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Royal aides said Queen Elizabeth II and her family provide "excellent value for money," but anti-monarchy republicans argue the true annual cost of the royals to taxpayers is hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Queen and the Royal Family's official travel cost the taxpayer £4.5 million during 2016/17, up £500,000, but a royal source has revealed the Queen keeps an eye on travel costs.

The most expensive journey by Royal Train was made by the Prince of Wales and cost more than £46,000.

Under the grant, the Queen receives a percentage of the Crown Estate profits for her official expenditure, which increased by £2m to almost £42m.

Figures from the Crown Estate revealed a £24.7m increase in profits to £328.8m in 2016/17.

Not only does the Queen "sign off" all royal travel, the source suggested she comments to her family if the visit is too expensive.

It said: "She might have a word in the ear of the principle".