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State & CeremonialThe Queen

The Chair of the Duchy of Lancaster is knighted at Buckingham Palace by The Queen

The Chair of the Duchy of Lancaster, Sir Mark Hudson, received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday from The Queen.

The timing of Sir Mark’s investiture is unfortunate as it comes just a couple of days after it was revealed that £10million of Her Majesty’s income had been invested by the Duchy in offshore tax havens.

Sir Mark took the step of not releasing any photos of his investiture and opted for no publicity surrounding his honour.

On Sunday, The Queen and the Duchy were implicated in the latest scandal surrounding offshore tax havens.

In a huge new leak of financial documents, senior figures including Her Majesty were named in the so-called Paradise Papers.

An investigation by the BBC, the Guardian and other global organisations show that around £10m of The Queen’s private money has been invested in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda by the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Duchy provides Her Majesty with an income and manages her £500m estate.

There is no suggestion of illegality by The Queen or those involved at the Duchy.

The leak shows that investments had been made through the Duchy to businesses including BrightHouse, which has been criticised in the past for exploiting poor and vulnerable people.

The Duchy said that it was unaware of their 12-year investment in BrightHouse until approached in relation to the Paradise Papers for comment.

A spokesperson for the Duchy said all investments were ‘fully audited and legitimate’.

Sir Mark Hudson was not chair of the Duchy of Lancaster at the time the investments were made.

The timing of his investiture is unfortunate. The date has been scheduled for months following the announcement that he would be knighted in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.