“In the meantime, Charles will negotiate with the treasury a settlement for his reign. He will be doing that in secret, of course, while the monarchy is popular. He will secure a good deal.”
Norman points out that Queen Elizabeth II did the same in 1952 when her father, George VI, died. In a time where there was significant public support for the royal family – George was considered a wartime leader and a hero, who had stepped up to the plate following the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII – Elizabeth made a deal with the then prime minister, Winston Churchill.
The deal was historic – it was the first time ever that a monarch would be exempt from tax on dividend income. It also gave the new Queen an impressive extra income of £800m ($1.4bn) between 1952 and 1993 alone.
Given the royal family’s previous financial negotiations with government, it’s thought Charles’ deal will cost Britain significantly more.
Norman says the prince was a major influence in former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s controversial decision to change the system of royal support in 2012.
The move meant the royals would go on to benefit from income from land and property − the Crown Estates. That decision saw them receive a whopping annual income of £82.8m ($151.3m) last year, up from £7.9m ($14.4m) in 2010.
“Charles always resented the fact the Crown Estates provided money for the government and not for the royal family,” Norman says.
The royal family’s wealth – and spending habits − have been subject to controversy for decades.
In 2017, it was revealed Charles − or rather, the public − had spent £30,000 ($54,000) on a private jet for a single day trip to Belgium.
“They’re ripping the country off,” Norman claims. “There’s a sense of arrogance and entitlement that they can just scoop up whatever they want.”
With rumours that the Queen is set to retire, Norman doesn’t hold much hope for Prince Charles, predicting he’ll be a “petulant” leader.
“He only wants ‘yes’ men around him who will agree with him. That’s a weakness in a leader of any sort.”
For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea Royals. Out now!