Search

Norfolk landowner Hugh van Cutsem linked to Prince Charles’ investment in Paradise Papers leak

Hugh van Cutsem. Picture: Archant

Hugh van Cutsem. Picture: Archant

Archant

A Norfolk landowner introduced the Prince of Wales to an offshore company in which his private estate invested millions of pounds, it has emerged.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall talking to members of the crowd at the Sandringham Flower Show. Picture: Ian BurtThe Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall talking to members of the crowd at the Sandringham Flower Show. Picture: Ian Burt

Hugh van Cutsem, a millionaire banker and horse breeder who died in 2013, met Prince Charles at Cambridge University.

The Paradise Papers leak has uncovered documents showing the Prince of Wales lobbied for a change to two climate change deals after investing in an offshore carbon credit trading company, of which van Cutsem was a director.

The Duchy of Cornwall paid 113,500 dollars (£58,000) in 2007 for 50 shares in the Bermuda-registered Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd (SFM) in 2007.

SFM traded in credits from tropical and subtropical forests, but these type of credits were largely excluded from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the Kyoto Protocol.

Hugh van CutsemHugh van Cutsem

Four months after the share purchase, details of the company’s efforts to lobby for amendments to the two treaties were sent to the Prince, minutes from a board meeting suggested.

The documents were apparently sent to Charles at the request of van Cutsem.

Charles criticised the EU ETS and the Kyoto Protocol in speeches he gave shortly after receiving the papers, the reports said.

In October 2007, he launched the Prince’s Rainforest Project, with the aim of “increasing global recognition of the contribution of tropical deforestation to climate change and to find ways to make the rainforests worth more alive than dead”.

He again criticised the two agreements in a speech to mark the launch.

Neither the EU ETS or the Kyoto Protocol were changed as a result of the Prince’s lobbying, the BBC said, adding it had been unable to find public criticisms of the two accords made by the Prince before 2008

The Duchy of Cornwall sold its shares in SFM in 2008 for 325,000 dollars (£246,000), according to the leaked papers, almost tripling its investment.

The papers also showed the Duchy of Cornwall made offshore investments totalling £3.9 million in four funds in the Cayman Islands in 2007, the BBC said.

This is legal and there is no suggestion the Prince received any tax benefit as a result of the investments in either SFM or the four funds based in the Cayman Islands.

A spokesman for the Duchy of Cornwall said: “The Prince of Wales does not have any direct involvement in the investment decisions taken by the Duchy.

“These are the responsibility of The Duchy itself. The Duchy of Cornwall’s accounts are independently audited and presented to Parliament every year. The Prince voluntarily pays income tax on any revenue from The Duchy.”

Who was Hugh van Custem?

Hugh van Cutsem inherited his father’s stud Northmore Farm in Exning near Newmarket, Suffolk in 1976. He also owned a 4,400-acre estate in Breckland, best known for its private wild game shoots.

For several years the van Cutsems were Sandringham neighbours of the Royal family as leaseholders of Anmer Hall. After the lease expired, the van Cutsems moved into a magnificent new neo-Palladian country house on their own estate at Hilborough, near Swaffham.

He was a friend of Prince Charles since university. His son Edward, whose godfather was Prince Charles, was a pageboy at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.His granddaughter, Grace van Cutsem, was a flower-girl at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.

His son, William van Cutsem is Prince George’s godfather and is a director at Pigeon Investment Managment Ltd in Bury St Edmunds.

Other news

16:47

A community has rallied round a family after their baby was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Hundreds of villages in the region are at risk of becoming “fossilised” and trapped in a cycle of decline due to failures in planning policy, a report has found.

She was from show jumping’s golden age, taught hundreds of children from Norfolk how to ride, and just missed out on Olympic glory - but now one of the county’s most renowned show jumpers has died at the age of 90.

It’s set to be a cold week with the chance of sleet mixed in with scattered showers.

Most Read

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The killing of Watton teenager Johanna Young at Christmas 1992 became Norfolk’s biggest ever murder inquiry. But 26 years later the case remains unsolved. This is what our new podcast found out.

Read more
Wayland Wood
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Two of the most iconic cars from 1980s TV and film are set to face off in Norfolk.

Read more
United Kingdom
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The closure of a major American airbase is to be delayed by another year.

Read more
16:47

A community has rallied round a family after their baby was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Read more
Cambridge
Saturday, November 17, 2018

The quick actions of firefighters prevented a garage fire in a quiet Norfolk village from turning into something much more serious.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 3°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy