One of Charlie Windsor’s charities could have received up to £40m from taxpayers instead of the £6m intended because government ministers in 1988 were afraid of the embarrassment from their mistake, according to papers released by the National Archives.
The then Employment Secretary thought he had agreed to give £6m of taxpayers’ money to the charity. In fact he had agreed to match whatever amount was raised from other sources.
Civil servants advised that the Prime Minister should not host a fundraising reception at which Charlie would be present as this was likely to help fundraising and consequently the amount to be paid by taxpayers.
However officials at No 10 rejected this advice which it said would “amount to a direct rebuff” for Charlie. As things turned out the reception was not held.
Nonetheless by 1993 £31m had been given to the charity. No other charity is known to have received anything near such an amount from the government.