The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge balled out on Canada's dime when they visited their former British colony in late September, spending an estimated grand total of $855,600 on their week-long trip to BC and the Yukon, according to numbers obtained by VICE News through an access to information request.
Will and Kate's last visit to Canada in 2011, just after they got married, cost a total of $1.2 million—about $113,000 per day. A year before that, the Queen embarked on a nine-day tour of the country that totalled $2.79 million—or around $310,000 per day.
During their lavish week on the west coast, Will and Kate spent about $13,000 on hospitality, which included flowers and refreshments, according to numbers provided by Heritage Canada.
The budget includes a $500 gift from Justin Trudeau to the Royal family. The list doesn't say what the gift was. About $2,000 was also spent on a "legacy gift," though the budget doesn't specify what it was, or who it was for. Another $100 was dropped on a bouquet at the end of the trip.
Trudeau announced on the last day of the tour that the government would give $100,000 as an official gift to mark their tour, to be divided evenly between Prince's Charities Canada and the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia.
The royals also spent an estimated $20,000 on media room rentals and travel for the trip. And they shelled out $20,000 on their official photographer, and another $5,000 on a photo album and group photos. While they paid $10,000 to translate the media guide into both official languages, and $30,000 for translation of "program dailies, web etc…"
Accommodations for their 16 staff cost $40,000, and accommodations for Department of National Defence drivers cost $10,000. The per diem for the royal household was $16,000.
The couple also rented two float planes in Victoria for $50,000, and a boat in Haida Gwaii for $5,000. And the budget also appears to include a $20,000 royal visit to the Young Vancouver Reception at the Telus Garden building.
In the lead-up to the trip, staff for the royals made three preliminary visits to suss out the west coast, spending $39,000, $116,300, and $5,150 on each trip.
The royal budget allocated a mere $40 on royal cellphones for the trip.
The Department of National Defence covered their international flights to and from London, although the cost of the flights isn't listed. The visit to Haida Gwaii on September 30 was covered by British Columbia "and/or organization involved." It's not clear whether Haida Gwaii incurred any costs from the trip.
The total cost sharing for the provinces was $30,000 — $15,000 each for BC and the Yukon.
According to a government Q&A, the tour is paid for by "cost sharing agreements" between the Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia and Yukon.
But it's not clear from the ATIP what those arrangements were. The spreadsheet of the royal tour indicates that cost sharing expenses with the province are indicated in green, but the spreadsheet was sent by Heritage Canada in black and white.
It was the first time the duke and duchess made a royal visit with both children in tow. In 2014, the couple travelled to Australia with Prince George.
In BC, William and Kate visited Vancouver's downtown eastside to meet with staff from a charity for mothers with addictions. They also took in volleyball and a wine tasting in Kelowna. Before they left, Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended a children's party with military families.
A video to commemorate the visit released by Kensington Palace and the Department of Canadian Heritage received mixed reviews on social media for its use of dark tones and eery music.
British news outlet The Mirror described a part in the video of Prince George staring at bubbles as "not dissimilar to the floating bag in American Beauty and like "the moment Donnie Darko discovers time portals."
When the Royal family first landed in Victoria, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to give Prince George a high-five, but the tiny prince was having none of it.
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