PRINCE Andrew caught a £16,000 taxpayer-funded private jet flight to watch a golf tournament, annual figures reveal.
Palace sources say the Duke of York grabbed the flight last July because there was no other way to make the trip.
Andrew, 60, known as ‘Airmiles Andy’, caught a private jet from Farnborough, Hants, to The Open Championship at Portrush, in Northern Ireland.
It cost taxpayers £15,848 despite there being 13 daily flights from London to Belfast.
The golf club dropped Andrew as patron amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal last November following his “car crash” Newsnight interview.
A palace source said: “There were no other ways for Andrew to make the trip.
“He was undertaking a visit on behalf of his patronage. Arrangements in relation to the programme did not enable him to travel by scheduled flight.”
Princess Anne is also under fire for a £16,440 day trip to Rome to watch Scotland play Italy in the Six Nations in February as patron of the Scottish Rugby Association.
A royal source defended the flight saying: “The royal travel provides support and organises travel for members of the royal family to undertake engagements on behalf of their patronages.”
“When we make arrangements for any engagements always mindful of their timetable and how it conflicts with other programmes and viability of other forms of transport.