LONDON — The royal family cost Britain's taxpayers £38.2 million in the last financial year, according to accounts released by Buckingham Palace Monday.
The figure, which represents 62 pence per person, was released with Britain facing deep public spending cuts as the coalition government bids to cut the country's record budget deficit.
Officials insisted that the royal household was "acutely aware of the difficult economic climate" and had taken action including freezing the number of employees.
The figure for 2009-10 represents a 7.9 percent drop on the previous year, a fall attributed in part to royals taking fewer commercial charter flights.
But opponents of the monarchy are demonstrating outside the palace Monday to demand more clarity on how the royals spend public money.
"We'll be demanding real transparency and accountability from the palace, so we can really see how much public money they are wasting at a time when government spending is under the pressure of huge cuts," Graham Smith of campaign group Republic said.
"Royal finance reforms promised by the government are a start, but they don't go far enough or quick enough."
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in last month's budget that the royal household would face a funding shake-up and in future undergo the same audit scrutiny as other areas of government expenditure.
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