The Queen’s grandson’s company was paid a reported £750,000 for organising last year’s Patron’s Lunch for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations.
Peter Phillips’s company, SEL Ltd. received the hefty sum, which was higher than the total amount raised that day for charity: £384,000 before taxes.
In an interview with the BBC, Sir Stuart Etherington, the chairman of the Patron’s Fund charity who awarded SEL Ltd. with the contract, said that such a large-scale event couldn’t have happened without incurring costs and that Peter Phillips’s company made no profits off of the event.
“We compared their costs to those of other suppliers for organising the event, arranging logistics and security, and raising commercial sponsorship, and we satisfied ourselves that they were competitive in every regard,” Etherington told the BBC.
The payment came to light when the accounts were filed with the Companies House, making it public domain information. It was allegedly not revealed at the time at Peter Phillips’s request, as he feared that it would affect future business.
The Patron’s Lunch was held on 12 June of last year to mark The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. Her Majesty’s 600+ patronages and charities were honoured with a lunch on The Mall for 10,000 people. Tickets to the dinner were made available to The Queen’s patronages for £150 each, and large screens were set up at the Royal Parks, Green Park and St James’s Park to extend the celebrations.
The Queen, Prince Philip and senior members of the Royal Family attended the event. Buckingham Palace officials told the BBC, “The Patron’s Lunch was an enjoyable and celebratory event which has directly benefitted a large number of Her Majesty’s charities.
“Questions about the organisation and financial management are rightly a matter for The Patron’s Fund Board of Trustees.”
Despite only taking in £384,000 at the Lunch, other donations were received through various channels, and £750,000 will be donated to 290 charities in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.