Proving that the British Royal family have lost none of their talent for making disastrously bad publicity for themselves when it comes to finance and business, Peter Phillips, the Queen’s grandson, is to be paid a secret fee estimated at several hundred thousand pounds for organizing £1.5 ($2.1m)-worth of ticket sales for a ‘party’ in honor of the Queen’s 90th Birthday this year.
Not since Peter’s uncle, Prince Edward, attempted to sell footage of his nephew, Prince William, filmed going about his daily business at St Andrew’s university in defiance of a global press ban, have the royal family scored such an idiotic and emphatic own goal.
Incredibly, 38-year-old Peter, who is the son of Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter, is the London director of Australian sponsorship and events company SEL which is being paid to organize the event.
The event, The Patron’s Lunch, will see 10,000 people who work for charities sponsored by the Queen charged £150 ($214) each to have a lunch on the Mall.
Incredibly, Phillips has refused in a series of interviews published today to reveal the budget for the event or how much he is being paid.
In society circles, Phillips is known as ‘King Peter,’ after his wife renounced her Roman Catholicism in order that Peter could maintain his position in the order of succession to the throne after they married (he sold the pictures of the ceremony for half a million quid).
In the absence of any transparency, the British people are simply being told that the Queen’s birthday event he is overseeing is ‘not profit making’ and that any extra money raised will go to charity.
So, that’s alright then.
Stretching the boundaries of belief even further, Phillips has today been pushing the line in interviews that he never even mentioned the ‘idea’ to the Queen until it had been signed off.
At this juncture, he alleges the Queen said: “I heard you were up to something.”
Well, yes, I suppose you could call organizing an event with £1.5m ($2.1m)-worth of ticket sales being ‘up to something.’ And, more importantly, she clearly did know her grandson was making these plans.
How could they all be so stupid?
Philips told the Mail, “SEL is being paid a set fee basically to take this from sign-off from the Palace through to delivery of the event. I was very conscious to make sure we did this properly, so we went through the normal channels of approaching the Palace. We had to show that this wasn’t a case of trying to cut corners because the Queen happens to be my grandmother.”
Well, quite. So here’s a suggestion to really show that fact, Peter. Publish the accounts, dear boy. Admit how much you are being paid.
Until you do that, this happy event will be sullied by conjecture and rumor.