PRINCE Andrew has been blasted for booking into a £6000-a-night hotel – despite the offer of a free room in a luxury home.
The fourth in line to the throne is currently on a week-long tour of India as part of this year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
In a three night stop-off in Dehli Andrew, already known for his extravagance when it comes to transport, opted to book into the Maharaja suite at the Leela Palace, despite the offer of a bed at the residence of the British high commissioner.
Andrew apparently opted for a luxury suite over a bed in the high commissioner’s bungalow Photo:Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr
The Leela Palace is one of the city’s most expensive hotels with rooms costing 550,000 rupees (£6,400) a night.
But it is understood that, with discounts, the bill is likely to have been around £3000.
This is likely to soar as the prince was reported to have ordered room service for him and his staff.
Last week the Royal Standard was flying from the roof of the 1940s bungalow occupied by the high commissioner, but sources said the Prince was instead staying in the lavish 4,425 sq ft suite, one of just six rooms in the hotel.
He was able to hide away in the building by using a private lift and was offered the free use of a chauffeured Rolls Royce and a 24-hour butler service.
Jonathan Isaby, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, slammed the extravagance. He said: “A significant amount of taxpayers’ money funds that residence presumably so visiting dignitaries from the UK can be put up at no extra cost. It beggars belief.”
Today Buckingham Palace refused to confirm where Andrew had stayed but a spokesman said: “The duke is in India representing the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee, in exactly the same way as other members of the Royal family are travelling this year.
“As with all official Royal visits, this trip is sponsored and funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Travel costs are met by the sovereign grant [which replaced the civil list].”
It’s understood that Andrew was given a significant discount through the FCO and that the cost of the trip was around a fifth of the usual cost.
The prince has already been attacked online after his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson wrote on Twitter about his “gruellingly busy trip to India”.
“Must have been really hard for him. Third class travel? Poor Bugger”, one person responded.
Andrew flew first class with British Airways last Saturday before dining with Indian telecoms tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal on Sunday night.
On Monday he caused outrage amongst the country’s press when he apparently snubbed waiting journalists, who were allegedly escorted from an evening garden party for trying to talk to him.
The Hindustan Times, one of the biggest selling newspapers in the country ran with the headline “Duke Andrew gives the Royal ignore”
“Airmiles Andy” also opted for private planes to transport him around the country, but officials claimed his hectic schedule made it impossible to use commercial jets.