Poor Charlie

Some readers may have momentarily felt sorry for Prince Charles after reading this story:

PRINCE Charles handed over his entire personal fortune to his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, as part of their divorce settlement, his former financial adviser told a British newspaper.

Geoffrey Bignell, who handled Prince Charles’s financial affairs for more than a decade until 1996, told the Sunday Telegraph that the royal was forced to sell his entire investment portfolio to pay Diana.

“Princess Diana took every penny he had,” Mr Bignell was quoted as saying. His comments provided the first detailed account of the financial impact of the divorce on Charles. …

As part of the divorce in July 1996, Diana reportedly received a lump sum of £17.5 million ($45.31 million) and an allowance for her private office.

But before you go passing around the hat to send Chuckie a charity food parcel, you might also want to read this article:

The Prince of Wales’ pre-tax income rose by nearly a fifth last year to nearly £12m, a royal report has shown. The Duchy of Cornwall, which provides Prince Charles’ annual income, grew in value by £55m last year – thanks in part to the healthy property market. …

According to the review, his pre-tax income grew by nearly £2 million to £11.9 million in 2003-04, with the value of his estate increasing by 14%.

The prince’s income puts him among the UK’s top earners, a London-based financial expert said.

Apparently taking someone’s “every penny” has a different meaning for a British royal than the rest of us.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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David Tiley
2024 years ago

At least, out of fear of him, the old lady will stay on the throne all her life. And her Mum lived to be a hundred.

Nothing I reckon undercuts the monarchy more than our slow realisation that almost all the time, the boss is old. Anglo saxon old. Middle brow old. Stupid and narrow minded old. Thick old.

And Bigears just gets sillier and sillier. Wouldn’t it be great if he had a blog?

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2024 years ago

I like him. Nice kids too.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2024 years ago

Look, I might start talking to plants and developing an unhealthy obsession with complementary therapy if everyone around me – including my trusted confidential financial affairs advisor named Geoffrey – was running off to the papers at the drop of a hat with stories about my private life that even the possession of a modicum of human decency might have suggested were not Geoffrey’s et al business to reveal.

Why doesn’t some journo ask Geoffrey why he thinks it’s OK to blab on about his client’s private financial affairs?

I don’t begrudge the Prince the capital he earns from the Duchy of Cornwall’s investments. He’s legally entitled to it, is voluntarily paying tax on it at a not unfair 40% rate and appears to have managed it very effectively. None of that detracts from my ardent commitment to republicanism, nor from my view that the Prince of Wales is a bit weird. It’s just that he appears to be way more decent than many of those who continue to ransack shamelessly through his life for no reason other than prurience and schlock

2024 years ago

Much as I think the royal family is an expensive anachronism, I feel a bit sorry for poor old Chucky. He’s fifty something and still waiting to take on his real job, the one he’s been prepared for since he was a child. Tradition and protocol required him to marry an air-head because she was a virgin, and when they finally split, he becomes a villain, and then her untimely death makes her a martyr and a saint.
If he is a bit weird maybe its because his entire life is under a micro-scope, and he doesn’t have a job to occupy himself.