HMS Queen Elizabeth in numbers

The Queen will formally name the Royal Navy's biggest ever ship today, with whisky replacing the more traditional champagne at the ceremony.

Live updates

Charles 'helped' with Kensington Palace renovation

Charles and Camilla may have provided assistance with the costs.
Charles and Camilla "may have" provided assistance with the costs. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

A senior aide to Charles and Camilla has hinted that the pair helped with the private costs of renovating their Kensington Palace apartment.

William Nye, principal private secretary to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, said: "Young couples setting up home receive some help from their parents or grandparents. Some assistance may have been provided."

Read: Cost of keeping Royal palaces up 45% in a year

William and Kate's apartment 'required complete refit'

Royal sources have defended the amount of public money spent on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's family residence at Kensington Palace, claiming it is "not opulent".

Despite more than £4 million of taxpayer cash being used to "completely reservice" the property, the source said William and Kate were "at pains" to "bear down" the cost to the public purse.

The Cambridges have been extremely sensitive to the fact that public funds were paying for a lot of this work [...]

"It is done to a very comfortable but ordinary level."

– Royal aide

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple.

Advertisement

Charles earnings top £21m as state income doubles

The Prince of Wales received a record total of £21.7 million from his private estate and taxpayer funding in the last tax year, official figures have revealed.

Charles and Camilla during an eleven-day visit to India last year.
Charles and Camilla during an eleven-day visit to India last year. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive

The vast majority of the earnings came from the Duchy of Cornwall, which brought in £19.5 million after a rise of 2.4% or around half a million pounds compared with 2012/13.

The amount of money drawn from the state funded sovereign grant and government departments for official activities of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall nearly doubled compared with the previous year to almost £2.2 million.

Charles Principle Private Secretary, William Nye, said the rise in the use of public funds was mainly down to the fact that the travel costs of Charles's official engagements had returned to a "more normal" level after being "artificially low" the year before.

Many trips of the conducted last year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee were funded by other countries in the Commonwealth realm, they said.

Read: Cost of keeping Royal palaces up 45% in a year

Will and Kate flat refurb costs public more than £4m

Kensington Palace shown surrounded by scaffolding last year.
Kensington Palace shown surrounded by scaffolding last year. Credit: Friso Gentsch/DPA

The taxpayer cost of refurbishing William and Kate's family home was £3.4 million last year, official figures show.

The 20-plus roomed apartment at 1A Kensington Palace was "completely reserviced" from April last year following the removal of asbestos that had made the property uninhabitable.

Around £1.1 million was spent on the property the previous year, taking the total to prepare it for the couple and their son Prince George to move in to more than £4m excluding the work to remove asbestos.

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple as well as a kitchen and they were said to be "at pains" to "bear down" on public costs.

Royal family cost taxpayers 56p each in a year

More than a third of the spending was on palace maintenance.
More than a third of the spending was on palace maintenance. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

The monarchy cost the taxpayer £35.7 million in the last tax year - or 56p for each person in the country, Buckingham Palace accounts have revealed.

The Queen's official expenditure increased in actual terms by £2.4 million from the previous year, while the real terms rise was £1.9 million or 5.7%.

More than a third of the sovereign grant - the system of finance given from the public purse to support the official duties of the monarchy - was spent on maintaining palaces.

The accounts show spending on property maintenance increased by £4.2 million to £13.3 million - a real terms rise of 45% as the Royal Family attempted to tackle a "backlog" of restoration work.

Advertisement

Young boy attempts a selfie with the Queen in Belfast

A young boy attempted a photograph with the Queen on his mobile phone today during her Royal visit to Northern Ireland.

The young boy snaps a picture with the Queen in the background. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/PA

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were enjoying a visit to St George's Market when the young boy jumped in front of her and attempted to take a 'selfie'.

Video: Boy's selfie with the Queen captured during Royal visit

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories