Royally Screwed? Royal Visit Leaves a Royal Bill

Posted on January 10, 2017 - Who spends 2 million dollars on an 8 day vacation through British Columbia and the Yukon? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their two little babies, that’s who. Turns out the BC and Yukon governments have royally screwed themselves and tax payers on account of Will and Kate’s grand tour of their former colony… but you know, the important thing is, they had fun.

The astronomical bill was released recently due to a federal Access to Information request into the RCMP’s expenses during the vacation. And the costs could increase with expenses expected to be added later in January.

The inquiry revealed that the RCMP’s bill was for regular hours pay, over time and travel costs. RCMP wages and overtime landed at a whopping $1.37 million dollars. But, interestingly enough, regular pay and over time pay weren’t separated in the final bill. And to make matters even murkier, there isn’t a clear detailing of how many RCMP officers were in fact on duty during that time.

Add another $73,000 in wages and overtime for other police costs in the Vancouver and Victoria municipal departments to the mix and you’ve got quite a bill. But that’s not all. The RCMP’s travel bill itself was $532, 097, which makes you wonder how the RCMP was traveling. The only reasonable explanation is that they were traveling on gold plated unicorns, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for the final evaluation of the costs.

And that big reveal is coming up soon. Everyone should mark January 13th on their calendars because that’s when the BC government is slated to release the final costs for the royal tour. You can have fun comparing the grand total of the bill with the estimate that came from Ottawa in October that comes in at around $865,000. Ouch.

Interestingly, one of the most costly and frivolous items on the royal tour took place in the Yukon. When Will and Kate were learning about Canadian history and soaking up local colour at the Macbride Museum in Whitehourse, they thought it would be delicious to send a tweet from the museum using Second World War technology.

So, Will and Kate used an old telegram machine to tweet something probably super important out to the world. This lark cost a total of $4,250 because they needed to use Morse code translation software.

I’m pretty sure you could get a sailor to translate Morse code for free, but where’s the fun in that? So, what was the telegraph to tweet, you might ask? The $4,250 tweet was simply: “THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 2016, WHITEHORSE YUKON.” I guess it pays to be obvious.

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