ROYAL husband Mike Tindall has “without a doubt” embarrassed the royal family after claiming furlough cash for his business, a royal finances expert has said.
But the ex-sportsman, who is thought to be worth several million pounds, was said to have caused “reputational damage” to the monarchy by David McClure, author of Royal Privilege: The Queen’s True Worth.
He said: “The royal family is all about good optics, that’s what they do, it’s all ceremony, it’s all image, it’s all promotion.
“This does cause some reputational damage to the royal family, and I think the situation is slightly embarrassing for the royal family, without a doubt.”
Last year the England World Cup winner was named the globe’s fourth-richest rugby player — worth an estimated £15.7million — by Ruck magazine.
Accounts for his firm Kimble Trading Ltd, filed in December, state: “The outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions imposed have led to a number of events in 2020 being cancelled.
“The company has taken advantage of all available government aid in order to support the business and its employees through the crisis.”
According to the accounts, the company has only one member of staff — believed to be Tindall himself.
It also appears on a government list of firms using the furlough scheme, which pays 80 per cent of a worker’s salary.
Tory MP Nigel Mills said: “It’s a bit rich for Mike Tindall to be taking money from the public purse.”
Tindall’s business accounts are published every year. Forensic accountant Steve Hale, of Perrys, examined them for The Sun.
He said: “Under normal circumstances, Mike Tindall appears to make most of his money through share dividends and interest-free loans from his company. Over the years he has ‘borrowed’ nearly £330,000, and every year he adds to this ‘debt’.
“It’s a way of taking money out of the business while paying less tax in the short term.
“He will also pay himself a small salary — small enough that he won’t have to pay National Insurance on it, probably around £730 a month.
“The furlough scheme will pay 80 per cent of that salary, so he’s probably getting around £584 a month.
“What he’s done is not illegal and is similar to what many small businessmen have done during this pandemic. But I guess most of them don’t have the resources and connections he does.”
A spokeswoman for Tindall insisted he had not been personally furloughed but refused to answer any further questions.
The spokeswoman also disputed the figures reached by Mr Hale.
Last week, Tindall told The Times he “always worries about money” for bills and school fees but had been “fortunate” to have a couple of ambassadorial roles.
Zara has been a brand ambassador for big names including Rolex and Land Rover.
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