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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Prince Charles' income rises by 27%
Prince Charles receives a kiss from an admirer
Charles was out in Suffolk as his accounts were published
The personal income of the Prince of Wales rose by 27% over the last year to almost 10m, official figures showed on Monday.

Prince Charles received 9.9m from the Duchy of Cornwall - compared to 7.8m over the previous 12 months.

And the Duchy's worth jumped by 51m to more than 400m, thanks to the national increase in property values.

Although the prince does not own this capital, it is this figure that generated his 9.9m income for the year.

Mission statement

The prince also received more than 3m from the taxpayer, including 2m from grants paid to the Queen for costs like the maintenance of palaces and royal travel.

The figures from the Duchy were revealed in a detailed breakdown of income and spending published by St James's Palace.

In a first attempt to clarify the purpose of the prince's role following criticism of his lifestyle after the Paul Burrell trial, St James's Palace issued a mission statement.

It said: "As heir to the throne, he is committed to making a difference for the better, in this country and internationally, and to using his position to draw attention to and foster the nation's talents and traditions."

Sold shares

The breakdown gives details of the cost of everything from utility bills to office stationery.

Prince's expenses include:
91 official employees
Private staff of 17
Garden at Highgrove
Entertaining 11,000 official guests
Playing polo

Although some of the rise in income came from changes to accounting practices in the Duchy, more than half of the rise was the result of shrewd financial decisions taken the previous year.

While the falling stock markets around the world hit many pockets, the Duchy sold most of its shares and invested in other areas such as bonds.

This boosted the Duchy's profits from investments by 1.1m.

A windfall of 306,000 in rent for trans-Atlantic telecommunications cables - which come ashore on Duchy land in Cornwall - also provided an unexpected boost.

The Duchy - which dates back to 1337 - provides a personal income for the prince, and over the last year he spent 57% (5.6m) funding his own official duties and charity activities.

Maintenance work

The figures do not reveal exactly how much the prince is left with for his own personal use, although his tax and personal expenditure combined gave a total of 4.2m spent last year.

Prince Charles with actor John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston at a charity polo match
Charles polo matches for charity also form part of his costs

Charles himself pays 40% tax, but expenditure on official duties can be classed as business expenditure - leaving it difficult to gauge his remaining income.

He benefited from 13% of the Queen's 16.6m property grant, amounting to 2.2m.

Some of this went on maintenance work at St James's Palace, or on refurbishing Clarence House - former residence of the late Queen Mother, which is soon to become the Prince's official London home.

But the prince is also paying for some of the redecoration work himself - including accommodation for Camilla Parker Bowles.

Birthday cards

The figures also showed that the prince's travel by air and on the recently-reprieved Royal Train cost 78,000 of grant money.

The largest chunk of his 5.6m spending was on staff salaries, while 843,000 went on entertaining around 11,000 official guests from sultans to charity workers.

Some 483,000 pays for running the prince's communications department, which deals with the 50,000 letters he receives every year from the public.

The office is currently dealing with the 3,500 21st birthday cards received by Prince William so far.

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
"For the first time St James's Palace has opened up the royal accounts"


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