Canadian taxpayers should expect to pay a healthy bill for Prince William and Kate’s whirlwind royal tour of British Columbia and Yukon later this month.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will also be along for the trip. And anyone who travels in Canada knows a vacation for a family of four isn’t cheap — especially when you have security detail and dozens of events to attend.
While the costs of the upcoming Canadian tour won’t be revealed until after the eight-day trip, past royal visits have yielded hefty price tags.
Will and Kate’s 2011 tour cost $1.2 million, a two-day visit by Princess Ann last year cost $128,000, and the Queen’s 2010 nine-day tour came in at $2.79 million, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
The tour costs are simply part of what Canadians sign up for as long as they support the monarchy, says the Canadian Taxpayer Federation‘s federal director Aaron Wudrick, but they must remain within reason.
“We have to be mindful of the cost,” said Wudrick.
“We do want to treat VIP visitors with a certain level of respect, but at the same time, sort of saying, ‘cost is no object,’ I don’t think flies with most people.”
While the world is watching, Canada has to put its best foot forward. Still, the old days of pomp and circumstance are largely behind us.
“Most Canadians struggle to travel themselves, it can be very expensive, and we have many other competing priorities for that money. So I think we need to strike that balance,” said Wudrick.
Transparency to taxpayers on the royal tour’s cost is key, said Wudrick.
“We have to go into it with eyes wide open,” said Wudrick. “As long as we know the real cost and we make the decision with that knowledge.”
Problems arise when the visit is estimated to cost one amount, which quickly balloons.
“We need to be honest about the cost.”
The tour’s costs will be shared by the federal, B.C. and Yukon governments.
One silver lining — communities will likely see a boost to the local economy as the wildly popular royals attract tourism dollars.
Will, Kate and family will be in Canada from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1 and take part in more than 30 engagements. The Royals will stop in a number of communities including Victoria, the Okanagan and Whitehorse.
“Along the way they will meet as many Canadians as possible, and will help celebrate Canada’s First Nations communities, its arts and culture, pristine and beautiful environment, and its compassionate and innovative charitable sector,” the Kensington Palace website states.
The trip will be Princess Charlotte’s first tour abroad and Prince George’s second.