Unlike Prince Andrew (allegedly, for now at least), Prince Charles wasn’t raping underage girls back in the early 2000s.
Also, unlike Prince Andrew, Prince Charles hasn’t been ousted from Buckingham Palace by the Queen, as the royals try their utmost to limit the PR damage during what can best be described as a shitshow.
Charles was said to have backed the Queen’s decision to boot the Duke of York, but he’s not exactly the most popular man in Britain, either.
In fact, according to the Daily Beast, when it comes to his claims of fighting climate change and slimming down the monarchy and its spending, “he is an outrageous hypocrite on both counts”.
The hard work has been done by Norman Baker, a former government minister and “zealous auditor of the royal firm’s accounts”, in his new book, What the Royal Family Don’t Want You to Know…And What Do You Do?
Baker raises many red flags, including:
Charles has turned his vast personal fief, the Duchy of Cornwall, into a brand of high-end supermarket foods that makes an annual profit of more than £21 million ($27.1 million) on which he pays no corporate taxes.
Although he pays income tax (albeit “voluntarily”) he is allowed to make huge deductions for expenses including the costs of a personal staff of 28, including butlers, valets and gardeners—as well as those of the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, including her jewels, clothes and stabling for horses.
He pays market price rent to the Duchy on Highgrove, his sprawling country estate, but all that money comes straight back to him in the Duchy’s profits without any deductions for tax—amounting, in fact, to self-dealing.
The Duchy audits its own accounts and gives no right of access to the government watchdog, the National Audit Office.
When Charles made a tour of Europe to promote awareness of climate change he flew to Rome, Berlin and Venice on a private jet, leaving a carbon footprint of 52.95 tonnes—using commercial flights would have reduced emissions by 95 percent.
The latest available annual travel costs (2018/19) for Charles and Camilla were £1.3 million ($1.68 million) and in that one year the carbon emissions generated by travel by the whole royal family doubled to 3,344 tonnes.
Ah, I see. Say one thing in public, get filthy stinkin’ rich behind closed doors, with zero accountability.
Whilst there have been similar rebukes of Charles and his business dealings over the years, Baker’s hits the hardest because he’s currently a member of the Privy Council, a body appointed as advisers to the Queen.
When pressed in the past about his finances, Charles hasn’t exactly been all that forthcoming:
Charles becomes very testy when it is suggested that there should be more transparency about his finances. In 2005, after a government watchdog said of the Duchy’s accounts “More information and explanation need to be given to readers of the accounts, not the least of which is Parliament” he snapped that the report was “a travesty” and “fundamentally wrong.”
And, forewarning about his attitude to becoming King he said, “I think it of absolute importance that the monarch should have a degree of financial independence from the state… I am not prepared to take on the position of sovereign on any other basis.”
It’s no surprise that Millennials in the UK are more and more in favour of doing away with the monarchy, with a recent survey showing that only 41% are in favour of keeping it.
Some of the figures involved in the monarchy’s, um, upkeep, are staggering:
From his experience as a minister Baker was able to see the largely hidden collateral expenses of supporting the family from the public purse, particularly the cost of security to cover every member of the family, even the most peripheral ones. He puts the true cost at “well beyond £300 million ($387 million) a year.”
Sure, they provide a degree of entertainment (at this stage, the Prince Andrew affair is akin to slowing down as you drive past a road accident), but that entertainment does come at a massive cost.
At some point, as the scandals mount and the Brexit-favouring ‘God Save The Queen’ oldies move on to greener pastures, you wonder whether Charles might the last King they ever see.
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