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Charles lays his accounts bare

London, June 30 (Reuters): Britain’s heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles laid bare the details of his finances for the first time today following a recent damaging report into allegations of financial and sexual misconduct in his household.

Britons were shocked by allegations of a gay rape at Charles’ household, the fencing of royal gifts by members of staff and newspaper reports of royal excess — including having a valet to squeeze his toothpaste.

The investigation, which culminated with the resignation of Charles’ closest aide in March, opened him to accusations his household was disorganised and antiquated.

In a move designed to make his operations more transparent, St James’ Palace, Charles’ official residence, released figures on royal income and expenditures — from entertainment costs to stationery.

They show his personal income leaped 27 per cent to nearly £10 million last year, despite the weak stock market. But instead of winning applause, the figures angered opponents of Charles’ continued reliance on taxpayer money — which amounted to £3 million last year.

“We do need to examine the whole question of royal funding and whether taxpayers should still be footing the bill, especially with these numbers showing such a large rise in Charles’ income,” Labour MP Ian Davidson said.

“He is receiving millions of pounds, but should the taxpayer be paying for a valet to squeeze the toothpaste onto a toothbrush for him' I don’t think so,” he said.

Official figures show Charles spent £5.6 million or 57 per cent of his income funding official and charity duties last year. About £4.2 million went on tax and personal expenditure.

The Prince splashed out £843,000 on entertaining, while his office costs and stationery totalled £71,000.

His utility costs topped £100,000.

Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth, is attended to by 17 private staff and 91 official employees, including chefs, butlers and valets. They cost him £4.2 million a year.

The prince derives the bulk of his revenue from The Duchy of Cornwall, one of Britain’s largest and oldest landed estates, created in 1337 to provide income for the heir apparent through farms, shops, offices and a portfolio of stocks and bonds.

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