PENANG, MALAYSIA - NOVEMBER 07: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets Private Brydie Schultz (L) and Private Rachel Parise of the 19th Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force, during a visit to Royal Malaysia Armed Forces Butterworth base on November 7, 2017 in Penang, Malaysia. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are on a tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and India.  (Photo by Yui Mok - Pool / Getty Images)
Prince Charles has come under fire for investments made by the Duchy of Cornwall. Yui Mok/Getty Images

Paradise Papers: Prince Charles profited from stake in friend’s offshore firm



The latest batch of revelations from the Paradise Papers show that Prince Charles invested millions of pounds in offshore funds, through the Duchy of Cornwall, with some of the money going to a firm registered in Bermuda which was run by one of his oldest friends.

The BBC reports that in addition, the prince campaigned to change climate-change agreements that would benefit the companies that he was investing in.

The Duchy of Cornwall, a 680-year-old private estate which provide Prince Charles with an income and owns 53,000 hectares of land in 23 counties, bought shares worth $113,500 in Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd. The director of the company was Hugh van Cutsem, who the prince had known since meeting him at Cambridge University in the 1960s.

The Duchy of Cornwall has claimed it has no knowledge of the investments made on its behalf and the is no accusation that the prince knew that he would benefit from his lobbying.

A Clarence House spokesman told the BBC that Prince of Wales had “certainly never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that it may have invested in.

“In the case of climate change his views are well known, indeed he has been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for over 30 years.

“Carbon markets are just one example that the prince has championed since the 1990s and which he continues to promote today.”

Sir Alistair Graham, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, a body instituted in 1994 to police ethical standards of British public life, said the prince’s actions could be a serious conflict of interest.

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“There’s a conflict of interest between his own investments of the Duchy of Cornwall and what he's trying to achieve publicly.

“And I think it’s unfortunate that somebody of his importance, of his influence, becomes involved in such a serious conflict.”

According to The Guardian, the investment was considered to be so “sensitive” that directors of the company, which was buying up land to stop it from being deforested, were told to not disclose the Duchy’s involvement.

The Labour MP and tax campaigner Margaret Hodge told the newspaper that the revelations proved the need for greater transparency.

“It seems clear to me that Prince Charles could not have known or understood the nature of the investment in his friend’s company,” she said.

“What is clear is that there should be proper transparency of all investments made by the Duchy of Cornwall, that the Prince of Wales should not be involved in investment decisions and that the Treasury should monitor the investments to ensure that the reputation and integrity of our royal family is protected.”

Poacher

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Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

Match info

Who: India v Afghanistan
What: One-off Test match, Bengaluru
When: June 14 to 18
TV: OSN Sports Cricket HD, 8am starts
Online: OSN Play (subscribers only)

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

MATCH INFO

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Camp Nou, Barcelona
Wednesday, 11pm (UAE)


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