On Friday, we covered the news about the Sovereign Grant’s budget shortfalls this year because of the pandemic. The Windsors are financed by a convoluted scheme – much of their annual upkeep comes from the taxpayers, but the Queen has gradually made the effort to make some profit, mostly through tours and tourism to Crown-owned properties (castles and the like) and the selling of “official” tchotchkes in various gift shops. Because of the pandemic, the tours are at a stand-still and so of course there will be budget shortfalls. The Queen is laying off staff and there will be belt-tightening and the gold piano will probably be stuffed in a closet.
Anyway, the “pandemic audit” (I have no idea what it really was, but let’s go with that) also revealed some of the notable expenditures from the past year or so, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s African tour last fall. The cost of the tour (paid by the Sovereign Grant) was £240,000 – a relative bargain, I think, for about two weeks of touring, dozens of appearances, money raised for charity and good causes, and on and on. But because people are stupid, the Sussexes are getting nitpicked about the cost of the tour now. The Daily Mail did a hilariously unhinged piece about the tour would have been considered worth the cost, and a complete success, if only Harry and Meghan hadn’t… announced their lawsuit against the Mail and other media outlets. Yes, I will trust the Mail to tell me that it’s wrong to sue the Mail!
But it gets even better! After the Windsor auditors clearly tried to push the “Sussex costs” publicly as a way of blaming Harry and Meghan for existing, their hatefulness boomeranged back onto them. People began asking why the f–k Prince Andrew needed to spend $20,000 for a private flight to Northern Ireland to go golfing.
Queen Elizabeth’s officials have been forced to defend the expensive travel costs of the monarch’s family as they flew around the world last year. The Queen’s son Prince Andrew, who has been mired in controversy over his ties with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, took a flight to Northern Ireland to attend a golf championship in July 2019. Andrew, 60, flew to Londonderry (and back via Belfast) to attend the event at one of his patronages at a cost of around $20,000, according to new figures from the royal accounts.
Andrew, who has stepped down from his royal duties, was patron of the Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland and a past captain of the Royal and Ancient golf club.
“The arrangements in relation to the program did not enable him to travel by scheduled flight. That was taken into consideration in determining whether a charter was appropriate,” a senior royal source says.
“When we arrange travel for an official engagement, we look at all the options, including scheduled flights and charter flights and we will look at the program either side of that and we will then determine what is the most appropriate form of travel. In this case, we concluded the use of charter was the only way to get him to complete the engagement to fit in with his other programs,” the source continued.
The report also reveals that Prince Charles took a charter flight to Muscat to pay his condolences following the death of the Sultan of Oman at the cost of $268,337. He was there for two days – and it was also not possible to coordinate his travel with other members of the U.K. government in attendance, an official explains.
The visit was made at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and arrangements made “at very short notice,” the senior source says. “There was no availability for commercial flights to suit the program timing and therefore we had to use a charter arrangement to ensure the Prince of Wales was able to fulfill that engagement within that very tight timeframe.”
The final royal tour of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to southern Africa last fall totaled $313,422. The figure includes the preliminary visit made by staffers to plan the tour. Officials say that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex fulfilled the tour’s aims of bringing “attention to a number of worthwhile causes and in particular raising awareness of the work and the legacy of the Halo Trust” across more than 20 engagements, the senior royal source adds.
Hahaha. That’s what happens when you blame the Black duchess for every single thing. That sh-t boomerangs back. Obviously, Prince Andrew took a chartered private jet to Northern Ireland for a golf thing because… he could. Because he’s mummy’s favorite and mummy’s favorite always gets the BEST! I remember that golf trip too – it was just before Jeffrey Epstein’s suspicious death in prison. I remember the golf trip because those were some of the most recent photos we had of Andrew when we were talking about Epstein’s death. Surely there are plenty of commercial flights between London and Belfast? It’s crazy how much Air Miles Andy has spent on travel over the years.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.
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