Its been revealed that Princes William and Harry owed £3000 as hotel bill during their European tour in 2007. And one of Prince of Wales’s Scotland Yard protection officers came forward to foot the bill.
An official document revealed that the Princes borrowed the sum of £2,744.34 from Metropolitan Police officers to pay for the bill. However, The Prince of Wales repaid the Scotland Yard bill immediately from his office account and at no cost to the taxpayer.
According to the document Bill was paid back by Clarence House on December 4, 2007 and the Met cashed the cheque on December 17, 2007.
Sources at the Met said it is normal procedure for officers guarding VIPs to pay for items possibly using corporate credit cards in this way because of security with the money being repaid by the office of the borrower at a later date.
There is no suggestion of any wrong doing, but Met chiefs were already concerned about the misuse of corporate Amex cards by Met officers at the time.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “On occasion, and if the need arises, protection officers will incur expenditure on behalf of principals, which are then repaid.”
The Prince of Wales’s office at Clarence House said the bill did not cost the taxpayer.
A Clarence House Spokesperson said: “The Prince of Wales did not incur this cost. It was an accommodation bill for Princes William and Harry and staff on a private trip. It was immediately reimbursed by The Prince of Wales’s office account. It is normal for things to operate in this way for confidentiality and security reasons.”
Ken Wharfe, a former Metropolitan Police protection officer for Princess Diana, said: “It would be the usual practice if a protection officer was in a situation where something had to be paid, be it rail tickets or food, he would pay for it and the money would be paid back to the officer, if he had used cash, or the police force if he used a police-issue credit card.
“It is very rare for members of the Royal Family to carry cash or credit cards so protection officers paying for things is quite a normal practice.”
But Jenny Jones, the Green Party member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and former deputy mayor of London, described the situation as “totally unacceptable”.
She said: “I definitely did not know this was going on and I am really quite surprised.
“If they need things paid for then they should have their own office pay for it or give their protection teams their own cards or cash.”