Queen Camilla’s visit to Bath cost council over £12k

Bath and North East Somerset Council spent £12,600 to host Queen Camilla last month, a freedom of information request by campaigners has revealed.

The Queen visited the city in February to mark the 850th anniversary of St John’s Foundation, a charity that works to change people’s lives around Bath and its surrounding area which she has been patron of since 2009. She had tea with residents of the charity’s historic alms houses before heading to Bath Abbey, where she was welcomed by almost 900 school children from seven primary schools supported by the charity, to unveil a plaque.

But republicans have warned that the event came with a price for the local council taxpayer. Danni Wayne Rawlings, a volunteer with campaign group Republic, which campaigns replace the monarchy with an elected head of state, discovered the cost to the council through a freedom of information request.

READ MORE: Sweary painting in Bath shop window branded ‘trash’ in F-word controversy

Queen Camilla meeting members of the public ahead of attending a Service of Celebration at Bath Abbey

READ MORE: ‘Flood-proof’ pool in Bath closes after flooding twice since New Year

Bath and North East Somerset Council spent £4,956.93 in council services across events, emergency planning, CCTV, highways, parking, communications, cleansing, and heritage services, and on external stewards to support the events. It also cost £7,646.85 in officer time — a total cost to the local council of £12.603.78.

Council leader Kevin Guy said: “We were very proud to see Her Majesty The Queen in Bath for the 850th anniversary of St John’s Foundation. The Royal Family will always receive a warm welcome in the city of Bath.”

But Mr Rawlings warned: “As a teacher, there’s so many budget cuts. […] All these things we are struggling with — but all this money for an unelected head of state.” He said it “cannot be justified.”

Bath has a long history with the royal family, with King Edgar crowned in Bath Abbey in 973. But in more recent times the city has faced budget cuts, with Bath and North East Somerset Council forced to take major action to balance its budget including a cut of £800k over two years to its funding to charities to help the most vulnerable and introducing parking charges in Midsomer Norton and Radstock.

Somerset Live – Bath News