The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is reporting that a total of $8 million was spent during the visit of their Royal Highness, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate Middleton, to Jamaica in March.
According to a budget released by the OPM, the Government spent $4,198,129 for the King’s House State Dinner and $422,615 on transportation, which included fuel and vehicle rental charges.
The OPM has also reported that $804,576 was allocated for portalet, cleaning services, decor and rental, among other things, while $302,965 was allocated to printing programmes, labels, stickers and promotional electronic banners. At the same time, $122, 829 was used for media and support accreditations.
The Government paid $50,000 for the culture performers at Trench Town Culture Yard and $31,687 was allocated as “contingency.” The remaining $2 million was reportedly spent on welfare and hospitality, bringing the total to $8,004,698.35.
Amid outrage from the public, minister without portfolio in the OPM, Robert Nesta Morgan, in a tweet on Saturday, stated that he did not say there would be no cost to the country for the royal visit, during a press conference ahead of the visit.
“I did say there will be costs including security etc,” Morgan tweeted.
During the press conference, Morgan, when asked about the cost for the royal visit, stated, “The Government doesn’t pay for royal visit… There are obviously going to be costs if a VIP is coming to the country. There will obviously be costs as it relates to personal security… It happened with President [Barack] Obama, it happens with any dignitary that comes to Jamaica, the country foots a cost.”
The royal visit of William and Kate to the Caribbean formed part of celebrations marking the 70th Anniversary — Platinum Jubilee — of the Coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, which also saw William and Kate making stops in Belize and The Bahamas over one week, from March 19 to 26. The couple arrived in Jamaica on March 22 and departed March 24.