The British monarchy’s publicly-funded spending rose by 17% to 102.4 million pounds ($124 million) in the past year, with the renovation of Buckingham Palace taking up a large part of the expenses, royal accounts published Thursday showed.
The palace’s annual Sovereign Grant report showed that royal spending went up by 14.9 million pounds compared to the previous year.
Critics described the spending as excessive amid Britain’s cost-of-living crisis.
Property maintenance accounted for a big chunk of the spending — about 64 million pounds — because of a 10-year project to overhaul pipes, wiring and electricals at Buckingham Palace.
Costs for official tours also went up, as the royals returned to making overseas visits after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
The most expensive official royal tour in the past year was the trip taken by Prince William and his wife, Kate, to the Caribbean in March that cost about 226,000 pounds.
The trip, meant to boost Commonwealth ties, was instead marred by protests, calls for slavery reparations, and photo opportunities criticized as a throwback to colonialism.
The Sovereign Grant is public funding to support the official duties of Queen Elizabeth II and other costs such as official travel, staff for working royals and the upkeep of occupied palaces.
The amount of the grant — 86.3 million pounds in 2021-22 — is based on a proportion of profits from the Crown Estate, a vast collection of…