The Hidden Expenses of Prince William’s Private Pilot Gig

In the backlash over the recent $6.8 million Kensington Palace renovations for Prince William and Kate, many are left bewildered as to how Prince William and Kate could up and move to the Anmer Hall country estate gifted to Prince William by the Queen.  Those of course are the people who haven’t been paying attention. We welcome all to the Land of the Disenchanted with open arms, we’ve been expecting you.  Please make yourselves comfortable, someone will by shortly to collect your Royal Wedding souvenir spoons and those Kate mugs you claimed were ironic but secretly loved.

Today the Royal Household Annual Accounts officially come out.  Obviously there are those who have lashed out over the cost of Kensington Palace renovations and Prince William’s and Kate’s decision to live at Anmer Hall so Prince William can play helicopter pilot, but perhaps the most interesting figures that come from this are the ones that won’t ever be listed on any report.  Prince William’s decision to postpone royal duties is going to cost taxpayers a fairly large sum of money.

In order to protect Anmer Hall, an estimated fifteen officers will need to be hired to guard the grounds around the clock, costing taxpayers an additional $2.5 million per year.  That’s what the taxpayers shelled out annually to secure the couple’s rented farmhouse in Anglesey when the couple decided they wanted the privacy of living off base.  At Kensington Palace, there is already a security team in place.

Also at Kensington Palace is the recently installed super-tricked out panic room and state-of-the-art video surveillance.  It’s likely Anmer Hall is being similarly outfitted, since it will be their primary if not their “official” residence.  The average panic room runs around $1.7 million, likely the second in line to the throne would get an above average panic room.  Perhaps a security upgrade is one of the reasons why Anmer Hall isn’t ready yet.  Security costs are paid for by the taxpayer and aren’t released apparently for the British Royal Family’s safety.  Because even though an insane nut job targeting the Royal Family can count the number of protection officers in published photos and read about the special mesh curtains designed to catch shattering glass in most major magazines around the world, knowing how much each protection officer makes an hour would somehow facilitate their heinous plans.

Anmer Hall is approximately a hundred and twenty miles away from London and a hundred and fifty-two miles away from Berkshire where Kate’s parents live.  Likely Kate will make many escapes to stay with her parents like she did when Prince William was an RAF pilot and they lived in Anglesey.  Now that she has Prince George, the cost for securing her parents’ Berkshire home for the third in line runs taxpayers in the neighborhood of $17,000 a day.

Of course, what’s distance when the Queen allocates part of the Sovereign’s Grant to lease you a helicopter instead of blowing it on needed repairs to Buckingham Palace?  A lot of that priceless artwork in danger of being destroyed by a leaky roof has been around forever, a lot of people have already seen it and there are probably some pictures of that stuff somewhere in case it gets ruined to remind people what it looked like.

In addition to the cost of the helicopter lease, there are operational costs such as fuel and oil, maintenance, a pilot if Prince William isn’t doing the chauffeuring.  But the helicopter will come in handy now that Kate will be further away from six of her seven charities.  If the seventh, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, drops by the house and asks her to do something, Kate can always hop in the helicopter and tell the pilot to step on it.  That kind of convenience is priceless.

If Prince William really wants his life to be private then taxpayers shouldn’t have to cover these outrageous sums.  No taxpayer-funded protection officers, travel expenses and staff.  If he really wants a “normal life”, he should be afforded the opportunity to live just like everyone else.  Maybe a glimpse into actual normal life would be enlightening to the Petulant Prince.



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43 thoughts on “The Hidden Expenses of Prince William’s Private Pilot Gig”

  1. I can’t imagine the British tax payer putting up with the antics of these two much longer…this may mean the beginning of the end of the British Monarchy, simply because the Duke & Duchess both have mommy issues.

    1. The way that this couple wastes millions is so frustrating. I know I harp on this, but it breaks my heart that tens of thousands of UK citizens died this winter because they couldn’t afford to turn up their heat. The difference between life and death for those people was a matter of a few dollars. Each and every one of those people was a daughter or son, they were grandparents and parents, friends and neighbors, they all left behind loved ones because of the spike in heating costs. I didn’t even go into the undisclosed costs for moving their staff into newly refurbished Kensington Palace offices.

      1. Lola, this was a great way of considering expenses many of us, including me, hadn’t talked about. In one of my momemts recently, I broke down the cost of KP repairs and the helicopter lease and it came to something like $65,000 (US) PER DAY! With what you have added here, and with other expenses, they probably spend upwards of close to $100,000 US per day. Unbelievable. And they can’t show any appreciation to those less fortunate, when they are in the greatest position to do so and effect change.

        You know, I hadn’t considered a panic room – which makes total sense. (I was too overwhelmed by the numbers, I guess!) But what might be fun is to imagine WHAT their panic room consists of – In my imagination I think it’s a full decked out house within a palace. I imagine the usual bedrooms for W&K and bedroom/playroom for George, a kitchen (that 3rd one really puzzled me at first – I thought maybe she wanted one kitchen for salads, one for the main course, and one for desserts), his/her bathrooms (pardon me – W/C (water closet as the British like to call it)and powder room), a living room with wall sized TV covering all four walls – for PW to play all his video games in comfort and sometimes practice his flying, dining room with complete china and silverware sets (what are so called paper plates?), exercise/weight room, swimming pool, elevator, access to the garage (for their collection including the REAL batmobile, KITT car (from Knight Rider), and the General Lee (from the Dukes of Hazard) – you know they can’t have a CAR rank higher than them. Oh yes, and 2 closets with the wall knocked out between them as security and servants quarters. Kind of still need them
        Feel free to add on to my imaginary super decked out panic “room”. I bet the one they are building at Anmer is even better!

        1. Have William and Kate run up extra costs accommodating Ma Middleton? There are various reports that the Middletons have a room at KP and some media are reporting that the Middletons have a suite there. Is this a reason for more run on costs at Anmer Hall too?

          1. They have guest accommodations but all renovations on Kensington Palace had to be approved by the Queen who wouldn’t have approved anything specifically for her in-laws. She’s been more inclusive with Kate’s family but she wouldn’t allow them a special suite, she’s very cautious about that sort of thing.

      2. i’m equally frustrated at how they waste money.

        It’s not as if any of this is a recent thing.

        Every year, it comes out in the public accounts and the security accounts, as limited as those are discussed with the select committee, that these 2 people have the highest bills out of all the royals starting when they lived off base in Wales.

        Imagine, Charles who lives like an Edwardian gentleman is outspent by his son. And only now is the public taking notice.

        One might argue that Charles has private income and therefore doesn’t need to gorge himself on the taxpayer credit card, but why when HM has to account for every penny are these two allowed to behave this way?

        1. The thing about Charles is he doesn’t try to pretend he’s anything other than a toff. He’s oblivious and unrelatable to most but he’s not trying to convince anyone that he’s just like them. He accepts his destiny and does his job whereas Prince William wants the best of all worlds. What’s crazy to me is the system that puts the Queen’s expenses under a microscope but has these trap doors no one is supposed to look into where the Laziest UK Royals can hide millions of dollars in expenses.

          1. I know this is a little off topic – but does anyone know if the RF has life insurance for themselves? I was thinking about this because if they do, and depending on the policy, I bet there was alot of money exchanged on the deaths of Diana, the Queen Mum, and Princess Margaret. Especially with Diana, if there was a policy including accidents, I bet the payout to her kids was HUGE.

    2. Kate and William’s main charities seem to be: themselves.
      Until now they have wheedled, pouted, and manipulated absolutely everyone around them on both sides of their families to pony up money, perks, and unearned priviledges. Now those same manipulations are extending to money received on the backs of the average British taxpayer for over-the-top renovations to historic buildings and this is where Kate and William have misjudged the backlash and how the honeymoon of adoration is over. Perhaps they should time travel back to the 1600’s when the peasants could not read nor write and had few dreams of their own. Would be the perfect climate and place for Kate and William’s kingdom of personal excess. Who would guess that these two people with such former promise are bringing down the monarchy in much more spectacular ways than Diana, Princess of Wales attempted to do? It really is quite the astonishing fairy tale unfolding.

    1. Wow, all Pippa does is smile and blink a million times a minute. Definitely her mother’s daughter!

        1. Probably that she was paid twice Lauer’s yearly salary just to sit down with him – probably with the stipulation that he do most of the talking – because, you know, between her lack of anything really interesting to average people and her fake posh accent, nobody really cares enough to listen to her, and she gets to walk away with MONEY.

          1. It should be an interesting interview. Matt’s a great guy, very warm, he has a way of putting people at ease. I’m curious to see what he pulls from Pippa.

    1. I didn’t include the Bentley because it’s paid for by the Duchy of Cornwall, I was trying to focus on the additional charges taxpayers will incur because Prince William wants to play private life. The Bentley thing is just sad on many levels. Btw, who rides in a Range Rover when you’ve got a Bentley? Bentley interiors are so amazing, it’s like drifting in a cloud. That’s like saying, “No thanks, I don’t want to take the Batmobile, I’ve got this pogo stick.” The Range Rover is clearly a weird Wills thing.

  2. Oh and guess what Lola? Charles is aiding financially!
    Asked whether Prince Charles might have helped his son pay for the new kitchen, a Clarence House spokesman said: ‘Many young couples when doing up houses seek help from their parents or grandparents. There may have been some assistance.

    I’m not really surprise the expenses are going out of control, I saw this one coming immediately after George’s birth. Because of instead of moving into a secure place (KP) they chose the Middleton house and hello, taxpayer money to protect the baby and its lazy parents.

    If William craves normalcy, he should just bow out and leave. Nothing stopping him… oh wait, something is, lack of luxury lifestyle. Seriously, that man child is in some serious need of a smack down. I hope they feel the backlash, hard.

    (Yes, I’m a Witch.

    1. Even up to a few years ago, I read that William was STILL receiving an allowance from daddy. Not sure if he continues with it, or if they just name it something different now that PW is married with a son. How many men of 28 (I know he’s 32 now, but the article I mention was when PW was 28) still get a parental allowance!?! No wonder he can’t make up his mind – he still acts and thinks like a child. I think you hit it on the head, Visenya – he is a man child.

      1. He used to get money from the inheritance he got from Diana, a certain amount per month, but now that he’s come into his 30s he got access to half of that.

        Also, remember that Prince Charles is also paying Kate’s wardrobe (I need to find that article). So William is just being who he is, a man child who has other people bail him out.

        Do you remember when he commented that he was “too poor” to go to Mustique (I think)? Someone paid for that vacation. William is a man child and needs a swift kick in the royal bum.

        1. He received all of his inheritance when he turned 30. I’ve read many times that PC funds them so that in the event of a divorce, waity receives the bare minimum because she is not supported by her husband

    2. I’m just going to refer to the second ‘cosy’ kitchen as Le Petit Trianon Kitchen in honour of Marie Kate Antoinette.

        1. I’ve also read a report of 3 kitchens. One formal, one attached to the nurseries, and one for the staff. This is the first I’ve read of a “family” one for them to use themselves.

          1. Finally some of the UK journalists are saying it like it is:
            “… Kate is a privately-educated little rich girl who’s never had a proper job and been given everything by her multi-millionaire parents…..Wills is also spoiled and even at the grand old age of 32 still can’t hack the ­prospect of being a full-time royal – even though all the wealth and the privileges he enjoys are supposed to be in exchange for that.”

        2. There’s an article out there (I can’t post atm, on a rush) that says there are going to be 3 kitchens. One is a state of the art and has a wide range and double subzero freezer.

          The third kitchen is for the staff. And according to the report, George gets TWO nurseries.

          Oh but they’re borrowing a 50k Persian rug from the Royal Collection and 2 Corinthian lamps.

  3. Hello posters!

    I’ve posted here recently, but I read this site daily, looking for the great comments in Lola’s stellar items. I love this site!

    So, I stumbled across this video only this morning, but assume it’s been out there a good while already. So here’s me, trying to get up to speed as a newbie at all this fascinating royalty chat.

    Have you all seen this already? If so, your thoughts? I was shocked and had to wonder, by the cheeky tone after the main video, if it’s just a hoax/joke type video. ? I mean nobody is this indolent, right??

    If it is true, it boggles the mind. At least IMO! A double, for security sake? Sure. I can see that, I guess. So perhaps he was just goofing off to tweak the real PW?

    (It’s a clip of a supposed William look-alike or double, handing off sandbags, as the real Will stands idly by, at first. As PW then partakes, the other guy somehow disappears from view, Wills replacing him in line.
    Oh I hope this link “takes”:

    PW and Double

    If that doesn’t work, here is the link for copy/paste:

    Thanks for any feedback! You’re all way ahead of me on this stuff, so I really appreciate it.

    And thanks to Lola for a fun & informative blog! Can’t wait to read more.

    Aside: I’ve always greatly admired the Queen, pitied/disliked and now begrudgingly respect Charles… somewhat; and also pitied the boys terribly when their mother passed away.

    But then they grew up, and William went off the rails, IMO, to the chagrin of all. Now he seems more of a Mr. Middleton, husband to Kate, assimilated by the Carole Borg, rather than a royal. Except for all the perks.

    It’s just bizarre and such a shame to watch. I do think he and Kate are both very good at manipulating one another; it goes both ways.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and/or noting anything regarding that video.

    1. Thanks, Laura. I had not seen the video before. While I don’t find it surprising PW has a security double (I’m sure all the senior royals do), I just don’t see the need here. While there may be a good explanation of the double there (like PW expected to be late, and for media sake, they’d use his double), but the first thing I thought of was – Wow! Having this body double gives PW every excuse not to do any work if someone else can show up in his place. Same goes for Kate.

      1. Hi med4kmd

        Yes, that was just my thought, too. I also wondered what it mist be like to be the double. How much salary? Are you on call 24/7? Would it be tempting to pretend lolol to be PW off duty? 😀 The guy sure does look like the prince, at least from the bit shown.

        Also? Re your post from the mirror? I read it as well, and in the end I guess I just believe the power wielded by the RF will keep the true numbers from ever being shown.

        And I assume the wealth there is almost ungodly in it’s amounts, which is why it always seems to me when issues of expenditures arise such as KP/Amner, I get the feeling it’s all show. The concern, I mean. The “trying so hard to keep it to the pence” faux concern.

        The private funds the family has are so vast, I’d bet, this stuff is just a blip, but they must seen to try toeing the line. Make it believable (to some) that they could give a fig about money spent.

        And Kate? Oh yes. She’s acquired what she and her mother went at for possibly her entire life. Under Will’s thumb, sure. But that’s the price she willingly paid and does not seem to regret at all, plus as she grows in her role as his wife, I’ll bet she becomes more manipulative as she learns. They really seem an almost perfect match made in dis functional family theatre.

    2. Welcome, Laura! I’ve never seen that video before. It’s actually not uncommon for high profile individuals to employ body doubles for security purposes but I’ve never seen one used for sandbagging. It’s very strange.

  4. I found this article from the Mirror, detailing some of the finer points of exactly how much money HM gets and where it comes from, and where it goes. I was completely shocked to learn that it is law that the payment for the Sovereign Grant will NEVER, EVER be less than it was the previous year, even if the Bank of London fails. I’m not exactly sure how that can be justified. As I am not an economist, I’m sure there is some explanation/justification for this. In my mind, there will come a point in time where the ecomony will not be able to sustain ever increasing payments, and while there may be years where the Grant stays the same, this may not be enough to help the economy. So, in my mind, the long term plan is to get the government so indebted to the Royals that the original plan set up in the 1600’s will become null and void, allowing for a new arrangement that would likely be even more lucrative for the RF. Maybe someone who understands economics can better explain.
    Here’s the link:

    1. Sorry, I replied to this up above.

      Wanted to add that both of my daughters had (and still have) the “never make less than highest paid yet” clauses in their offers for employment out of university. I don’t know if that’s standard or not; one is in IT & one in business management. Perhaps upper tier placement it’s more common? I do wonder if that’s the norm now (I’m ancient!;) I haven’t asked, but I think I will now.

      Imagine. The perks of a Queen! Then again, they work many hours a week and put in the effort to remain respected and happy at their jobs.

      But, ahem, their salaries are nowhere near the realm of what we are talking about here. Lol!

      You could be very right about the sustainability of it over time. Especially with the banks behaving as badly as ever. I can easily see your scenario occurring down the line. Sincerely doubt the Firm does not extrapolate and plan long term. Ohhh, imagine the deals that could be made.

      I’ve always sensed a certain resentment by the RF at having to have turned much of their once privately held assets to the public trust, except when it’s to their advantage. But old royalty would’ve simply bade the upkeep be done, right? In their minds, being of royal blood makes the difference, divine right and all, so as such, I’m sure they felt it only natural and correct they own whatever bits they wish to own, and have a public willing to scrape knees keeping it all up to par. After all, wasn’t it a blessing to even be considered for such work, being a commoner?

      I can believe some of that attitude resides in the sighs and “pities” of certain factions of the family.

      Am on my cell again; please forgive typos. I think I’ve caught them all, but never seem to anymore.

      1. Interesting – before this I hadn’t heard about contracts with such a clause as “never be paid less than prior year” -at least not in everyday, “in the trenches” medicine. Maybe on the business side of things. I bet that justifies a lot of companies to let go of people when times get hard. I think it would make more sense to set a minimum living wage on the contract supplemented by bonuses when times are good. That way, if you are a good employee, there is less of a chance of letting you go when businesses are in the red.
        As getting fired from the firm if you are a family member is a lot less likely, I’m sure they absolutely love that clause. Allows them to plan short and long term with little chance of failing due to hard times.

  5. Excellent post Lola! Do you ever post on HRHDuchessKate? I think you have a very good point about the increasing costs to support PW and DoCs lifestyle choices. I just wish more people knew this about them. To me, they still seem to have an incredible amount of support from the mainstream public. So many people still want to defend them for different reasons. Meanwhile they take free perk after free perk and live their lives in extreme luxury making selfish decisions. Their decisions affect the public because they fund their lifestyle. It is mind boggling how this can be the image BRF wants to portray to the world.

    1. HrHDuchessKate is that blog where all the sugars hang out,
      The articles there present Kate as the ever perfect special snowflake. Pass the vomit bucket please.

  6. Posting this multiple places.

    DM playing games again.

    This article has disappeared from the front page and does not appear when you search using the words kate middleton kitchen:

    Ripped out… the gleaming £38,000 kitchen that the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William didn’t want
    2700+ comments

    Now they’ve put this article on the front page instead.
    So why wasn’t this £50,000 designer dream good enough for Three Kitchens Kate?

    1. Yes, I saw that,too! I was disappointed to see they are overhauling the Anmer kitchen as well. IMO, it is beautiful. Two exceptions though. I do agree on replacing the (gorgeous) wood countertops due to safety reasons – you don’t want bacteria to build up over time. Also, I read that the Aga stove, although quaint, wastes A LOT of energy as opposed to a “regular” stove/range. In spite of these 2 things, I think the kitchen is fantastic as it already is. Such a waste to rip it all up, especially as it was remodeled only 6 yrs ago. I’d love to remodel my mom’s 40+year old kitchen, but we can never seem to scrape the $$ together.
      With all this talk regarding kitchens – it reminds me of those counting pennies to afford their next meals, or parents that “dumpster dive” at local supermarkets for slightly outdated but still thrown-away food, or the elderly eating pet food because they are “too rich” for assistance. We know this is much more prevalent than the world media is reporting. Hearing all this money spent on seeming frivolous renovations by the Lazy Duo with all their ridiculous justifications really ticks me off. They should both pick up support for food kitchens instead of worrying about the proper shade of color on the walls or the depth of the kitchen sink.

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