Royal yacht maintenance bill almost doubles

Groene Draeck royal yachtThe maintenance of the royal family’s wooden sailing boat Groene Draeck cost €223,000 more than the estimates between 2011 and 2015, prime minister Mark Rutte has told MPs.

The bill for repairs to the boat, which was given by the Netherlands to princess Beatrix in 1957 when she turned 18, is picked up by the state.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold had asked the prime minister to explain why the budget for the ship had been increased from €51,000 a year to €95,000.

In his briefing, Rutte stressed that the boat is not a standard yacht and has an ‘extraordinary interior and exterior,’ and requires intensive maintenance.

Because of the budget overspend, an external bureau was asked to assess the likely annual cost and had come up with €95,000, Rutte said.

The cost of the yacht is born by the defence ministry.

The Dutch royals are considered to be the most expensive in Europe, and cost the taxpayer some €40m a year, excluding security.