The Sunday Times reports today that Prince William is to cost cash strapped North Wales constabulary an estimated (remember these royal expenses are not subject to FOI, for some reason) £1.4 million in extra protection costs as a result of his decision to live in an isolated cottage rather than on the RAF base where he is doing his flight training.
Incredibly this means that the savings forced on the force will be wiped out in a stroke. The North Wales force had been told that it would have to save £1.4 million as a result of government cutbacks. This entire saving is now going to be obliterated in employing a 15 strong unit of armed officers to protect William. A cost that need not accrue if he were to live on the well protected RAF base where he is doing his three year helicopter pilots course.
The reason for William’s decision is so that he can spend more time with his girlfriend, Kate Middleton and friends. Well that is nice. I guess the people of North Wales can just do without police for the duration of Wills stay.
St James’s Palace has said that it is not unusual for officers of William’s rank to live off base. What is unusual is that “normal” officers do not need a round the clock escort of 15 armed police. Nor are their expenses, paid for by the British taxpayer, exempt from Freedom of Information Legislation.
Of course William and his brother are very keen to display a veneer of being just normal lads. But from time to time that slips and we are all made painfully aware that we are not all in this together at all. You know the sort of thing: young role models dressing up as Nazis or assaulting journalist while pissed outside night clubs or borrowing a MOD Chinook to fly through one of the most heavily protected airspace corridors in the country to take you mates to a stag party. That sort of thing.
William don’t put yourself out one iota will you. The rest of the country is in a financial pickle but you just keep on milking the state for all you are worth.
Protecting Willie’s love nest in rural Wales? Good value for money? Hardly. Cheap at twice the price? Really?