Prince Charles has seen his private income increase by £700,000 – up 4 per cent in a year. Official figures released yesterday revealed that he earned £19m from his Duchy of Cornwall estate last year, up from £18.3m.
Clarence House said the heir to the throne “chooses to spend” £9.8m – more than half of his after-tax income – on supporting his official and charitable work.
His tax bill, which is paid at the highest rate of income tax after the deduction of business expenditure, remains at £4.4m. Spending on his official travel paid for through the Sovereign Grant fell from £1.3m to £644,000. The decrease in spend was mainly due to travel costs to countries such as Australia and New Zealand being covered by the hosts.
The Duchy also funds his wife Camilla, Prince William, Kate, and Prince Harry. The Annual Review, which covers the 12 months to April, shows that Charles and Camilla undertook 769 official engagements last year.
They hosted almost 7,500 people at events at royal residences and travelled more than 58,000 miles.
Charles raised “directly or indirectly” a total of £139m to support the work of his 17 core charities, a rise of £8m in the past year. The accounts reveal that the Prince employed a retinue of 125 official staff, up by one on last year, 15 estate workers and the full time equivalent of eight personal staff.
The tax arrangements of the Duchy are to be scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next month after questions were raised about whether it is paying too little.
Margaret Hodge, chairman of the PAC, said about 30 MPs and many members of staff had written to express concern about how the tax is calculated. “There are issues,” she said. “Does that make it public or private and what happens in relation to capital gains tax and corporation tax?”
William Nye, Charles’s principal private secretary, speaking during a press briefing about the annual review, said: “Naturally we’re happy to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, if they would like to see us.”