Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s tour of Australia looks set to cost Australia over $1 million for just a 16 day visit. The costs met by the Australian government (through taxpayers) include security, transport and accommodation – begging the question of what the royals (through British taxpayers) are expected to pay for on their holiday.
The pair have 76 official engagements in that 16 days, and are officially here to open the Invictus Games. They have already visited Sydney twice, Dubbo and Melbourne, and after the opening of the games will head to Fraser Island where they will meet Indigenous leaders.
This tour is the first overseas trip by the royal couple, and comprises Meghan’s first official duties as a member of the royal family outside the UK. Harry has been to Australia several times before, including a 2 day trip last year to check on preparations for the Invictus Games and a month long military deployment.
The Invictus Games are the creation of Prince Harry, and are a sports competition for wounded veterans. They are being hosted in Sydney and open today (lasting a week), with Harry a prominent part of the ceremony. The couple will return to Sydney for the closing ceremony before flying off to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Once they leave Australia the other host nations will take over the costs of the tour.
The cost of the visit is in line with previous royal tours of Australia, with Prince Charles and Camilla racking up a similar bill for their Commonwealth Games visit earlier this year, where Charles was a major part of the ceremonies. The ten day visit of Prince William, Duchess Kate and a baby Prince George in 2014 cost over half a million, not including security expenses.