Kate Middleton and Prince William's Controversial Caribbean Tour Price Tag Revealed

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced mounting tensions on their tour of the Caribbean in March

kate and prince william
Kate Middleton and Prince William leave The Bahamas on March 26. Photo: getty

New details about Kate Middleton and Prince William's controversial tour of the Caribbean are being revealed.

According to a palace report on Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip in March cost the British taxpayer $275,000.

William and Kate's tour of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas was the most expensive tour by the royal family in the recent financial year, which just came to a close. While the tour was taken in honor of William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, the couple encountered mounting tensions in the Caribbean nations where the Queen remains head of state. The tour saw protests over colonialism and calls for dropping the Queen as head of state.

Last week, William said in a groundbreaking address that he and Kate are learning how the "past weighs heavily on the present" amid the controversy that followed their tour.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade
Prince William and Kate Middleton in Jamaica on March 24. Karwai Tang/WireImage

The second most expensive foreign visit was by Prince Charles, who traveled to Barbados last November at a cost of cost $168,00. The heir to the throne was on hand for Barbados' transition ceremony as they removed Queen Elizabeth as head of state and swore in the island country's first president.

The Queen's use of the Royal Train (which she took to Scotland this week) to Cornwall to host G7 political leaders last June cost $38,400. The report only includes the journeys costing more than $18,100.

There were also 179 helicopter flights by members of the royal family (totaling $1.1 million) and 24 charter flights (costing $341,000).

It was also revealed that the royal family undertook more trips and tours in the past fiscal year than the previous year due to the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on June 21, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales has attended five of the 24 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting meetings held since 1971: Edinburgh in 1997, Uganda in 2007, Sri Lanka in 2013 (representing The Queen), Malta in 2015 and the UK in 2018. It was during the UK CHOGM that it was formally announced that The Prince would succeed The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. Leaders of Commonwealth countries meet every two years for the meeting which is hosted by a different member country on a rotating basis.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Ian Vogler-Pool/Getty

Royal aides recognize that there is a "tension" between the royal family's desire to cut carbon emissions and their environmental work — like William's Earthshot Prize and Charles' sustainability and climate control efforts.

"Travel is an important part of members of the Royal Family, whether it's visiting communities or overseas travel at the requests of government. It is part of the core role of members of the Royal Family," a senior royal source says. "We will take advantage of some of the things we have learned during the pandemic like virtual engagements, but there isn't any substitute for the physical engagements."

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To combat this, the royals are using biofuels on the Royal Train. Charles is also behind efforts to use sustainable aircraft fuel. An aide praises the Royal Air Force as being "brilliant partners" when the royals use the RAF Voyager jet. Every royal flight the Voyager makes from the U.K. will be with sustainable fuel. All travel emissions are also offset — something Charles has led the way on.

"There is a conflict to being an environmental champion with the official travel," the royal aide says. "That is tricky but this is the way he is trying to reconcile it."

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