Britain’s super-rich hereditary head of state, Elizabeth Windsor, tried to grab money intended for community heating schemes to keep her own homes warm, according to a report in the Independent.
Queen Windsor and husband Philip stand in front of Buckingham Palace fireplace
Documents made public through freedom of information law have revealed that in 2004 Windsor staff complained to the government that the heating bills for Windsor’s multiple residences had increased by 50%. They said that this was “untenable” and asked for a grant to replace heating systems at the palace provided for her in London and the castle in Windsor.
The money would have been taken from a fund intended to help the development of community heating schemes to serve social housing, hospitals, universities and local authority buildings.
Some of those who would have benefited if the money had been given were junior members of the Windsor clan who have rent-free accommodation in the palace and castle.
According to the Independent newspaper, which published the documents, the government was at first willing for the grants to be made. But it later realised that helping Windsor would generate “adverse publicity” for the feudal institution and for the government. No grant was made.
In all £60m was paid in grants for community heating. Ms Windsor takes around £17m annually from the profits of the Duchy of Cornwall. Her eldest son Charles is paid £20m each year from the profits of the Duchy of Cornwall.