Prince Charles' cost to taxpayers falls by half

Prince Charles' cost to taxpayers falls by half

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall take a trip on a bus during a visit to the Wrightbus company in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. They visited the family owned business that started making buses in the 1970's and was the first British manufacturer to design develop and market a fully accessible public transport vehicle in the UK. (AP Photo/Peter Morrisn)

LONDON (AP) -- Prince Charles' funding from British taxpayers fell by almost 50 percent during the last financial year.

The prince's annual accounts showed Friday that his income from the government and a royal grant was 1.1 million pounds ($1.68 million) in the fiscal year that ended March 31, down from 2.1 million pounds a year earlier.

The decrease is largely due to lower travel costs as countries the prince visited often picked up the bill.

Travel spending fell by 49 percent despite the prince attending 657 official engagements, 154 of them overseas.

Charles receives most of his income from properties and investments on his 136,000-acre (55,000-hectare) Duchy of Cornwall estate. That income rose 4 percent to 19 million pounds, and Charles paid more than 4.4 million pounds in tax.

The accounts also demonstrated Charles' continual success in reducing his household's carbon footprint since beginning measuring and reporting its greenhouse gas emissions in 2007.

Total emissions at the prince's residences fell by 21 percent through a combination of energy-efficiency measures, on-site renewable energy generation and the purchase of "green" electricity and gas.

Highgrove House, the family home of Charles and his wife, Camilla, generates more than 40 percent of its own energy through biomass, heat pumps and solar panels.