Tax probe: Queen Elizabeth II in trouble

Savoy hotel

The Savoy Hotel is part of the Duchy of Lancaster’s impressive London real estate holdings

The comments came after the treasure trove of Paradise Papers laid bare the hidden wealth of financial giants including the Queen and several global political players.

Dubbed the Paradise Papers, some 13.4 million leaked financial documents relating to the tax affairs of some of the world's wealthiest people have been analysed by more than 100 media organisations.

Though the Queen in 1992 had declared that she would voluntarily start paying the taxes, the actual details of her payments are still a closely guarded secret.

"I think the Queen herself would be completely shocked to find her advisers have used tax havens in which to invest their money and that her reputation has been sullied by the actions of the tax advisers".

Cash ended up in BrightHouse via a company called Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP, in which the Duchy of Lancaster reportedly invested 7.5 million U.S. dollars (£5.73m) in 2005.

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It is alleged that the Duchy of Lancaster, which handles the Queen's investments, has held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

"The use of collective investment funds domiciled in locations such as the Bermuda and the Cayman Islands is legal, common and widely considered best practice portfolio management".

According to the documents obtained by the International Consortium of Journalists, the investments were made in 2004 and 2005 by the Duchy of Lancaster, the queen's private financial manager. The list includes many top officials from the Donald Trump administration, including US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and also Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

A small portion of the Queen's investments - £3,208 - was found to have bought a holding in the lender BrightHouse, it is claimed.

The papers also list that the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top fundraiser and senior advisor Stephen Bronfman, heir to the Seagram fortune, moved almost $60 million to offshore tax havens with ex-senator Leo Kolber.

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The Duchy of Lancaster, which holds assets for the British monarch to generate income for her, confirmed in a statement that some of its investments are in overseas accounts.

The Dover Street investment is said to form only 0.3% of the total value of the Duchy. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate.

Documents reveal that a percentage of the queen's tax-sheltered money was invested in a rent-to-own company that supplied household goods like TVs and washing machines to poor consumers at very high interest rates. "The duchy has only invested in highly regarded private-equity funds following a strong recommendation from our investment consultants".

Campaign director Tim Snell suggested that the government could end tax avoidance but had failed to make it a priority.

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