Paradise Papers: Queen's private estate invests in offshore tax havens

Newly leaked papers reveal Queen Elizabeth II has some of her private money in offshore tax havens

In fact, British media sources said the Queen herself will be "shocked" to learn that £10million of her fortune has been invested in offshore tax havens.

The investigation, undertaken by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and called the "Paradise Papers", was performed by 382 reporters at nearly 100 media outlets who analyzed more than 13 million tax haven documents covering the period 1950-2016, Efe news reported.

The Paradise Papers reporting is similar to the Panama Papers, which in 2016 exposed cases involving celebrities and business executives who reportedly moved large chunks of their wealth into offshore tax havens.

The Duchy of Lancaster, which has its headquarters in London, manages the monarch's private estate to generate the Queen's income.

The £519 million ($680 million) Duchy, which provides the Queen with an income to cover official expenses, says it invests primarily in commercial, agricultural and residential properties.

The Queen's private estate has been revealed to have invested millions of pounds in BrightHouse the retail chain criticised for exploiting financially vulnerable people, alongside the collapsed off-license retailer Threshers.

"We all have the responsibility to pay for it".

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It said that all its investments were legitimate.

Though the investment still stands, and according to the Duchy is worth only a few thousands pounds, the initial investment remains undisclosed.

One of the Duchy's offshore investments has generated some controversy.

Queen Elizabeth's estate reportedly invested at least $13.1 million into offshore tax-sheltered funds located in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, prompting Labour party leaders and anti-monarchists to demand an investigation into Her Royal Highness's finances. Per the documents, some of the money was invested in a fund that ended up contributing to BrightHouse, a chain with an alleged history of irresponsible lending, and liquor store chain Threshers, which went belly-up in 2010 after owing £17.5 million in United Kingdom taxes.

"The queen is responsible for her investments; she should have instructed her advisers to ensure her money was invested ethically and that there was no tax-dodging involved", said Graham Smith, CEO of The Republic Campaign, which seeks to replace the monarchy with an elected head of state.

The Queen doesn't directly oversee the Duchy's investments, and most of its income, while private, goes toward covering the expenses for her and other royals that aren't covered by public funds through the sovereign grant.

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