Londoners Eye: The Royals have irked Percy Blakeney, the Taxpayer

Londoners Eye: The Royals have irked Percy Blakeney, the Taxpayer

A few weeks ago I wrote about the outcry from the public over the lavish multi-million pound costs British taxpayers had to fork out to cover the costs of renovating the country pile given to Harry and Meghan by The Queen.

It has now been revealed that one of Her Majesty’s cousins, the 74-year-old Duke of Gloucester, is downsizing from a lavish 21 room mansion within Kensington Palace to the smaller Old Stables building.

The taxpayer, of course, has to refit this new home for the Duke and his Danish-born wife, and it is estimated to be costing us £500,000 to do. A bargain compared to the Sussex’s lavish refit, right?  Perhaps with age comes thrift.

Yet, I did a little more digging – the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, as well as receiving an income every year from the Sovereign Grant which we as taxpayers fund, they are actually worth a staggering £20 million! Not bad for a couple who have never had to do a proper job all their lives. Clearly the mystique and magic of monarchy has ways of attracting and accumulating wealth.

Indeed this week more revelations are coming out about how those even on the very fringes of the Royal Family cash in on this link to the Crown. Remember Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson? The former wife of Prince Andrew, now known as Sarah, Duchess of York, has moved on from being photographed sucking the toes of her financial adviser and now actually advises financiers herself!

Yes indeed, look at this beautifully crafted handwritten invoice penned in Fergie’s own hand requesting a mere £200,000 from some off-shore bank in the Caribbean for ‘Marketing Advice’. How lovely that she is still able to use the Regal Crown on her headed notepaper even though she is no longer a member of the Royal Family!

An invoice by the Duchess of York for 'marketing services'
Marketing advice or favourable payment? hmmmm!

Now it turns out that the man who authorised this most modest of fees is none other than the controversial Hong Kong tycoon Dr Johnny Hon, Chairman of Global Group Entertainment. Not only did the Duchess get this lovely retainer, but she also earns £72,000 a year advising another of Dr Hon’s companies.

But, why settle for the former wife of a Prince when you can actually hire blood royals! The untitled children of the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, are also on Dr Hon’s payroll. Oh yes, Zara Phillips earns £100,000 a year just by being able to ‘introduce’ him to racehorse trainers. Her brother Peter (keep it in the family, eh?), has also joined one of Dr Hon’s new horse racing venture as a non-executive director, launched just a fortnight ago in Hong Kong.

Peter Phillips has a good track record of bringing in the cash even without a royal title. Remember the lavish Patron’s Lunch charity event in The Mall to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday? Peter Phillips, Esq, took £750,000 as his fee for organising the event.

Fair enough given the fact every charity that has The Queen as Patron was able to raise vital funds, right? Well, on closer inspection of the published accounts, alas Peter’s fee was double the amount raised for the charities themselves. Sounds more like The Grandson’s Lunch to me.

The UN has slammed the UK for being one of the most unequal countries in Europe. The gap between the super-rich and the poor has ballooned enormously. No wonder when those connected to the very pinnacle of British society are so lacking in basic moral fibre. Chutzpah with a Coronet.



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