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How the British Royals blew taxpayers' money

June 30, 2009 14:10 IST

Brit taxpayers had to dole out pound 250,000 for a makeover of Princess Beatrice's university digs, stated a bill revealed by the Queen on June 29.

The fund was used to redecorate a private four-bed apartment at St James's Palace for Princess Beatrice, 20, who started her history of art degree at Goldsmiths University, London, last September.

The annual report into the royal finances revealed the money was spent on rewiring the rooms, plus installing a new kitchen, two new bathrooms and a wood floor in two reception rooms.

Graham Smith, from the campaign group Republic, has branded the huge cost a 'scandal.'

'This puts the rows about MPs' expenses and duck houses in perspective. This bill eclipses any put in by MPs in their expenses,' The Sun quoted him as saying. 'The level of scrutiny being given to MPs' expenses should apply to royal spending.'

The TaxPayers' Alliance has also condemned the St James Palace expenditure. 'It's staggering,' campaign manager Susie Squire said. 'Many taxpayers will find this unjustifiable, not least because Beatrice does not carry out official engagements.'

But a senior royal aide has defended the pound 256,000 bill, saying the age of the property meant high restoration costs.

'The apartment had been used by a member of household staff,' he said. 'It's a normal apartment which was on our list for improvements for some time. It co-coincided with the Princess going to university in London and it was therefore appropriate for her to occupy it,' he added.

Source: ANI