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Prince Charles’s annual review shows over £5m tax paid in last year

Prince Charles saw the income from the Duchy of Cornwall increase by 1.7% for the year ending 31 March 2015, bringing in £19.845m, which the Prince used mostly to fund his official engagements.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited 10 countries in 2014-15 including five joint visits.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited 10 countries in 2014-15 including five joint visits.

The Prince of Wales’s private income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate covering agricultural, commercial and residential property chiefly in the South West of England. The Duchy also possesses a financial investment portfolio.

The Duchy of Cornwall was created by Edward III in 1337. He created the Duchy in order to afford an income for the King’s heir. At the time, it was Edward of Woodstock, who later became the Black Prince and made Duke of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall has been in effect ever since.

Charles opts to use his income from the Duchy, rather than public money to cover the vast majority of the cost of the public duties of both himself and the Duchess of Cornwall. The income from the Duchy also includes the expenses from public duties The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry carry out.

The Prince’s report shows that £2.234m was funded by the Sovereign Grant and Government Departments.

The Sovereign Grant covers two distinct areas of official costs incurred in support of The Queen as Head of State: Property Services and Travel. Travel expenses for overseas engagements have increased by £198,000 for the Prince.

However, official costs correlating to the London office and official residence have seen a £60,000 reduction.

Government Departments meet expenditure regarding the provision of staff on secondment from the Armed Forces and some costs of official overseas visits undertook at the invitation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. £242,505 was spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2014-15.

The travel costs of the Household were also released, showing Charles and Camilla spent £446,159 on their tour of Mexico and Colombia, £239,710 for the United States tour and Charles’s visit to the Middle East cost £262,212. The trips above were undertaken using chartered flights.

Over 61 percent of The Prince of Wales’s after-tax income from the Duchy of Cornwall was spent on official and charitable duties. Of the £9.444 million, staff costs accounted 66 percent or for £6.2 million of that £9.444 million.

Prince Charles employs directly 145 full-time equivalent staff. Breaking it down into two distinct groups would see 126.2 of the 145 employees support Their Royal Highnesses in undertaking official duties and charitable activities, and 18.8 of the 145 employees are personal, garden and farm staff.

The Prince of Wales voluntarily pays income tax on the remainder of the Duchy of Cornwall. The application of normal income tax rules and including the 45 percent rate. He pays income tax on all other income and capital gains tax like any private person. The £4.483 million includes VAT.

The income from the Duchy of Cornwall is not only used for official duties of Charles and his family. Some charitable projects and tax liabilities incurred are paid with the Duchy income.

Non-official expenditure covers the salary of eight full-time equivalent personal staff, including private secretaries, chefs, valets, and staff for Charles and Camilla. Also, there are 10.8 full-time equivalent estates, farm, garden and stable staff. Personal expense also incorporates the relevant share of the cost of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire and Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland.

The garden at Highgrove is a valuable charitable asset and was visited last year by roughly 35,000 people, raising over £600,000 for charitable causes.

The costs of The Home Farm, The Prince’s organic farm on the Highgrove Estate, are added under to this total. Charles established The Home Farm as a working farm established to show the commercial and environmental benefits of organic and sustainable farming. The Home Farm saw approximately 1,320 visitors last year.

By The Numbers
  • In 2014-15, Charles went on a total of 612 official engagements. Of those 612 engagements, 124 were overseas travel. Camilla had 224 engagements with 67 of those abroad.
  • A combined 64,380 miles were travelled to and from official engagements in the UK and overseas.
  • Prince Charles delivered 48 keynote speeches for the year ending 31 March 2015.
  • The royal couple received 43,036 letters and cards from the public.
  • Prince Charles’s Charities that range from The Prince’s Trust to Business in the Community raised £143m.
  • Highgrove saw 40,000 visitors in 2014-2015. Profits created from the garden tours, the sale of branded products and Highgrove Enterprises events saw £650,000 donated to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
  • Prince Charles received public funding of £2.234m in the last year, whilst having paid a total of around £5.1m in tax in the same period.

The full report may be found here.

photo credit: Northern Ireland Office

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