Queen’s financial secrecy faces scrutiny after Andrew’s multi-million pound payment

Queen doubted the future of the monarchy says commentator

The Royal Family’s income comes from the Sovereign Grant, entailed Duchies and private wealth. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Her Majesty’s personal wealth was valued at £370million, but her true wealth, and the wealth of the Royal Family, is unknown.

In March, The Duke of York settled a civil assault action with Virginia Giuffre, who accused the royal of sexually assaulting her.

Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

After settling the case with Ms Giuffre, Andrew was due to pay as much as £12million.

The settlement is believed to include a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights”.

Secrecy about the Queen's finances is facing scrutiny after the Duke of York’s case

Secrecy about the Queen’s finances is facing scrutiny after the Duke of York’s case (Image: GETTY)

The royals’ income comes from the Sovereign Grant, entailed Duchies and private wealth

The royals’ income comes from the Sovereign Grant, entailed Duchies and private wealth (Image: EXPRESS)

Royal expert Daniela Elser quoted reports that Andrew may have only paid Ms Giuffre only “$5.2million to $8.74million of the reported $21million originally reported to settle the case” for news.com.au.

She said: “These developments highlight an exceptionally thorny issue that is only going to get more and more urgent and fundamental for the Queen and in the years to come, Prince Charles when he takes the throne.

“It comes down to this: The Queen and the royal family to this day, receive special treatment from the UK government when it comes to things like taxes and their wills, all the while they are allowed to conceal the true extent of their personal riches.

“For more than a century Britons have swallowed the near total blackout when it comes to the Windsors and their stuffed wallets, but for how much longer?”

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The Sunday Times Rich List said Her Majesty’s personal wealth is £370million

The Sunday Times Rich List said Her Majesty’s personal wealth is £370million (Image: EXPRESS)

In March, The Duke of York settled a civil assault action with Virginia Giuffre

In March, The Duke of York settled a civil assault action with Virginia Giuffre (Image: EXPRESS)

Ms Elser also cited reports that Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, bought a Mayfair home for $8.6million from the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estates.

According to The Sun, the purchase was “a long-term investment for daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie”.

The royal expert then said of the Firm: “They can’t have it both ways, claiming to be public figures who enjoy some more than $150million from the Government purse and then private figures when they want to keep the true extent of their cash reserves hush-hush.”

Ms Elser added: “The royal game comes down to one thing – survival – and in the years to come ensuring that single aim could necessitate, as painful as it might be for the royal family, a drastic rethink when it comes to the near total secrecy that surrounds their finances.

“Because if they don’t? They could ultimately end up paying a much, much higher price.”

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Reports say Andrew may have only paid Ms Giuffre only ‘$5.2million to $8.74million’

Reports say Andrew may have only paid Ms Giuffre only ‘$5.2million to $8.74million’ (Image: EXPRESS)

It comes after Her Majesty opened the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace for the first time since Covid began in July.

The Queen decided to open the doors of her London residence for the first time on August 7, 1993, as the Royal Family found itself in a major crisis.

The move was in response to the huge fire at Windsor Castle the previous year, which destroyed 115 rooms and caused an estimated £36.5million of damage and saw calls for the royals to pay for the damage themselves.

Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke recalled the monarch’s idea on how to pay for it on the Channel 5 series, ‘Secrets of the Royal Palaces’.

She said: “They came up with a pretty genius plan – open up Buckingham Palace to the public.

“What is extraordinary about this genius plan is that it was thought of by the Queen herself.

“Even if her courtiers have thought of this as a way to raise money, I don’t think they would have ever approached her on this.”

Daniela Elser said ‘these developments highlight an exceptionally thorny issue’

Daniela Elser said ‘these developments highlight an exceptionally thorny issue’ (Image: EXPRESS)

It also comes as Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, branded the Sovereign Grant “a scam” after the Royal Household released its latest financial report for April 2021 to April 2022.

He told Express.co.uk: “The Sovereign Grant should be scrapped, it is a scam.

“It is designed to release the politicians of their obligation of properly discussing and deciding on budgets for the royals and to allow the royals to keep on taking more money off us every year regardless of what they actually need.

“And the whole funding of the Royal Household needs to be completely overhauled.”

Richard Fitzwilliams also told Express.co.uk: “The way we fund the royals is a bargain for this country.

“The Sovereign Grant, based on 15 percent of the income from the Crown Lands, which George III handed over in exchange for the Civil List in 1760, is equivalent to 77p per person per year, excluding security.

“This is the same as last year. It covers the salaries of the Royal Household, royal travel and repairs to palaces.”