Welsh royal palace could generate £36m for tourism

Opening a royal palace in Wales could bring in an extra £36 million in tourism expenditure over 10 years, a new study claims.

The Welsh Gorwel think-tank said the case for an official royal residence should be considered, saying it could attract thousands of visitors but be seen as an extravagance.

Called Playing the royal card, the report examines the economic, social and political pros and cons of having a royal palace established in Wales.

Wales is the only country in the UK which does not to have a royal palace or residence for the monarch.

The report offers various options for building a new palace or adapting an existing building. It finds that there could be an important economic and employment boost to the Cardiff, if there is one built in the Welsh capital.

Such a palace could act as a national and international venue for national occasions, events, garden parties and other civic occasions.

However, the report noted potential drawbacks, such as the displacement of tourism from other sites in Wales, resistance from Welsh nationalists and republicans, and fears that it could be “a symbol of extravagance in a period of austerity”.

The report suggested between £765,000 and £3.6 million annually could be generated in tourism income, as well as a further £510,000 to £2.4 million in indirect spending with between 55,680 and 266,900 visitors a year.

Official royal residences in England include Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle; Scotland has the Palace of Holyroodhouse; and Northern Ireland has Hillsborough Castle.

The Prince of Wales has a private estate in Llwynywermod in Carmarthenshire.

Cardiff image: ©VisitBritain/Simon Winnall