The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Pandemic Train Tour To Nowhere is already done. It didn’t even last 48 hours, but my, how glorious it was. Y’all know what I think – I think Boris Johnson’s government gleefully sent out Tweedlebald and Tweedlebuttons as a distraction. What’s up for debate is whether or not BoJo knows that Will and Kate will just make asses out of themselves wherever they are, or whether he actually directed them to cause this massive kerfuffle. Over the course of 48 hours, the Keenbridges pissed off all of Scotland, Welsh health ministers, overworked and underpaid healthcare workers, and probably thousands of British citizens. And all of this mess came at such a high cost too!! Newsweek had a shady AF article about how insane it is that these two idiots took the Royal Train, a rarely-used nine-carriage behemoth of taxpayer-funded elitism.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Train tour of Britain will cost an “obscene” amount, campaigners say, after past trips carried a $30,000 price tag. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been touring the U.K. to thank frontline workers for putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic. However, they met criticism in Scotland and Wales where they were accused of undermining a public health advice warning against unnecessary journeys.
Now anti-monarchy campaign group Republic has highlighted the cost of taking the Royal Train, which ordinarily comes from public money and in June last year cost around $30,000 for a similar journey.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, told Newsweek: “Why are they taking the train? It’s just a slightly ridiculous mode of transport to have their own train in the first place. They could have gone up by car or taken a scheduled train which would have cost a fraction of that.”
Royals regularly take the Royal Train to Scotland and when Queen Elizabeth II visited Edinburgh in June, 2019, it cost around $30,000 (£22,696) in public money. Other trips last year included a journey by the Prince of Wales from Kemble, in the southwest of England, to Carlisle, in Scotland, at a cost of $28,000 (£20,822).
William and Kate’s tour met criticism in both Scotland and Wales, with Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething suggesting they may have undermined the public health message not to travel. Royal sources told Newsweek the journeys were permitted under guidelines because they were working. The Scottish rules permit cross-border “travel for work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.”
Smith told Newsweek: “They didn’t need to go at all. Whether there is a technical breach of the law or not, I think there is a breach of the spirit of the law. They’ve said they were there for work so it’s lawful but it’s not work they had to do. It’s essentially publicity work for them and of no public benefit, so they would have been better to stay at home and keep the train in its siding. They could have spent £22,000 on helping a community or giving someone a job who would earn that much in the whole year.”
Actually, the anti-monarchy group is lowballing the cost – if the Queen takes the Royal Train to Scotland at a cost of £22,696, then how much extra does it cost to then loop the train back down to Yorkshire and Manchester, then ride down to Wales, then stop in at Berkshire and then go to Windsor Castle? My guess is *just* the cost of running the train for 48 hours is probably closer to £100K, probably much more. All because Kate had never been on the Royal Train (and Meghan had) and so Kate demanded a choo-choo ride for Christmas! That’s seriously all this was. A “landmark” pandemic tour, billed to the taxpayer, so Will and Kate could perform their keenness in front of cameras. Maskless.
Also: Katie Nicholl at Vanity Fair did some summaries of the tour and she noted that Will and Kate “were granted the Queen’s permission to use the train, the most expensive form of royal travel, in order to carry out the country-wide program….Travelling by royal train… is a rare honor. The distinctive burgundy-liveried nine carriage train is rarely used because of the cost of running it.” Why did the Queen say yes? Was William incandescent with rage at the thought of his wife never having a chance to ride on the royal choo-choo?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.