It's tough when you're rich - and it's getting tougher.

That's according to research from the Queen's bank, Coutts, which says the trappings of luxury are becoming ever more expensive for the UK's wealthiest individuals. A study of the spending habits of 14,000 holders of the bank's exclusive World Card - those with a minimum of £5 million in property and savings - found inflation on premium goods and services running at 9.5 per cent in the past year.

This is more than four times higher than the official Consumer Prices Index inflation, which currently stands at 2.1 per cent.

Coutts' first Wealth Inflation Index shows the price of luxury men's watches soaring 39 per cent to £9,750, with a top of the range Sony laptop up 25 per cent to £1,399.

Meanwhile the cost of a two-course meal for two at London's upmarket Le Gavroche restaurant is now five per cent higher than a year ago at £168 and the price of a Steinway grand piano has risen 3.5 per cent to £95,550.

Stephen Blackman, senior economics adviser at Royal Bank of Scotland - owner of Coutts - said: "We often hear about large rises in wealthy households' incomes, but less is known about the expenditure side of the equation.

"The prices of luxury goods and services are rising at such a rapid rate that nominal increases in income may overstate the increase in their real purchasing power."

Jewellery has also soared 25 per cent in the past year - thanks to record gold prices - while school fees have increased seven per cent.

The Coutts study found the wealthiest individuals spent an average of more than £12,300 a year on recreation - more than three times the UK average.

Eating out in restaurants accounted for more than four times the national average at £8,045, according to the bank.

Coutts' marketing and business development chief Perry Littleboy added: "The initial findings clearly demonstrate that high net worth individuals are experiencing a higher rate of personal inflation than that of the general UK population.

"With annual expenditure rising at such high rates among wealthy households, they should be aware of the impact this can have."