Royal Family branded 'arrogant' over response to reports of Charles’s £1.8bn private fortune

TOPSHOT - Britain's King Charles III reacts as he arrives to visit to Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford, west England on December 12, 2022. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
King Charles is reported to have a fortune of £1.8bn. (AFP via Getty Images) (JACOB KING via Getty Images)

A biographer of King Charles has rounded on the “arrogance” of the Royal Family after its press office dismissed an investigation into his finances.

The Guardian’s “cost of the crown” team reported on Thursday how Charles has a private fortune of about £1.8bn.

While his finances are private, the figure was based on an investigation into the King’s assets, which is said to include 54 jewels and numerous other assets - from property and paintings to racehorses and rare stamps.

In a statement responding to the investigation, Charles’ spokesperson accused the journalists of being “highly creative”.

“While we do not comment on private finances,” the spokesperson said, “your figures are a highly creative mix of speculation, assumption and inaccuracy.”

The spokesperson added royals’ finances “remain private, as they do for any other individual”.

It led author Catherine Mayer, who has previously written a biography on Charles, to say: “This response shows the arrogance of royal press management and a system exempting a core institution of state from accountability.

TOPSHOT - Britain's King Charles III inspects graduating officer cadets march during the 200th Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, southwest of London on April 14, 2023. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
The King's spokesperson said The Guardian's figures were 'highly creative'. (Getty Images) (DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images)

“To be clear: members of the Royal Family are entitled to a private life. To be equally clear, for reasons amply demonstrated in this [Guardian] article, the institution deserves greater scrutiny and in treating serious questions as impertinences does itself no favours at all.”

When her biography on Charles - The Heart of a King - was published in 2015 and made headlines, Mayer faced similar comments from Clarence House, which accused her of using “artistic licence” in the writing of her book.

The biography, however, was praised in one Times review as “rather a fair judge of the man”.

Meanwhile, The Guardian's report on the King's extensive wealth has led to anger from one anti-monarchist group about his "vanity parade" coronation.

Watch: Inside the King’s coronation at Westminster Abbey

Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy, said people reading the report would likely be asking why they are expected to bear the cost of the 6 May coronation during the cost of living crisis.

"The coronation is pointless, it is his own vanity parade, and comes at an estimated cost of £100m, which he could easily pay given his personal wealth - which he doesn't pay inheritance tax on," Republic's Graham Smith told Yahoo News UK.

"There's more to it than money, but it does keep on costing us a lot of money. People will look at this figure and say: 'Why do we put our hands in our pockets when you have so much money of your own, and you have that because you don't pay the taxes we do?' So it will annoy and upset a lot of people."

Read more: King's Coronation: Two 'highly significant' changes Charles is making

The row also reached the House of Commons on Thursday, with Labour MP Richard Burgon calling for a debate to consider the millions of pounds being spent by the government on the ceremony.

He was dismissed by Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, who said "we benefit hugely" from the monarchy.

She added Charles will be a "great monarch and that is something to celebrate".

A YouGov survey of 4,246 adults published this week found 51% of adults questioned believe the ceremony should not be funded by the government, while 32% said it should.