We Look At The Maths Behind Harry And Meghan’s Africa Trip Costs

It turns out reports of the trip being the most expensive are wholly misleading.

Harry Meghan Africa

by grazia |
Updated on

Today, Harry and Meghan have woken up to yet another attack, this time thanks to the cost of their trip to Africa last year. Headlines include 'The sky-high cost of tour that tore Royal Family apart: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's African trip cost £245,000 making it the most expensive jaunt by The Firm last year, as total travel bill hits £5.3m.' Another day, another row that doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. We have to look at the numbers, properly, before we jump to judgement. Harry and Meghan's trip was, indeed, 'the most expensive jaunt' made by a member of the royal family in 2019, but they are being presented in a skewed way without the variables. It's all about context. So let's take a look at the real numbers.

Harry and Meghan's tour to four countries in Africa in 2019 - Malawi, South Africa, Angola and Botswana - cost £245,000. The tour lasted ten days, meaning that each day cost, on average, £24,500. Of course, this is not an insignificant amount of money. But it is unfair to spin this as vastly excessive, when it is pretty comparable with that of the rest of the family, and is in fact far more affordable than one particular instance.

Prince Charles took one, two-day trip to Oman that cost £205,000, meaning each day, on average, cost £102,500. It doesn't take a calculator to see that this is four times' more expensive than the amount that the headlines are complaining about in Harry and Meghan's case. Charles' trip to Japan - four days, a cost of £113,000, an average of £28,000, is also more than the apparently offensive amount.

Or look at William and Kate's five day tour of Pakistan, which was heralded as a great success. Yes, it cost £117,000, almost half as much as Harry and Meghan's trip, but it was also half as long. Their daily average? £29,000. More than Harry and Meghan's by a few thousand pounds.

It is of course fair to criticise the fact that Harry and Meghan's trip was funded by the taxpayer. It is reasonable to ask if it was truly worth the investment, if we should really be paying for this, if it wouldn't be better spent elsewhere. But if we do that then we have to apply it to everyone, and attach every member of the royal family who travelled on our money equally. Don't like Harry and Meghan? That's your business. But don't jump to judge without addressing the possibility that headlines often veil surprising truths.

Thanks to Twitter account @royal_suitor for pointing out the issue.

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