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Wills-Kat splash out 52k pounds for one-way flight.

London, July 3 ( ANI ): The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge blew a whopping 52,000 pounds on a flight from Los Angeles with their entourage.

Royal accounts have revealed that business class seats were booked for seven flunkeys and the newlyweds.

But British Airways upgraded them to first class on their way back to London from a California trip.

The huge cost to taxpayers last year for funding the jet-set royals was revealed on Monday by Buckingham Palace.

But the bill for the young royal couple was nothing when compared to high-living Prince Charles.

Accounts showed that the 63-year-old dished out 460,000 pounds on private flights to take him and Camilla, 64, on a tour of the Middle East, South Africa and Tanzania last October.

Officials said that it was not possible to make the trip by scheduled services.

Prince Andrew, 52, dubbed as "Air Miles Andy", ran up a 378,000-pound bill in his last three months as a UK trade ambassador before stepping down over his links to a convicted paedophile.

And Prince Harry, 27, cost 107,000 pounds in flights on his Caribbean tour for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Half of the cost went on scheduled flights but there was a 55,000-pound bill for a private jet that took him from Miami to Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and back.

The Palace figures revealed the cost of running the royal household went up by 200,000 pounds to 32.3m pounds last year, which is equivalent to 52p for every person in the UK.

Travel was the biggest cost, followed by salaries for royal servants, hospitality and ceremonial duties.

The Palace said costs in real terms were down, and insisted that the public got good value for money from royals' overseas visits.

"They strengthen Britain's relationships with other countries, and contribute to economic and strategic goals," the Daily Star quoted the Palace as saying.

Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said that putting a pay freeze on Palace staff had helped to keep costs down.

But anti-monarchy group Republic said that the true cost of the royals neared to 200m pounds after adding security bills.

"As Britons face deep cuts to public services and struggle with rising prices, the royals continue to help themselves to our money," chief executive Graham Smith added. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 3, 2012
Words:405
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