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'Paradise Papers' Leak: Should the Queen Brace for Public Uproar?

© AFP 2023 / Paul Hackett / pool / Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (File)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (File) - Sputnik International
A new "offshore" scandal may damage the reputation of Queen Elizabeth II, a source close to the UK government told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity.

On Sunday, the Royal Household of Britain was mentioned in a dossier published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a global network sponsored by one of the George Soros funds.

According to the dossier, the Duchy of Lancaster, which is owned by the Queen and provides her with funds for personal expenses, held part of its assets in funds registered in the Cayman and Bermuda islands. The total value of the Duchy of Lancaster is estimated at £500 million.

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A source close to the UK government told RIA Novosti that even though investing in offshore companies is not illegal, if the data is confirmed, it will almost certainly cause a scandal in Britain.

The source recalled that a prior leak of this kind nearly prompted then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron to step down. According to the source, although the Queen does not personally deal with financial issues, the looming scandal my result in unpleasant consequences.

The source said that the Duchy of Lancaster would have to answer an array of inconvenient questions and publish some documents to convince Britons that fraud had not been committed.

Earlier, the BBC reported that the ICIJ leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, "contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance." 

According to the BBC, offshore funds invested the Queen's assets in companies with a dubious reputation, including the off-license chain Threshers and the retailer BrightHouse.

The Guardian, in turn, quoted Chris Adcock, the Duchy of Lancaster's chief finance officer, as saying that "we are not aware of any tax advantages to the duchy in investing in offshore funds."

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"The duchy's investment policy is based on advice and recommendations from our investment consultants and asset allocation, rather than tax strategy," he said.

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