Queen making lifestyle changes due to age says Fitzwilliams
The three crucial royal estates are expected to be exempted from a reform which will see leaseholders in England being given the right to extend their leases up to 990 years without paying any ground rent. This exemption, however, could hugely upset tenants in the three areas linked to the Royal Family – the Crown Estate, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall – who may continue to face rising rents.
Royal finance expert David McClure, author of the Queen’s Worth, said: “The real problem with the new legislation is it doesn’t apply to the Scilly Isles, where the major land-owner is Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall.
“In the last ten years or so there have been many complaints from tenants saying the rents are too high.
“Or it is too difficult for us to get an extension of the lease or it is impossible for us to buy up the freehold.
“That means their property is much less valuable.
Royal Family news: Prince Charles is the Duke of Cornwall
Royal Family news: Prince William is to inherit the Duchy of Cornwall
“And it should be remembered that last year the Duchy made £22million in profit, which all goes to Prince Charles and in the last 20 years the profits have gone up by almost £10million.
“So, put crudely, the Duchy of Cornwall is Prince Charles’s cash cow.
“Some tenants in the Scilly Isles say the Duchy of Cornwall is doing this purely to make money.”
Mr McClure added these exemptions are unlikely to be challenged in the Houses of Parliament, saying “any legislation affecting the Queen cannot be criticised in the House of Commons”.
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Appearing on MailPlus’s Palace Confidential, he added: “I fail to understand why a leaseholder in the Isles of Scilly should not have the same rights as those on other UK islands.
“Surely it is time we brought all of these affairs into the 21st century.”
This sentiment was echoed by Richard Eden, the Daily Mail Diary Editor.
Mr Eden drew a parallel between this Government’s legislation and the House of Lords Act 1999, which saw the abolition of hereditary peerage during Tony Blair’s first legislature.
Royal Family news: The Queen’s heir is Prince Charles
Mr Eden said: “This is an absolutely fascinating story. It sorts of gets to the heart of the monarchy.
“It reminds me of the row when Tony Blair abolished the hereditary peers or most of them, and the Royal Family actually started to get very nervous.
“Because they thought – wait a minute, if we are abolishing the rights of someone who inherits a seat in the House of Lords because of an accident of birth, what repercussions could this have for the monarchy.
“And it’s the same with this.
“Our Conservative Government is bringing about quite a radical reform actually, to reform a system that has been with us since the Middle Ages.
Royal Family news: Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales five decades ago
“It was actually brought in to help fund the Crusades by barons who needed some new money and it has stayed ever since.
“It was exported around the world but now it is still in use only in Britain.
“And it affects one in five households across Britain, apparently, I read, which is incredible if true.
“It really is quite significant and I think that although we have read reports this week that there is going to be an exemption for the Royal Family and that is particularly because of the Duchy of Cornwall – which is a vast area of land, I do think it’s a problem, I think they shouldn’t have an exemption because they do need to move into the modern world, however painful that is.”
Royal Family news: Charles and Camilla visiting Cornwall in 2005
Approximately 4.5 million households in England and Wales own their homes on a leasehold basis and pay annual ground rent to the freeholder of the property which grants the right of the homeowner to live there.
At the moment, leaseholders of houses can only extend their lease for 50 years once and pay ground rent.
Flat owners can do so multiple times with a peppercorn rent for 90 years.
The Duchy of Cornwall, which is owned by Prince Charles, said: “The Duchy of Cornwall takes great care to ensure that anyone purchasing a property where the freehold belongs to The Duchy is made completely aware of the restrictions that may apply.”
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Royal Family news: How does the Crown Estate work?
10.30pm update: Trump’s ‘mortal insult’ to Queen during UK visit
Donald Trump broke royal protocol in a way that was dubbed a “mortal insult” to Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the UK in 2018, according to royal historian Ian Beck.
Mr Trump turned his back on the monarch and walked in front of her while inspecting the guard at Windsor Castle.
Mr Beck wrote on Twitter: “Trump has also turned his back on the Queen. I have always believed this to be a mortal insult to a monarch.”
10pm update: Camilla ‘never had ambitions to marry Charles’
Camilla has been married to Prince Charles for 15 years now but she never actually planned to tie the knot with the heir during their long love affair, according to a royal biographer.
Speaking on the Channel 4 documentary ‘The Real House of Windsor’, royal author Christopher Wilson said: “Camilla saw life as Charles’ mistress as a bit of fun, something that would never be made public and would probably continue for as long as she was sexually active.
“I don’t think there was any ambition on her part to advance herself to become the wife of the Prince of Wales.”
Kate has a hands-on approach to homeschooling Prince George and Princess Charlotte, according to a royal expert
9.35pm update: Kate’s hands-on approach when teaching George and Charlotte
Kate has a hands-on approach to homeschooling Prince George and Princess Charlotte, according to a royal expert.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are busy homeschooling George, seven, and Charlotte, five, at Anmer Hall in Norfolk while their school Thomas’s Battersea is closed for lockdown.
Royal author Katie Nicholl told OK! magazine: “Kate and William are very involved with the children’s schooling.
“Thomas’s Battersea expects a hands-on approach from parents, that’s part of the reason they picked it.
“George and Charlotte are studious and love to learn, so they are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to Zoom learning. But the school likes the children to do practical projects too.”
8.15pm update: Kate dazzles in tartan as Duchess and William celebrate Burns Night
Kate and Prince William have sent a traditional treat to NHS workers in Scotland to celebrate Burns Night.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recorded a video message praising the work of NHS Tayside.
And 200 staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee tucked into a lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties thanks to NHS Charities Together, which William and Kate support as patrons, and Tayside Health Fund.
Kate stunned in a tartan dress as she was joined by William for the video message on Burns Night – the annual celebration held on poet Robert Burns’ birthday.
Kate and Prince William have sent a traditional treat to NHS workers in Scotland to celebrate Burns Night
7pm update: Sarah opens up on heartbreak over mother ahead of Eugenie’s royal baby
Sarah Ferguson has opened up about not having her mother around as she discussed Princess Eugenie’s royal baby.
The Duchess of York’s mother, Susan Barrantes, died in a car crash in Argentina in 1998 when she was just 61.
Sarah told Us Weekly: “Having not had my own mother around, I’ve always been determined to be a very present mother with my children, and I know Eugenie will be the same with hers.
“She is incredibly empathetic and will be a great mother.
“She is a very strong and determined person, always looking for the truth in all she does.”
5.40pm update: Queen doesn’t expect staff to ‘drop everything’ when she enters room
The Queen does not expect her staff to ‘drop everything’ when she bumps into them around her royal residences, according to an author who has spoken to insiders for her new book.
Sophia Bennett portrays Her Majesty as a detective for her novel ‘The Windsor Knot’.
The book sees the Queen investigate a murder at Windsor Castle alongside her royal duties.
As part of her research for the piece of fiction, the writer spoke to people who have worked in the Royal Household.
Ms Bennett told Yahoo: “If staff see her they might give her a brief nod or curtsy but she does not expect them to drop everything they were doing.”
Sophia Bennett portrays Her Majesty as a detective for her novel ‘The Windsor Knot’
4.55pm update: William to mark major shake up in royal bloodline when he becomes king
Prince William will mark a royal first when he ascends to the throne, a royal expert has noted.
William and Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana descended from two of King Charles II’s illegitimate sons.
This means the Duke of Cambridge is destined to become the first blood descendant of the monarch to ascend to the throne – three centuries after his death.
Royal commentator Robert Jobson wrote on Twitter: “Diana, Princess of Wales, was descended from two of Charles II’s illegitimate sons; Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond.
“It means when Prince William ascends the throne he will become the first blood descendant of Charles II to do so.”
3.15pm update: Meghan and Harry should be stripped of all titles and patronages
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should be stripped of all their royal titles and patronages, an Express.co.uk poll has found.
Meghan and Harry announced their plans to step down as senior members of the Royal Family over a year ago, and to mark the Megxit anniversary Express.co.uk conducted a poll on how the couple are perceived by its readers.
The poll, which comprised five questions, found Britons were heavily opposed to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex keeping any royal links.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should be stripped of all their royal titles and patronages, an Express.co.uk poll has found
2.20pm update: Queen Elizabeth II honours ties to Scotland in special message as referendum looms
The Queen has honoured her Scottish ties in a special tribute to mark Burn’s Night.
The tweet came as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon outlined plans to seek a “legal referendum” on Scottish independence.
Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is the constitutional head of the United Kingdom and the presiding sovereign of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Queen paid tribute to Scotland on social Monday as the nation marks Burn’s Night, days after the Scottish National Party (SNP) revealed its “roadmap to a referendum”, outlining its plan to seek a new independence vote.
The Queen is extremely proud of her Scottish connections and spends her summer holidays in Aberdeenshire every year on the Balmoral Estate.
Balmoral is said to be where the Queen feels most at home and Monday’s tweet struck a sentimental note.
The tweet which was shared by the Royal Family’s official Twitter account included several stunning pictures of Balmoral and the highlands and cited poet Robert Burns.
The tweet read: “Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.” – Robert Burns, 1789.”
The tweet added: “Wishing all our Scottish followers a happy #BurnsNight.
“Balmoral Castle, The Queen’s home in the Highlands, and the River Dee are pictured on a recent Winter’s day.”
Royal Family news: The Queen has paid tribute to Scotland on Twitter
1pm update: Sarah Ferguson admits watching herself on The Crown despite Charles and Camilla backlash
Sarah Ferguson has confessed she has watched The Crown after royal commentators and people close to the Royal Family opened up on their worries surrounding the show.
Sarah, also known as Fergie by family, friends and supporters, surprisingly revealed she is a major fan of the cinematography of the popular Netflix show and has “loved” to see her wedding featured in its fourth season.
The Duchess of York said: “I thought it was filmed beautifully.”
Fergie, speaking to Us Weekly, added: “The cinematography was excellent.
“I loved the way they put my wedding in as well.”
The latest 10 episodes of The Crown depicted the relationship between the Queen and late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the turbulent marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
However, Sarah, portrayed on screen by Jessica Aquilina, also made a few appearances on screen in the run-up to her royal wedding and, afterwards, when all royals were gathered at Sandringham for Christmas.
Royal Family news: Sarah Ferguson said she has watched The Crown
12pm update: Princess Anne left ‘completely shattered’ as traumatic event made insiders pity royal
Princess Anne was left “completely shattered” and “inconsolable” after a particularly traumatic event with one of her favourite horses, according to a royal biographer.
Princess Anne first made a name for herself as a sports personality when she was crowned European Eventing Champion at Burghley at just 21, after riding a horse called Doublet.
He was bred by the Queen for polo but became an eventing star.
Their joint success meant Anne won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award in 1971, making her the first-ever event rider to receive the gong.
Doublet was described by journalist Eleanor Kelly as a “diminutive chestnut with the heart of a lion”, and it was evident he meant a great deal to the royal.
She claimed “the pair were destined for the Munich Olympics” when the horse “who had defined her career” suffered a terrible injury.
Anne had spent three years hoping Doublet would return to his old form, but he had to retire after a “crashing fall”.
The royal rode him again some time later, thinking he had recovered from his injury — only for tragedy to strike.
Author Nicholas Courtney went into greater detail in his book, ‘Princess Anne: A biography’, and explained: “Princess Anne and [trainer] Alison Oliver were cantering across the polo grounds in Windsor Great Park when there was a sickening crack.
“It was Doublet’s leg breaking. There was nothing to be done; he had to put down. Princess Anne was distraught.
11am update: Prince Harry slapped down as Duke’s ‘astonishing’ political meddling sparks angry backlash
Prince Harry’s comments on the riots at the Capitol have been branded “astonishing” and an “interference” in the United States’ domestic policy.
Prince Harry has moved against social media in a recently-released interview in which he accused online platforms of contributing to stoke a crisis of hate, health and truth.
The Duke of Sussex spoke about the role the internet has played in the organisation of the storming of the Capitol which took place earlier this month.
Prince Harry spoke about the riots as a “literal attack on democracy”.
The Duke’s remarks have been perceived by a few social media users as an unwanted “interference” carried out by a member of a foreign royal family.
One wrote: “I do believe that there was a certain little war that was won by the Americans against the British Monarchy about 250 yrs ago.
“Hmmm… One would think that Americans don’t want interference from foreign royals.”
Another Twitter user replied to this comment, saying: “I do believe that you’re correct. There are enough talking heads on TV.”
A third social media user said it was “astonishing” to read a prince of the United Kingdom to speak about a domestic crisis.
They said: “Astonishing to see a foreign visitor in the US publicly commenting on a domestic matter in US politics and public life, particularly as a prince.”
Royal Family news: Zara Tindall is pregnant
10am update: Zara Tindall, Mia, Lena and Princess Anne’s royal status to change next month
Zara Tindall, her daughters Lena and Mia and her mother Princess Anne are all expected to undergo a shift in royal status next month.
Princess Eugenie and Jack’s royal baby is due in mid-February, a source close to the couple has claimed, and their arrival will prompt a shift in the line of succession that will affect a string of Royal Family members.
Princess Eugenie is 10th in line to the throne and while she is not a senior royal, she is higher up the line of succession than several of her royal relatives – including Zara and Princess Anne.
Eugenie’s first child will be born 11th in line to the throne and will bump any royals lower than Eugenie in the line of succession down by one spot.
Zara is in 18th place after her nieces and her daughters Mia and Lena are in 19th and 20th place.
When Eugenie’s royal baby is born next month then Princess Anne will move to 15th in line to the throne, Zara to 19th place and Mia and Lena to 20th and 21st in line.
When Zara’s royal baby arrives they are expected to be 22nd in line to the throne.
Royal Family news: Prince William spoke about homeschooling during an interview
9.15am update: Prince William’s candid confession about home schooling during Covid lockdown
Prince William has admitted that home schooling his children has tested his patience and found him wanting in his knowledge of maths.
Like all parents around the country, William and Kate have found themselves acting as school teachers to their children during the coronavirus pandemic.
And it looks like there will be no relief from teaching duties for the foreseeable future.
Boris Johnson’s government is expected to announce that schools will stay closed after the February half-term, with a return to classes unlikely before mid-April.
In a candid interview for BBC Radio 5Lives That Peter Crouch podcast in July, the Duke of Cambridge admitted his shortcomings as a teacher.
He told the ex-footballer: “I’ve found it pretty testing, not going to lie, trying to keep the children engaged in some kind of work, it’s been an interesting few months.”
He explained: “I’ve learned through homeschooling that my patience is a lot shorter than I thought it was, that’s probably been the biggest eye opener for me, and that my wife has super patience.
“Basically we’re a good team tag session, I come in with the children and try and get them to do something and Catherine comes in when frankly everything has gone wrong.
“I have to admit I’m a bit embarrassed about my maths knowledge, I can’t do Year 2 maths.”
Royal Family news: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry now live in California
8.15am update: Meghan Markle brought ‘charisma’ to royal family and made Harry ‘better man’ author says
Meghan Markle brought a certain “something” to the Royal Family “that is no longer there,” a royal expert has said.
The Duchess of Sussex has also turned Prince Harry into a “better man”, the analyst claims.
Meghan, along with Harry, left their royal roles behind last spring and currently reside in California.
Sean Smith, a royal biographer, has said Meghan brought a “great deal of charisma” to the Royal Family which is now missing following their departure.
In addition, Mr Smith has said that Prince Harry’s time in the Armed Forces – which included tours of Afghanistan – “was the making of him”.
However, speaking to the Daily Star, he added: “His service career turned the boy into a man and his partnership with Meghan Markle has turned him into a better man.”
Additional reporting by Alice Scarsi.