Royal Gossip

The British Royal Family *Windsor* => Wessex => Topic started by: Miss Hathaway on November 05, 2015, 02:53:57 pm

Title: Wessex Finances
Post by: Miss Hathaway on November 05, 2015, 02:53:57 pm
They're not supposed to be receiving taxpayer money, but it's all a little murky.  Bagshot was renovated with taxpayer money.

I think the stories coming out about the cost of Sophie's designer duds are the beginning of questions about their finances.

I think that last linked article is from a time when the Civil List was in operation. As for Bagshot, it's quite usual for the Ministry of Defence to pay for delapidations when they've been leasing Crown Property and not dealing with essential repairs. In this case it was to bring it up to scratch for the new tenants, (the Wessexes.)

I agree that structural repairs should be made to return to property to the conditions under which they found it.  The article above says the Ministry of Defence was to reimburse the Crown Estate for "dilapidations" or "roofs, gutters and windows".   However, who paid for all the expensive extras?  There was much more done to Bagshot besides "dilapidations".   I sincerely doubt it came out of Edward's pocket; in fact the above article said he had refused to pay one contractor.  I think the property is beautiful, and I would not want to see it fall into disrepair, but it is a bit much to see the Wessexes' luxurious manor (the largest Royal home), and Sophie's expensive designer clothes, and them flying about in helicopters, etc., when the Average Joe is struggling.   

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Alexandrine on November 05, 2015, 02:55:36 pm
good idea  :thankyou:

But everyone keep it civil  :chill:

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: My2Pence on November 05, 2015, 03:00:40 pm
Anne's Gatcomb Park estate was done much the same way, but no one was really tracking or paying attention then.  It may have been purchased with "private" money, but it was fixed-up with money from the Crown Estate. Private property fixed up with Crown Estate money.  What all that entails we'll never know. 

If Bagshot is part of the Crown Estate, then it needs to be kept up and using that money for fixes makes sense. All the "extras" would be the same mystery money as Anne's and Andrew's, but at least Bagshot is not "private property" like Gatcomb and Sunninghill Park.

They all live ridiculous privileged lives through a mixture of public and private money. That is nothing new. Edward and Sophie are key hardworking royals, and they'll continue to be for the next twenty years. Their lives don't seem more extravagant to me than say, Charles or W&K, and obviously E&S do much more work than W&K.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Miss Hathaway on November 05, 2015, 03:16:47 pm
^^Of course we will be civil!     :BFF:

There are many links and resources on the Wessexes, so there is a lot of factual information out there about them!


^The difference, in my opinion and many others' (including Prince Charles), is that Anne has a working farm.  She works it.  She earns it.  She had a successful equestrianne career, and she outworks everybody in the family and gets zero recognition for it.   Andrew he did sell the manor he received as a wedding gift and used the money to restore the Royal Lodge left to him by his grandmother.  Andrew also put in twenty years in the Navy and has also been an active member of the family.   He would like to do more and have his daughters work as well, but this is being denied to him by Charles.     Edward, in comparison, is a failure.  He dropped out of the Marines, his production company was a total failure and laughingstock and lasted as long as it did only because of the deep pockets of Philip's friends who were "encouraged" to invest.   So, Philip put him in charge of his charity.  Edward has done nothing on his own, unlike Anne and Andrew.  Yet, he has the largest home of both of them.   And while the Wessexes do make a lot of appearances, they are still way down the pecking order.   The public attention is turning to the Wessex finances, and it was only a matter of time before it did.   Sophie really needs to reel in her posing in expensive designer duds; she's only drawing negative and unnecessary attention, in my opinion.   

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: My2Pence on November 05, 2015, 03:44:40 pm
I haven't seen Andrew achieve anything on his own. Does he secretly have a large estate or private company somewhere?  The Kents and the Gloucester don't have large working estates, they are fully supported by the Queen, and they quietly lives of wealth and privilege off the taxpayers.  Sophie is higher profile because the family wants her to be, so she dresses and acts for the job. I don't have a problem with that. Someone has to pick up the slack from W&K, and Sophie stylishly bats cleanup for the family firm as the next-youngest female to KM.

Anne's working farm is a result of her mother buying her an enormous estate with "private" money, and using taxpayer money to fix it up and make it a profitable farm. If Edward wanted a farm, I'm sure his mother would buy him one and find a way to use the public's money to fix it up.

I don't see Edward and Sophie as failures. They haven't used as much of HM's "private" money and the taxpayers money to build their "private" business as Anne has. When Anne passes, all of those taxpayer-funded upgrades will be to the private benefit of her heirs who will probably escape estate tax.  All upgrades done to Bagshot, with private or public money, will eventually benefit the taxpayers via the Crown Estates. Either the CE will get a higher rent for it on the open market because of those upgrades or they will be able to sell it for a higher price because of those upgrades.

Edward and Sophie cannot inherit Bagshot, so their finances and financial support from HM will be seen long after HM dies.  She will have made provision for them to receive a lot of money, in order to make up for them not owning Bagshot and enable the purchase of an estate for Louise and James to inherit.  Zara and Peter may inherit HM's Kentucky horse operation, but given Sophie's love of racing, it might end up in the hands of the Wessex kids to trick the tax man.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Miss Hathaway on November 05, 2015, 04:51:40 pm
^Andrew served in the Navy 20 years and retired.  He saw action in the Falkland War.   Like him or not, that is an achievement.   Eddie quit the Marines and became a tea boy for Andrew Lloyd Webber and produced that spectacular flop:  A Royal Knock Out.   I would say that he ran Ardent Productions into the ground, but it never got off the ground to begin with.    Anne (who won an Olympic medal) was given Gatcombe by her mother but is working it, not just living on it and given an allowance by her mother (like the Wessexes). Here is an interview with Anne which shows that she is a hands-on farmer:

I suppose the Wessexes could turn Bagshot Manor into a bed and breakfast.   Can't you see Sophie rolling out of bed every morning to fry eggs and sausages?    :bored:

I don't believe the Kents or Gloucesters are fully supported by the Queen.  Both those families had to sell the family homes years ago and downsize.  The the Michael Kents had to sell their country estate and start paying rent on their apartment at KP. 

Anne doesn't wear expensive designer clothes at her appearances.  She wears clothes from thirty years ago.  And she is the Queen's daughter and the Princess Royal, so I'm certain that the wife of the youngest child of the Queen can reign in her clothing costs and no one will even notice.   

I can't see any way out for the Wessexes other than downsizing their lifestyle once the Queen passes.  They will receive an inheritance, but it won't be enough to continue living such an expensive lifestyle when they aren't bringing in an income on their own. 

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: My2Pence on November 05, 2015, 06:26:59 pm
Andrew left military service in 2001. Since then, he and his scandals have become a nightmare for the BRF. The shenanigans surrounding Sunninghill Park being sold to a questionable individual, Andrew ducking a £6 million tax bill on the sale, the thing fell to ruins and is being torn down. Add in the new Swiss mansion with his ex-wife? I cannot see Andrew as a success story for the British Royal Family. If he wasn't royal, odds are he'd be in prison. Edward and Sophie's failed business ventures compared to Andrew's behavior?  No contest Andrew is the embarrassment, Edward and Sophie are just fine.

The Kents and Gloucesters (and Prince Michael of Kent) appear to have little outside of the support from the Queen. The Kents lived at Anmer Hall for almost 20 years, presumably rent free and all expenses paid. She volunteered as a music teacher at Hull for a decade, she didn't need a paying gig. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent sold their country home because they couldn't afford both KP and that lovely place after the cheap rents were revealed iirc. 

The reduced rent they all paid for space in government property for years was another way of HM supporting them. I see nothing to think any of them have much in private funds. They're selling off jewels and homes, and HM picks up the slack. I suspect it is really HM paying all of their rents and school fees, via "private funds" and it always has been. She hid a distant cousin in Crown property for decades too before people finally figured it out.

Edward and Sophie's current lifestyle is to be expected for the child of a sovereign and their family, ones who work and support the crown so well. If the royal family felt E&S needed to be running a business on the side, they'd make it happen much like they made Anne's happen. Sophie won't be reduced to running a B&B out of Bagshot. If they need a suitable business, a suitable business will be created that is not tethered to royal properties.

Anne's also happened as a job for her first husband, because they needed something for him too. As I pointed out in another thread, Anne wears a lot of new custom, hand-embroidered clothing. While she recycles some, she doesn't go cheap when she gets new clothes and she has acquired a lot of new clothes in recent years. The costs of Sophie's clothes are easier to track because she wears British designers while Anne's new clothes are custom like HM's (read: not cheap).

Bagshot is Crown Estate property, fixed up with taxpayer money, and will eventually benefit the taxpayers. Anne's estate will not, Andrew's didn't, and yet loads of taxpayer money was poured into those places in one way or another.  Edward and Sophie will continue to be supported in the style to which they have become accustomed as working royals. Given what Charles has to work with, I expect decades more royal work out of E&S.

When the time comes, they will move to a different place (funded by significant private inheritances) and it will not be a reduced lifestyle for them. HM and Philip will make sure of that.  It may end up as an estate, like Anne's, that is privately owned in the names of Louise and James for tax reasons. There is a great deal of hidden money floating around the BRF (estimates of 1 billion are on the low end).  Edward and Sophie will receive a big chunk of that, for themselves and their children, when HM passes, along with whatever suitable estate is acquired. 

I cannot see the public getting too worked up over Sophie and Edward's lifestyle, while W&K spend millions a year and do almost nothing in return. Hard-working Sophie's clothing costs vs. lazy Middleton flying off to Mustique with her despised family each year?  Sophie ends up smelling like a rose.  IF W&K were working as they should be, there would be more criticism of E&S. As it stands, their lifestyle expenses are the least of the BRF's problems.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Kuei Fei on May 18, 2016, 03:16:31 am
In all honesty, I THINK the main problem with Sophie is that she doesn't know how to handle the way of life by which the royals live. Sophie, Fergie, the Yorkies, and Kate seem to think that royal life is about the lifestyle, not a way of life that has been for centuries. I believe that if perhaps the minor royals worked in the offices of the more senior royals, they would have both a comfortable income, still be part of court ceremonial without any bad PR, and of course, would have their subordinate roles in the RF reinforced. I seriously dislike how these women marry in and then all of a sudden become entrepreneurial and want to start a business, suddenly have all sorts of brainy ideas, and then end up basically trading on their position. Sophie had her PR firm that she abused her postiion to promote, then Kate had the brainy idea of setting up a brand of organic vegetables, and then there was the Budgie books by Fergie who made a complete spectacle of herself promoting them.

Thing is, by living so grandly, Sophie has forgotten that in the pecking order, she's very much so way down. Edward seems to keep his mouth shut, but Sophie mouthed off to Charles and never passes up a chance to promote herself as HM's favorite. She wasn't raised to know her place and yes, that is a part of royal life. She wasn't given the training or the understanding that she needs to stay in line and be publicly on Charles' side at all times. She doesn't get it that Charles is her future King and she was born a subject of Her Majesty the Queen. Stupid twit should have more respect. If I were married into that family, no matter how idiotic I would think of Charles, I wouldn't DARE mouth off to him or promote myself publicly as the Queen's favorite, no matter how true it is. She was never taught her place and frankly she still needs to learn.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: kolkomilko on May 18, 2016, 07:54:15 am
^ Isn't it possible that press gives her this label?  :dontknow:

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: gingerboy24 on May 18, 2016, 01:14:51 pm
^ Could well be it is partially the fault of the press.  For me, if I had to choose Sophie or council cath then Sophie wins hands down.  She was not raised for a royal life, neither was fergie or some of the others, but other than fergie most of them did not do too bad.  Council cath, on the other hand, is true council estate material of the lowest order.  She was raised to stalk and bestow "favours" and little else, other than council caro lining her up to marry into the rf and then thought she would "arrive", mix with royalty, aristos, etc.  Council cath does not appear to have studied the royal way of life, etiquette, traditions, how to dress to suit the "job".  In fact IMO she thought she could sit back with the Curse of Doom onher finger, the wedding ring and do nothing else other than spend the taxpayer money.  I like Sophie, and IMO in the cirumstances she has done well and better than most.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Miss Hathaway on May 18, 2016, 08:01:57 pm
^ Isn't it possible that press gives her this label?  :dontknow:

What label?

For me, if I had to choose Sophie or council cath then Sophie wins hands down.

But there is no contest or competition or choice.  They both are awful gold diggers.

Title: Re: Wessex Finances
Post by: Kuei Fei on May 18, 2016, 08:32:59 pm
^ Isn't it possible that press gives her this label?

The press can label anyone anything and Sophie earned it. She joined the BRF, refused to do duties and instead wanted to continue working, and made a fool of herself over the sheik trading on her connections. She had no business trying to have it both ways. I know that before her marriage she was a free woman and the topless pics were harmless, but frankly, the BRF should have higher standards. It's not 'nice,' but it's something that has to be. A lot of wannabe politicians judge their future wives accordingly and frankly have higher standards. I believe that if you have topless photos out there and other messing around, it should disqualify you.