King Charles “can’t afford to risk allegations of hypocrisy” with the £1 billion deal for six offshore wind farms, an expert has said in a scathing comment piece. On Thursday, it was reported that King Charles has asked for a surge in profits from six new offshore wind farms on the Crown Estate, worth £1billion, to be used for the “wider public good”, rather than the Royal Family.
The Royal Household’s public funding is based on 25 percent of Crown Estate profits.
But King Charles wants to reduce this percentage so that more is kept by the Treasury to be used for public spending.
The King spoke of the pressures of the cost-of-living in his Christmas speech.
In his festive message, King Charles highlighted the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis – and he seems to be taking action to avoid what could have been an awkward surge in income for the Firm.
Writing about the decision in the Telegraph, Associate Editor Gordon Rayner said: “As a lifelong campaigner for environmental issues, the King no doubt supports the principle of the Government’s net zero target, of which wind energy is a crucial component.
“But after using his first Christmas broadcast to speak about the hardships people are suffering during the cost of living crisis, he simply cannot afford to risk the allegations of hypocrisy that would come with what Buckingham Palace described as an ‘offshore energy windfall’.”
The Crown Estate is an independently-run, commercial business, whose profits go to the Treasury – but those profits are used as the benchmark for the level of public funding for the Royal Family, known as the Sovereign Grant, which last year was worth £ 86.3 million.
Mr Rayner added: “Not only that, but wind farms attract taxpayer-funded subsidies, and the King knows that even the vaguest suggestion that he had benefited from green levies or sky-high energy bills, no matter how indirectly, would be dynamite in the hands of republicans.”
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The grant is used for paying for the costs of working royals, such as travel for official engagements, and for the upkeep of royal palaces.
A review of this percentage of Crown Estate profits going into royal funding is currently under way with the Treasury, with a decision expected in the next few months.