The Duke of York was pressured to desert a secretive firm arrange with a disgraced former Coutts banker after being suggested that such monetary constructions have been “not applicable” for members of the Royal household, The Telegraph understands.
The corporate was integrated final summer time to behave as a belief fund for Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, sources claimed.
It was structured as a vast firm, which means it might not be required to file accounts with Firms Home and will keep away from disclosing its income or revenue.
However the Duke was suggested that whereas such ventures are pretty normal for extremely excessive internet price people, they weren’t applicable for a member of the Royal household.
As such, the corporate was deserted and has by no means been used.
Named Lincelles, after the 18th-century battle in opposition to the French by which the British have been commanded by the Duke of York, it was arrange final June by one of many Duke’s monetary advisers.
Prince Andrew managed 75 per cent of the enterprise via his Urramoor Belief. Harry Keogh, one other good friend and adviser who was the topic of a sexual harassment probe at Coutts, was listed as a fellow controller.
The corporate was integrated in the identical month that the Duke and Duchess of York put their luxurious Swiss ski chalet in the marketplace for £17.3million.
The couple are being sued by earlier proprietor, Isabelle de Rouvre, who alleges that the Yorks owe her £6.7million from once they purchased it for round £18million in 2014.
A supply near the Duke insisted that the chalet, which stays in the marketplace, had no connection to Lincelles.
Mr Keogh, a former managing director at Coutts, the Queen’s financial institution, resigned in March 2018 after he was accused of touching a feminine colleague inappropriately and boasting about his sexual exploits.
His involvement raises additional questions over the Duke’s judgment at a time when US prosecutors proceed to hunt solutions about his friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted peadophile.
Round 20 Coutts bankers are stated to have raised issues about Mr Keogh’s conduct throughout an inner assessment in 2015, after some girls claimed his behaviour was so insupportable they refused to work with him.
Many reported allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Mr Keogh and different bankers, together with lewd feedback, heavy consuming and undesirable bodily contact, based on accounts seen on the time by The Wall Road Journal.
The assessment was led by the agency’s then managing director of future proposition design, Gayle Schumacher, who was stated to have been “shocked” by a few of the findings.
CEO Michael Morley was stated to have advisable that Mr Keogh be sacked. However as an alternative, he had a bonus withheld, obtained a written warning and was assigned a coach.
He reportedly accepted the disciplinary motion in 2015 with out admitting to the allegations and finally resigned in March 2018, when particulars of the assessment turned public data.
A supply near the Duke famous that the allegations in opposition to Mr Keogh had “not been subjected to any investigation by regulation enforcement nor examined in a court docket of regulation”.
In October 2018, the banker was a visitor at Princess Eugenie’s marriage ceremony.
Lincelles’s different controller was listed as Charles Douglas, a industrial lawyer specialising in advising offshore funds and excessive internet price people.
Its sole director is Dominic Hampshire, a very long time good friend of Prince Andrew’s, who is claimed to have been a former equerry to the Duke of Kent.
In 2001, he arrange a luxurious journey firm, telling US journal Cigar Aficionado in 2008: “We actually maintain the keys to the fort, and our connections enable for visits to in any other case non-public castles, golf golf equipment, after-hours non-public excursions of museums with the curators, these sorts of issues.”
He advised Esquire journal the earlier yr that he had offered a tour of Kensington Palace with Princess Diana’s former bodyguard and a pre-opening tour of Windsor Citadel.
The Duke arrange Urramoor Ltd utilizing the pseudonym Andrew Inverness in February 2013, 18 months after he was stripped of his UK commerce envoy function over his affiliation with Epstein. He was given the title Earl of Inverness in 1986.
The transfer prompted strategies that through the use of an assumed title, he was making an attempt to keep away from scrutiny.
A spokesperson for the Duke stated: “Lincelles Limitless has by no means been operational, has not obtained any funds or paid any monies out.”