Buckingham Palace denies accusations Queen tried to 'hide' private wealth

Buckingham Palace has denied accusations the Queen's lawyer tried to block a law to conceal her private wealth.

The Guardian accused the Queen of being dishonest about her personal wealth, according to documents retrieved from the National Archives.

"The papers reveal that in November 1973 the Queen feared that a proposed bill to bring transparency to company shareholdings could enable the public to scrutinise her finances," The Guardian reported on Sunday.

"The Queen successfully lobbied the government to change a draft law in order to conceal her 'embarrassing' private wealth from the public."

But a Buckingham Palace spokesperson hit back on these claims, and said the Queen's consent was "purely formal".

"Queen's Consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of sovereign purely formal," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told The Sun on Sunday.

"Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by the government. Any assertion that the sovereign has blocked legislation is simply incorrect.

"Whether Queen's Consent is required is decided by Parliament, independently from the Royal Household, in matters that would affect the Crown's interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch.

"If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record."

Graham Smith, CEO of anti-monarchy campaign group Republic called these claims a "clear abuse of power for personal gain".

"We've always suspected that there is a lot of lobbying going on behind closed doors, by the Queen and other royals, to protect their own private interests."

The National Archive is closed due to the pandemic, making it difficult to get a hold of these documents, ITV's royal correspondent Chris Ship said.

"It's very difficult to assess the claims in the Guardian and see exactly what was said by the Queen's lawyer way back in 1973."