It has been another busy year for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in terms of public engagements throughout the United Kingdom and those overseas on behalf of the Government, the latest Annual Review from Clarence House reveals today.
The 2012 Review shows that between them The Prince and The Duchess undertook 804 joint and solo official engagements in the UK and abroad last year, hosted almost 9,500 people at events at royal residences and travelled almost 48,000 miles at home and abroad in the course of their work on behalf of the country.
Among the main themes of Their Royal Highnesses’ year were the regeneration of communities and turning young people’s lives around, travelling overseas to maintain and enhance British influence with key international partners, support for the UK’s Armed Forces and their families at home and abroad, and working with the private, public and NGO sectors on sustainability.
As it does each year, the Review provides details of The Prince’s charitable activities, which continue to thrive in challenging economic conditions. In 2011-12, His Royal Highness helped to raise, directly or indirectly, £131 million to support the work of his 16 core charities, which as a group represents the UK’s largest and most diverse multi-cause charitable enterprise. This figure is up from £123 million in the previous year, an impressive achievement given the challenges faced by the charitable sector. In addition to this charitable activity, The Prince’s main social enterprise, the Duchy Originals food business, enjoyed a record year in terms of sales. Duchy Originals from Waitrose has generated £3.5million for charity since the successful re-launch of The Prince of Wales's organic food business in September 2010.
The latest Review continues to provide detailed information about the Household’s impact on the environment, and reveals that carbon emissions under the Household’s control fell again last year, taking the decrease since 2007 to 41 per cent. About half of office and domestic energy comes from renewable sources including wood chip boilers, heat pumps, solar panels and electricity from renewable sources.
The Review also explains how the work of The Prince and The Duchess, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, is funded. Their Royal Highnesses do not receive a Civil List or a Parliamentary Annuity, but use the income from the Duchy of Cornwall to pay for their official activities, supported by The Queen’s Grant-in-Aid funding to provide assistance with official travel, property and communications.
The Prince’s private income from the Duchy of Cornwall in 2011-12 rose three per cent to £18.3 million. His Royal Highness chooses to spend well over half of his after-tax income in support of his official and charitable work, and that spending rose four per cent in the year to £9.8 million. His tax bill, which is paid at the highest rate of income tax after the deduction of business expenditure, rose from £4.4 million to £4.5 million.
Spending on official travel paid for through Grant-in-Aid from the Government rose during the year from £1.1 million to £1.3 million. The increase was due to several factors, including: more overseas visits by The Prince and The Duchess; more overseas visits by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and by Prince Harry; longer distances travelled during those visits; and, the inclusion in the latest financial year of part of the costs of Spring Tour in 2011 (to Portugal, Spain and Morocco).
The overseas visits by Their Royal Highnesses are of real value to the country, according to Simon Fraser, Head of the Diplomatic Service for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He says Members of the Royal Family travel abroad to “promote our foreign policy objectives and UK interests throughout the world.” On the past year’s overseas travel, he adds: “The visits of The Prince of Wales have supported British business, investment and development goals and promoted our values around the world.”
Published for the fifth consecutive year, the Sustainability Account follows the adoption of the Connected Reporting Framework developed by The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, an initiative he set up in 2005 to help companies and public sector organizations embed sustainable practices in their operations and report their sustainability performance.
Welsh and Gaelic language versions of the Review will be available on the website in the near future.