Thursday, June 30, 2011
SPEAKING UP FOR CHARLES
OK I am a benign republican who is happy to see the Queen see out her days on the throne. Then I would bung the remaining members of the Royal Family a million quid each and leave them to their own devices.
All the palaces and assets would become State property and I am sure the tourists would still flock, especially as they would then have access (for an admittance fee) to the various residences.
Perhaps somewhere like St James’ Palace would then become the home of the president. Just who would be president remains to be seen but it would be a symbolic post. As the majority of the world uses this model I see no reason why Britain shouldn’t. I am sure Ireland would lend us Mary Robinson for a term whilst we get used to the idea.
So given that scenario you may wonder why today I am speaking up for Prince Charles. It’s simply this - this week’s headline story has been he has seen his taxpayer funding increase by nearly 18 percent. This is at a time when Her Majesty’s subjects were tightening their belts due to harsh austerity measures.
The heir to the throne’s income from the British government rose 17.9 percent from £1.66 million in 2009-10 to £1.96 million in the past year, according to his official accounts.
However much of the funds covered travel costs with Charles and his wife Camilla travelling 34,000 miles to and from official engagements, including more than 14,000 miles on overseas trips.
Paddy Harverson, Charles’s spokesperson, who may also be the person responsible for putting his toothpaste on his brush, stated: “Spending on royal travel is decided by the government, not the prince. This is because the government determines where members of the royal family go on official overseas visits.”
Quite so. If the British Government decides to send Prince Charles off on trips on its behalf the money should come from Foreign Office funds and not be loaded on to the Royal Family’s account.
Hapless Charles comes in for enough stick as it is, much deservedly so, but beating him with a bat when he is representing Britain simply isn’t cricket.