Showing posts with label Royal Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Family. Show all posts

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Royal secrets

An Amendment Bill to the original 2002 Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act proposes changing the “qualified” exemption to royal communications to an absolute exemption. Communications by the Royal Family are currently subject to a qualified Freedom of Information exemption. A qualified exemption means that a “balance of public interest” test is applied – and only where the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure can information be withheld. The qualified exemption relates to communications with the Queen, other members of the Royal Family or the royal household.

The Amendment Bill proposes to change this to create an absolute exemption for information relating to communications with Her Majesty, the heir or second in line of succession, with no requirement to consider the balance of public interest.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


453 acres of King's Park below Stirling Castle – the last significant ancient property of the Scottish Crown not controlled by Scottish Ministers – is being sold off by the Crown Estate Commissioners for £1 million. The people of Stirling will pay for more than half the sale price to secure the site for the town's golf club, despite the public having effectively owned the land since the 12th century. Over the past years the CEC has managed the park as just another part of their commercial rural estate. In 2006, it began secret negotiations to sell Stirling Golf Club lands they already leased. Stirling Council stepped in and agreed to acquire the parkland and land at the back of the castle funded by £567,000 Stirling common good fund (60% of its reserves) and £450,000 from the golf club, which would then be granted a 175-year lease.

Andy Wightman, an authority on land-ownership in Scotland, is calling for answers from ministers and the local council. "This land is crown land. It is Scottish public land. It should be administered by Scottish ministers, as nearly all other historic castles, palaces and royal parks are. No public money should be needed to acquire control of this land, least of all the bulk of Stirling's common good fund. the Scottish Government sitting idly by while a common good fund is raided to pay for public land that already belongs to us, to be given away to a private golf club for 175 years? It is time to stop this madness."

King's Park Community Council wrote to the council: "In our opinion this is a serious mistake given that the recommendations about to be published in the Scotland Bill give every indication that Crown Estate management in Scotland will be returned to Scottish ministers."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Buck House

Buckingham Palace , the Queen's official London residence was estimated to be worth £935 million. The palace has 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. It also has a cinema, swimming pool, 40 acres of land and it's very own post office.
It was reportedly purchased for only £21,000 by George III in 1761.

The Queen's weekend retreat, Windsor Castle, has also been valued for the first time at £180 million.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Princely Sum for Some

PRINCE William turns 25 today and becomes entitled to part of the inheritance left to him by his mother Diana . He gains access to the income accrued on the £6.5 million he was left in the Princess's will. Following investment, this is estimated to have grown to around £9 million .

But unlike you or me who would need the money to pay bills and acquire a few luxuries to make life easier for ourselves , inside sources said that the future king will, for now, not touch the money - estimated by financial experts to be between £250,000 and £300,000 a year.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blue-blooded Door-to-Door Salesman

The Royal Family - Capitalism personified .

The Independent on Sunday interviewed Prince Andrew , second son of the Queen or "Air Miles Andy" as he is sometimes known as . He is presently employed as a "roving ambassador" for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government quango that lobbies on behalf of British business overseas and tries to attract foreign investment to the UK. In November, the former CBI director-general Sir Digby Jones was appointed business adviser to the Duke.

Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd's of London, wrote personally to the Duke to thank him for helping the reinsurance market in obtaining a licence to operate in China. The Duke had met the vice-mayor of Shanghai and raised the issue.

The Doncaster-based furniture maker BLP also credits him with having helped in the lifting of unexpected tax duties on the new £35m factory it had built in China.

He can be relied on to deliver the official line. Asked whether it was right for the Government to drop the investigation into British defence firm BAE Systems over alleged bribes to Saudi officials, he replies: "There was no case to answer for BAE."

Nevertheless his qualifications to promote British business interest is not based on any specific knowledge or acumen .

Talking about Barclays' proposed takeover of ABN Amro, he says: "It's quite complicated. I don't profess to understand [all of it]. That's something someone in the City understands and I don't."

He is simply the gloss and image salesman for British business that the government are willing to fund at £500,000 bill for his UKTI work this year

"In terms of the return on investment to the UK, bearing in mind I am part of a number of people, I would suggest that £500,000 is cheap at the price..." he says "I bring down a drawbridge if necessary and allow those [British] companies to be able to go through the window, go through the door or go over the drawbridge."

Indeed, the Blue-blooded door-to-door salesman for British Capitalism on the world market .