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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Royals' cheap rents under scrutiny
Princess Michael of Kent
The Kents rent an apartment in Kensington Palace
Members of the Royal family who pay low rents for luxurious central London apartments face scrutiny from a committee of MPs.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are reputed to pay just 100 a week for their five-bedroom Kensington Palace pad.


We want to see value for money

Edward Leigh
Committee chairman
Now the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee is to visit the former home of Princess Diana - although they will not gain access to the Kents' apartment.

The MPs will be shown some other apartments and will be briefed over the rent arrangements by Sir Michael Peat, the Keeper of the Privy Post.

The committee is concerned that taxpayers are effectively subsidising cheap central London accomodation for some Royals.

The Kents own a large home in Gloucestershire as well as renting their 10-room apartment in Kensington Palace.

Sir Michael is another resident although he pays a 45,000 rent for the apartment he shares with his wife and family, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Focus on the Royals

The visit by the MPs will renew focus on the number of Royals who benefit either directly or indirectly from the public purse.

It comes in the wake of what Buckingham Palace regards as a hugely successful celebrations for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

A spokeswoman for the Palace told the Telegraph she hoped the MPs would come with open minds.

The arrangement with the Kents was made soon after their wedding in 1979 and the Queen did "not want to go back on that commitment".

Conservative MP Edward Leigh, who chairs the committee, said: "We want to see value for money.

"No doubt Sir Michael will be able to reassure us that the whole place is being put on a square footing as quickly as possible."

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Alan Williams, Labour MP
"Many of them carry out very few public duties"
See also:

04 Jun 02 | UK
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