington Palace was briefing the Rota on tour costs and emphasizing how *some* of the money will come from the Sovereign Grant and what have you. Especially since that narrative blew up quickly, when the government of The Bahamas confirmed that they’re absorbing all of the costs of that leg of the Cambridges’ Keen Caribbean Tour:
Taypayers will pay fully for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to The Bahamas, an official said. Jack Thompson, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Governor General, said such trips customarily come at the expense of the host nation.
“It is customary for the host country to absorb the costs, accommodations, meals for the couple and the staff,” he said during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday. Press Secretary Clint Watson said he sought to find out how much the royal visit will cost, but could not obtain that information.
“They’re still waiting on a number of figures to come in so they don’t have that figure for us,” he said.
[From Tribune 242]
If you’re down with royalists, one could argue that William and Kate’s tour will highlight “tourism” to three Caribbean nations, nations which have large tourism industries, industries which have been negatively impacted by a two-year pandemic. But if that was the case, wouldn’t Will and Kate, you know, actually emphasize TOURISM? Instead, they’re just choppering around, eating chocolate and pissing off local activists and being tone-deaf a–holes.
Photos courtesy of Instar and Backgrid.
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