Fat cat or philanthropist? Prince Charles gives his account of profits, charities and state duties

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An exhaustive account of the Prince of Wales' day-to-day existence, ranging from his business profits to the number of letters he writes a year, was published yesterday.

An exhaustive account of the Prince of Wales' day-to-day existence, ranging from his business profits to the number of letters he writes a year, was published yesterday.

It is the first time the Prince has provided a comprehensive account of his state duties, charitable work and financial affairs in a single publication along with his definition of his role within the UK.

In his mission statement, Prince Charles said he strove in his role as heir to the throne to work as a "catalyst" to raise issues with influential figures. It went on to reveal that his annual pre-tax profit increased by nearly a fifth last year to £12m, making him one of the top 100 earners in the country.

His partner Camilla Parker Bowles also made an unprecedented appearance, featuring for the first time in an official Palace document within the category of the Prince of Wales's personal expenditure.

The apparent model of transparency comes in the aftermath of a difficult year for the Prince. The findings of the Peat report last year were followed by the resignation of the former valet Michael Fawcett and an unprecedented public denial of unpublishable allegations.

Launching the report, Sir Michael Peat, his private secretary, said: "People are entitled to know how the Prince of Wales fulfils his public role and seeks to make a difference for the better. The review explains his official and charitable work and how it is funded and illustrates the depth of his contribution to national life."

Charting the life of the Prince during the last financial year, the report revealed that he undertook 517 engagements, gave 50 major speeches and visited 59 counties and towns in the UK .

The report also focused on the financial aspects of the Duchy of Cornwall, one of the largest and oldest landed estates in Britain. While the Prince does not receive an allowance from the civic list and does not own the assets of the Duchy, as Duke of Cornwall he is entitled to the annual net surplus, which covers the cost of his private and public life.

The estate was boosted last year by 14 per cent to £463m, of which £428m was property- related and the remainder based on stock exchange investments. His income before tax subsequently increased by a fifth from £9.9m to £11.9m last year, according to the report.

The sustained success of Poundbury, the Prince's model village in Dorset, also resulted in development land growth of £8.4m, bringing the total value to £27m.

In relation to his charitable contribution, it emerged that the Prince helped raise more than £100m for charity.

Among his biggest successes was his organic food company Duchy Original, which achieved profits of more than £1m for the first time, all of which were given to charity. A further £875,000 was raised by the Prince's polo playing, a sport which he now only plays for charitable reasons.

"The Prince has been prescient in identifying charitable need and setting up and driving forward charities to meet it," said the report.

"His 17 core charities alone require His Royal Highness to assist directly or indirectly with raising around £100m a year." The report showed that the combined cost of tax and personal expenditure for Prince Charles rose by nearly £600,000 to £4.4m, although there were no separate figures available.

Income from the Duchy of Cornwall was used to meet some personal costs for the Prince's partner Mrs Parker Bowles, who was mentioned three times in the 48-page document, as well as the Prince and his two sons.

Referring to the inclusion of Mrs Parker Bowles in an official document, Sir Michael said: "OK, it's the first time it's been in print. It's the first time we've had an opportunity. We've never sought to hide it." People may think it's significant but we always said when we moved into Clarence House, we said very clearly that Mrs Parker Bowles, her staff, did have an office here," he added.

While Prince Charles employed 84 official members of staff, the number of personal staff for the Prince, his partner and his two sons rose from 17 in 2003 to 28.

While the report showed the Prince received a total of £3.9m in grants-in-aid, £2.9m of which was spent on his London office and Clarence House.

The same source of funding also paid for transport costs by air and rail which rose last year from £478,000 to £825,000. However, the cost of communications support, again financed by grants-in-aid, fell from £113,000 to £80,000. External consultancy and professional fees also dropped from £614,000 to £238,000, which may be a legacy of the completion of the Peat inquiry last year and the termination of the contracts with the Prince's former aide Mark Bolland.

At least one area of finances remained closed to public scrutiny. A company owned by Mr Fawcett, the formerly "indispensable" royal aide who was said to squeeze the Prince's toothpaste, is one of his main entertainment contractors.

Details of payments to Mr Fawcett, who resigned after Sir Michael published the Peat report highlighting failings in the operations of St James' Palace, were confidential.

The findings of the report confirmed the Prince of Wales as one of the top 100 income earners in the country, according to Justin Urquhart-Stewart of Seven Investment Management. Referring to the conflicts of business and royal duties, he said: "Most fat cats benefit from being able to do what they want. If he was more adventurous, he would be held to account.

"If you want to be in business, don't be a prince. People get to see what you're doing."


From his charity work to his passion for rural affairs, the report was keen to articulate the role of the Prince in modern-day Britain. Outlining how the Prince envisaged his position, the report stated in its introduction: "While there is no established constitutional role for the heir to the throne, The Prince of Wales seeks to do all he can to use his unique position to make a difference for the better in the United Kingdom and internationally."

It highlighted that the Prince was keen to optimise his position by raising issues in private meetings.

The report added: "The Prince can act as a catalyst, with often unseen effect, by raising issues in correspondence or at private meetings, seminars and events with a wide range of influential individuals and groups, as well as through speeches and, articles, and television and radio contributions." The promotion of national values and tradition as well as the encouragement of tolerance and respect were listed as high on the agenda of the Prince.

He was also described as "one of the country's leading charitable entrepreneurs" with The Prince's Trust being the largest youth charity in the country, having helped more than a million young people. A further core 17 charities comprise the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise.


Total expenditure during the last financial year was £14.5m. Of the £10.3m spent by the Duchy of Cornwall, £5.9m went on official duties and charitable activities. A further £4.4m was spent on tax and personal expenditure. Prince Charles employed 84 members of staff while the number of personal staff for the Prince, Camilla Parker Bowles, above, and his sons rose from 17 in 2003 to 28. The taxpayer paid £825,000 for official travel, £80,000 in communications support and £2.9m on his London office and Clarence House.


The Duchy of Cornwall generated £11.9m from the Prince's income of £16m last year. The rise was attributed in part to the buoyant property market. While most of the Duchy of Cornwall portfolio remained agricultural holdings, worth more than £148m, commercial property investments were profitable. The capital value of commercial property grew to £102m. There was a rise of 11.7 per cent to £121m in residential property and the Prince's organic food company, Duchy Originals, made more than £1m profit for the first time.


The Prince attended 517 official events in the UK in a year of state duties and charitable engagements. He attended 82 events abroad, visiting Russia, India, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to promote Britain's "diplomatic and commercial interests". He was also involved in two state visits to Britain, including the reception of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, above, in June, 2003 and that of President George Bush six months later. He entertained 9,000 guests at Clarence House, Highgrove, Birkhall and other royal residences. He was sent 33,000 letters by the public.