Denmark's Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik criticised for income on 'secret' Swiss ski lodge

Denmark's Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik criticised for income on 'secret' Swiss ski lodge

January 24, 2020

If only one thing is certain after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s exit from the British royal family, it’s the heightened global awareness about their finances.

If only one thing is certain after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s exit from the British royal family, it’s the heightened global awareness about their finances.

All royal families are at least in part state funded, but are usually restricted as to how they can earn independently – if at all. In Denmark, for example, they are expected to live on a generous public allowance (the Danish Civil List gives them approximately €13m annually) which is taxpayer funded to cover Queen Margrethe and her family’s operations and expenses.

As next in line to the throne, Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik are often also held as a beacon for the rest of the family to follow, but they have been criticised in recent days for their “secret” ownership of a ski lodge in Verbier, Switzerland. Mary, a former advertising executive from Australia, announced she will be temporarily residing at the upscale residence for three months while their children – Prince Christian (14), Princess Isabella (12), and Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (nine) – complete a semester at the nearby Lemania-Verbier International School.

Frederik will be dividing his time between Switzerland and Denmark for royal duties.

The couple have owned the property for 10 years and rent it when they’re not residing there. Danish parliament reacted in anger as foreign investments need to be approved by parliamentarians in advance and the fact the property was not public knowledge has proven a bone of contention, and sparked further debate about how to survive as a contemporary monarchy.

A spokesperson for the family said they will no longer be renting it, therefore eliminating their additional income and it had been paid for entirely with their private funds.

“Now it is no longer an anonymous property, so the conditions for rent are no longer the same,” they said, adding there is now also a “safety aspect” involved as a result of the details being published.

Danish MP Mai Villadsen, from left-wing party Red-Green Alliance, said she was “very surprised” about the family’s property abroad, telling media, “We are the ones who pay the money so we must know about the house.”

While conservative MP Birgitte Bergman said the negative reaction had “no relevance today” and it is “regarded to be an old case…this happened 10 years ago,” she said.

“My party supports the royal family 100 per cent and the dispositions they now make, as long as it is within the law.”

Verbier is one of the world’s premier ski destinations and is the preferred spot of royals around the world, including Prince William and Kate Middleton. It was also the snow-capped backdrop to a number of childhood holiday photocalls for William, Harry and their father Prince Charles.

Belgium’s King Phillippe and Queen Mathilde are regular visitors to the area.

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