Princess Diana “took every penny” that Prince Charles had in their divorce settlement, the prince’s former financial adviser was quoted as telling a Sunday newspaper.
Geoffrey Bignell told The Sunday Telegraph that Charles handed over his entire personal fortune when the divorce was settled in 1996, a year before Diana died in a Paris car crash.
He did not reveal the amount, but at the time it was widely reported to be between $25 million and $33 million.
“Princess Diana took every penny he had,” Bignell was quoted as saying. “I was told to liquidate everything, all his investments, so that he could give her the cash.
“He was very unhappy about that. That’s when I stopped being his personal financial adviser because he had no personal wealth left. She took him to the cleaners.”
A spokeswoman for Prince Charles refused to comment on the settlement issue, saying it was a “private matter.” But she confirmed that Bignell had worked for the heir to the throne. The Sunday Telegraph said he had worked for Charles for free.
Bignell, who recently wrote a book about his career in banking, could not be contacted through his publisher on Sunday.
Charles draws the bulk of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall — established in the 14th century to support the heir to the throne — and doesn’t receive an allowance from taxpayers.
Charles’ income from investments and property was $28 million in 2003-4, according to his accounts published last month. Some $21 million of that came from the Duchy of Cornwall.
Prince Charles does not own the duchy’s assets — which include 138,000 acres of commercial and agricultural land but receives the income it generates.