Royals spent more than £13million of public money on private flights and helicopter journeys

The Royal Family spent more than £13million of public money on private chartered flights and helicopter journeys in less than a decade before leading calls at Cop26 to combat the climate crisis, it can be revealed.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William each issued stark messages to world leaders at the Glasgow summit about the threat posed to the planet by climate change - with the monarch urging them to act for “our children and our children’s children”.

But an investigation by The Independent has found that the Royals have taken millions of pounds’ worth of taxpayer-funded journeys using chartered flights and helicopters in the last eight years - prompting scrutiny from green campaigners, with one pointing out that people “believe in action much more strongly than words”.

It comes after criticism of world leaders and delegates who opted to travel to Cop26 in November by private jet - which are up to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial flights, according to a recent report. Boris Johnson and Prince Charles were among those who used private jets at the summit.

The Royal Family’s official travel is funded via the taxpayer through the Sovereign Grant. A comprehensive analysis by The Independent of travel data published in Sovereign Grant annual accounts from 2013/4 to 2020/1 reveals that at least £13.5million has been spent on travel using chartered flights and helicopters, including S-76 helicopter journeys. The journeys include:

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