A COUNCIL spent more than £100,000 from budgets including for road services, street lighting and overtime on the “Scottish coronation” for King Charles, the Sunday National can reveal.

The service took place at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on July 5, where the monarch was presented with the Honours of Scotland – and heard protests from campaigners.

The bill for the event paid by Edinburgh City Council totalled £106,777, with the local authority confirming the funds were taken from existing budgets.

The overall cost of staging the event was revealed in minutes of the Labour-run council's meetings, and was only referred to as “Operation Sceptre”.

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A breakdown obtained by the Sunday National shows the biggest spend – £93,000 – was by the road service, street lighting, events and environment teams, with £5600 spent on traffic notices and advertising.

Another £3400 was spent on parking enforcement, with £2200 on overtime costs.

Other costs included around £800 on hospitality, £825 on radio hire and install and £640 on a resident and business letter drop.

Anti-monarchy campaigners have branded it a “raid on public coffers” at a time of austerity and a “shocking waste of money” during a cost of living crisis.

The overall bill for the crowning of King Charles on May 6 in London – which was estimated to cost up to £100 million – and for the service at St Giles’ Cathedral has still not been made public.

But the costs have included £47,000 to move the Stone of Destiny from Edinburgh to London, while the Scottish Government picked up the cost of a new £22,000 sword and paid more than £250,000 for commemorative silver medals for police officers (below).

The National:


Edinburgh City Council also spent funds set aside for children’s toys and from its school budgets to promote the King’s coronation, The National revealed last year.

Tristan Gray, convener of anti-monarchy campaign group Our Republic, said: “Every time Charles dips his hands into the public purse he makes a mockery of the message that he’s simply delighted to serve.

“He’s a billionaire, more than capable of funding events held in his own honour entirely from his own pocket. But he chooses not to. He chooses to raid public coffers during austerity, because he believes he’s entitled to it.

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“No wonder the public are turning their backs on a man who pillages funding for children’s toys to fund his gold-trimmed ceremonies instead.”

He added: “He didn’t think to ask, and nor did Edinburgh City Council. Maybe whether their councillors will choose to throw money at this royal billionaire will be on the minds of voters at the next council elections.”

Graham Smith, CEO of campaign group Republic, said: “This is a shocking waste of money at a time when the council needs to be providing essential services, at a time when so many are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“The palace should be covering the full cost of Charles’s vanity parade, and yet as is usually the case, they allow local taxpayers to pick up the bill. I hope the council now sends an invoice to the King.”

Council budgets in Scotland are under strain and three months before the coronation, Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said the city had received the “worst grant funding of any local authority in Scotland”.

In November, it was reported he had suggested increasing council tax by 20% to maintain services, prior to First Minister Humza Yousaf announcing a freeze on the tax.

Day said: “As the capital of Scotland, we have certain civic obligations to host events such as Operation Sceptre.

“We attempted to recoup our expenditure from the Scottish Government but unfortunately this wasn’t possible.

"All these costs were met from existing budgets.

"I'd add that the event was a great success and council colleagues and partners once again distinguished themselves, with the eyes of the world firmly on the city."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “From the outset of planning, it was explained to all parties involved in the delivery of the Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication that no additional funding was available to pass on and costs would have to be met within existing resources.”