Unlike Joe Blogs, Charles apparently has no surname. He’s reputed to be “of the house of Windsor” just as Paul, a genuinely fictional character, is of the house of the Atreides. But Charley Windsor, as I shall call him, has something that Joe Blogs doesn’t have – he has a title. Several in fact. Usually referred to as the Prince of Wales, he can also lay claim to be Duke of Rothesay (which, as Wikipedia usefully points out, is in Scotland) and Duke of Cornwall. This is not, I hasten to add, the cast list from a Gilbert & Sullivan opera; this is what passes for reality if you happen to be the heir to the throne in the United Kingdom.
As Duke of Cornwall, Charley pulls in a cool 18 million quid a year. This is ‘income’. Well, at least they don’t have the cheek to call it earnings. Don’t ask me what the numbers are for the prince and the other duke – I don’t want to know. But Cornwall’s dead also provide some handy small change because the assets of those who expire without making a will become the property of their duke. This is due to what is politely known as a quirk of history, which means that Charley and his kin have been screwing the poor bastards for centuries. That small change amounts to some £450,000 a year and Charley can do whatever he wants with it.
True, he gives some of it away: the odd few grand here and there to charities and foundations that his nibs approves of – well, of course. But mostly he sits on it. Currently, at a time when food banks in Truro are regularly running out of supplies, he’s sitting on about three million quid.
This is anachronistic, to say the least; or fucking scandalous if you prefer.
Vive la République!