Royal rip off! How YOU paid nearly $60,000 for flights for Prince Harry and Meghan to travel around Australia in style during their first tour of the country as a married couple
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cost taxpayers almost $60,000 for their flights
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent 10 days in Australia in October 2018
- The then-newlyweds were only on five of the 15 flights recorded in cash sum
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cost Australian taxpayers almost $60,000 on flights when the then-newlyweds toured the country last year.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent less than two weeks Down Under for the Invictus Games, but managed to rack up a whopping $57,663 while in the air.
According to documents from the Defence Department, the cash figure was the combination of 15 flights between October 16 and October 22 – but the couple were only on board for five of the journeys.
Four flights were ‘ghost’ trips – where empty planes arrived or returned to locations, while six other routes were designated for support staff or the Royal Australian Air Force’s staff officer, The Australian reported.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cost Australian taxpayers almost $60,000 on flights when the then-newlyweds toured the country in 2018
Australian Monarchist League chairman Philip Benwell told the publication the flights were of ‘tremendous value’ during the royal tour.
‘The fact is the Australian federal and state governments lobbied for the Invictus Games to be held in Australia. It was our governments which approved the itinerary and arranged the travel,’ he said.
‘As is usual with such matters, Australia picked up the tab just as Australia received the enormous profits made, directly and indirectly, from both the holding of the Games and the royal visit.’
The Australian Republic Movement disagreed with taxpayers footing the bill for members of the Royal family who ‘don’t even barrack for Australia in the Ashes’.
A spokesman said: ‘Unlike his father Charles, Harry will have no role in Australia’s government as our king — if we remain a monarchy’.
The Duke and Duchess visited Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo, in New South Wales’ central west, and Queensland’s Fraser Island while in Australia last year.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wave to the crowd as they arrive at the Royal Botanic Gardens on October 18
When a Royal trip is made to a country where the Queen is head of state, it is customary for the host nation to pay for the visit.
During the tour, a spokesperson from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet told Daily Mail Australia: ‘The Australian Government covers some of the costs associated with a Royal tour. Any expenditure meets official procurement guidelines.
‘The cost of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit is expected to be consistent with past Royal visits.’
They spent ten days in Australia for the 16-day tour, which also took them to New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
According to documents from the Defence Department, the cash figure was the combination of 15 flights between October 16 and October 22 – but the couple were only on board for five of the journeys
Prince Charles and Camilla’s trip to Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Games cost taxpayers more than $1million in total.
The royal couple flew to Australia in April to open the games, in a trip Australian taxpayers unwittingly footed the bill for.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Australia in 2014 with a young Prince George, taxpayers paid out about $474,137.
The bulk of the cost for the 10-day trip – $251,338 – was spent on transportation.
The royal couple spent one morning of their tour on Bondi Beach with OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and wellbeing