Last fall, the Cambridge family travelled to Canada, spending a week in British Columbia and the Yukon. The Canadian government has yet to release the actual amount spent during their visit. The RCMP has estimated that it is $2 million while the budget estimation of the federal government is $855,600. This brings the overall cost of the family’s visit to $3.8 million.
Historian, Carolyn Harris said royal tours benefit Canadians in many ways: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge raised the profile of Canadian charities and environmental initiatives over the course of their tour,” she said. “Royal tours of Canada receive global coverage and encourage travellers from around the world to visit.”
Tourism and large crowds followed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on all major stops during the week-long tour that started in Victoria and went to Vancouver. It then moved to Kelowna, Bella Bella, Haida Gwaii in British Columbia and Whitehorse and Carcross in the Yukon Territory. Over 435 accredited media outlets such as CNN, Vogue, Hello! Magazine and The Today Show made the tour accessible to millions around the world while drawing attention to British Columbia and the Yukon.
Ms Harris noted that this latest Canadian tour was more streamlined than the Cambridge’s first tour back in 2011: “The 2016 visit was more centralised and largely based out of Victoria.”
In a statement released by the Province about the tour, it said: “Their Royal Highnesses experienced the true West Coast lifestyle on their tour, including salmon fishing in Haida Gwaii, sailing in the Inner Harbour of Victoria, taking a float plane to Vancouver and walking through the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.”
British Columbia announced last week it spent $613,363, while the Yukon spent $429,000. When the Duke and Duchess stayed overnight from 27 to 28 September in Whitehorse and Carcross, the Yukon spent $457,000. Of that, over $44,000 was paid back by the Canadian government.
Several costs to British Columbia included $41,798 for accommodations for the royals their staff and household; $27,589 was spent on transportation alone; $196,129 was allocated for security; $28,815 on travel for provincial government officials and staff; and $46,134 for media operations and services.
For the grand reception held at Government House on 26 September, it cost the province $20,854. Other miscellaneous expenses to the province included $10,899 for site reconnaissance and $55,628 for staff members from Kensington Palace to do a dry run of the tour.
Expensive items on the bill included entertainment costs at $152,000, suppliers at $124,500 and the media centre at $56,000. The Yukon’s Department of Tourism and Culture released a breakdown of the $11,754 it spent during the tour. It showed that $148 was spent on balloons, $643 on helium and $800 for kettle corn. However, the most expensive item on the Yukon’s breakdown was incurred at the MacBride Museum in Whitehorse. The Duke and Duchess wracked up $4,250 by sending out a tweet with Morse code translation software.
Whether or not you are bothered by all the expenses catalogued during the 2016 Canadian tour, one thing that can’t be denied is what it brought to Canada as a whole. Tourism, business and income to local establishments and new donors to Canadian charities spotlighted by the royal visit.