Republic has slammed the details of royal spending revealed by today's official royal finance reports, describing the monarchy as “one of the most profligate institutions in the world”. The accounts show that royal spending increased by £200,000 last year, but Palace officials attempted to spin the jump as a "real terms decrease". Republic also highlighted the expenditure which is excluded from the official reports, including security, unpaid tax, costs met by other government departments and lost revenue from the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster. New research released by Republic to coincide with the official reports reveals that once these extra costs are taken into account, the total cost of the monarchy is in excess of £200m, meaning taxpayers spend over 30 times more on a working royal than on a serving soldier in Afghanistan.

The research also showed that the royals work far less than is popularly believed, with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew undertaking engagements on less than two out of every three working days last year. Republic also drew attention to the royal travel bill, which has increased again this year. The itemised travel report revealed that Charles and Camilla spent almost £20,000 on a post-riots visit to Hackney, Tottenham, Lambeth and Croydon; Prince Andrew billed the government £89,915 for a five-day trip to China; and the Queen charged taxpayers over £20,000 for a "residence to residence" trip from London to Edinburgh by royal train. Republic compared these travel costs with those of the Prime Minister, who spent less than £500 travelling on Eurostar to a Paris meeting with former President Sarkozy last year and just over £2,000 on a visit to Afghanistan to meet forces and local leaders.

Republic's chief executive Graham Smith said: “This increase is indefensible and morally repugnant. As Britons face deep cuts to public services and struggle with rising prices, the royals continue to help themselves to our money. The Windsors are not just financially reckless - they are out of touch and out of control.” “It beggars belief that it costs the taxpayer more to send Charles to east London than it does to send the Prime Minister to Afghanistan. I think most people, monarchist and republican alike, would find that impossible to justify. The Palace spin doctors say these lavish trips are all necessary – so let's see the evidence, let's have a cost-benefit analysis.” “Once again the Palace tries to fob us off with a report saturated in spin and half-truths - the fact is that the Palace is one of our most profligate institutions. The costs published today are just the tip of the iceberg - the true cost of the monarchy is likely to be over £200m each year. The royals know that but continue to mislead the public.”