Millionaire royal-adjacent Mike Tindall took ‘furlough money’ from the government

Zara and Mike Tindall leave with Britain's Queen Elizabeth after they attended the Patron's Lunch on the Mall, an event to mark the queen's 90th birthday, in London

Zara Phillips-Tindall makes a lot of money. She’s a professional equestrian, an Olympic medalist, and she makes millions from her endorsements. Her husband Mike Tindall was a professional rugby player and he currently has some revenue streams like “paid speeches” and getting paid for commentary and such, I think. I’m actually not entirely clear about Mike’s finances, nor am I even sure that Zara and Mike even mingle their finances. The Sun is under the impression that Zara’s money is his, and that it’s a bad look for Mike to take “furlough money” from the government (for Americans, I assume this would be like Tindall taking a PPP loan).

Royal husband Mike Tindall has been claiming furlough cash for his business even though he is reportedly worth more than £15million. The ex-England rugby star, 42 — married to the Queen’s grand-daughter Zara — sought government aid for the firm which manages his speaking engagements after they dried up. 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.”

The furlough scheme, which will cost taxpayers at least £50billion, was designed to stop Covid-hit businesses from going bust — potentially leaving millions jobless. A spokeswoman for Tindall insisted he had not been personally furloughed but refused to answer any further questions.

[From The Sun]

I mean, of course it’s a bad look. It’s especially bad here in America when rich people exploit the PPP loan scheme and then spend the money in egregious ways rather than trying to keep their businesses afloat. That being said, if you want stricter controls on economic stimulus during a pandemic and an impending recession, it’s up to governments to change the rules. Mike is exploiting a well-worn system which is also being exploited by many rich people and businesses. And not to get too Tindall-defensive – I could care less most of the time – but the dude isn’t royal and he’s not married to a royal woman. He and Zara live at Gatcombe, which is Princess Anne’s property, but beyond that, both Zara and Mike operate like what they are: untitled commoners.

Ceres Charity Luncheon

mike tindall mia

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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40 Responses to “Millionaire royal-adjacent Mike Tindall took ‘furlough money’ from the government”

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  1. Mumbles says:

    Legal, yes. Ethical, no. Managed to become a leech on British taxpayers like the titled royals.

    • bros says:

      the single biggest recipient of PPP loans in the US was the catholic church, which is sitting on billions of dollars.

      • Suzy S says:

        So many churches in the US took money through the pandemic, and yet paid nothing in taxes… so they got paid out of a pot that they never have to contribute to, and a lot of them are mega-church billionaires. Disgusting. So much of the relief money in the US (and sounds like England as well) went to people who had tons of money and didn’t really need it. Selfishness and greed coupled with ignorance will be our downfall

  2. Snuffles says:

    There is a pattern of articles coming out about the royal family and their financials. Interesting.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    It’s been pointed out on twitter, that he did an interview with the Times pleading poverty about a week ago. He knew that this story was going to come out and decided to run to the Times. He took advantage of a system which probably knowingly left loopholes so that the Tory Government’s friends can take advantage of it.

  4. Sofia says:

    I said it yesterday that the royals (other than the monarch and maybe the first in line) aren’t as cash rich as it may seem. Yes they’ve inherited millions from the Queen Mother but their lives are pretty expensive to maintain so whatever millions they inherited has surely reduced unless they’ve made some very wise investments (which they may have)

    Edit: and like others have said, ethically it’s shitty but legally he’s not doing anything wrong. Still unethical though

    • Becks1 says:

      I read somewhere recently (like in the past year or so) that the christmas conversation at Sandringham is all about finances and investments, and I imagine they have the best investment advisors money can buy, and that all of them are very clever at hiding their money.

      But that aside – I ALSO read somewhere (an actual source, I know, lol) that Zara does make a lot of money from her various endorsements – I forget the specific example, but one was several million for a 2 or 3 year deal. So in general I think she is much better positioned than someone like Beatrice or Eugenie.

      • Sofia says:

        Oh definitely. I’m sure they’ve got the best investors money can buy and have probably doubled/even tripled their money. And I’m sure some of them like Zara and Mike can make a few million a year.

        But like I was saying, their lives are expensive to maintain. They don’t have to pay for security as they don’t have it but vacations, horses, hobbies, school fees and just general lifestyle things add up.

      • Becks1 says:

        Well, I think part of it too is that all these royals/royal adjacents LOVE freebies. I dont think Zara ever pays for a vacation, for example.

        But to go along with what AmyBee said below – I definitely think the Queen supports them all way more than we know. Remember how secretive her finances are, she could be giving Zara and Peter 5 million a year each to live on out of her personal money and we would never know about it. I dont think she’s giving them that much, because I cant imagine Peter is doing milk ads in China for fun, but I do think she supplements all of them a lot more than is made public.

      • HeatherC says:

        I think she keeps her money separate from her husband’s, maybe some mingling for household expenses or things related to the kids. Considering how many family members around her have been divorced, including her mother, that’s smart. Just in case. So no, Mike couldn’t use her money to shore up his business. But he should have thought of that, or his advisors should have thought of that , before.

      • anonymous says:

        She does make her money from endorsements. Interestingly enough, she and mike moved back in with Anne because the life they were living was not realistic with the money they were bringing in, even with her endorsements. Horses are another aspect of her life. To keep horses is not a cheap endeavor. That’s another thing moving back in with mom could help with. Even Anne has cried poverty occasionally. She has made it known that without the horse trials Gatcombe Park, and the revenue it brings in, she’d never be able to afford the cost of running the house and stables. So there’s that.

      • anonymous says:

        While the Queen may be able to slide large infusions of cash into their coffers without the public knowing, but Mike and Zara cannot snuff the taxman when it shows up on their income tax. In the US parents or relatives can only “gift” $10,000 a year before the IRS shows up with their hand out. Long story short (too late i know) Zara and Mike will have to claim the gift on their taxes.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Nah, they all have money through investments, they receive money from the Queen to maintain their life styles and pay very little rent to live on Royal properties. Zara and Mike are allowed to skip Christmas at Sandringham every year because they make a lot of money in Australia.

      • Sofia says:

        She doesn’t actually. At least not officially. I don’t know if she slides them a couple million every year or something as a “lifestyle maintenance” fund.

        There’s a reason why a lot of these rich upper classes with estates open up their homes, including Anne, is because it costs a fortune to maintain them and they don’t have said fortune.

      • Amy Bee says:

        Anne gets money from the Duchy of Lancaster, the Queen’s estate. The Queen is extremely rich and her true worth is not known.

      • Sofia says:

        It’s clearly not enough for Anne to maintain her lifestyle as she still needs to open up her home every year.

        @Elizabeth: I was referring to Zara and Mike specifically. They don’t get sovereign grant money officially. Unofficially might be a different story.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Anne does take money from the Sovereign Grant to fund her official duties as the Princess Royal and representative of the Queen.

    • Snuffles says:

      I can agree with that. I think people like Charles, the Queen, maybe Anne probably have been wise enough to invest their money AND use their pull to abuse the government system and enrich themselves.

      And there are probably some that just spend and spend and spend like Andrew and Fergie.

      And some who are super cheap and will spend every else’s money before they spend their own.

      I’m guessing someone like Harry probably never touched his inheritance and let it grow and probably lived off his military salary while staying in tiny Knott Cottage in the Kensington Palace projects. He saw the writing on the wall. He was already sick of having to beg his Dad for money for his projects and sure as wasn’t going to do it with William (who is probably terrible with money and has a wife who spends lavishly too).

    • Cecilia says:

      They can choose to make their lives as expensive as they want. So that’s not really an excuse.

    • Talie says:

      This was my thought too over the weekend. I read a piece about Peter Phillips having to lay off employees and accept funds as well. My question is, if the queen is a billionaire, why not throw some money at her grandkids to give them some freedom? Especially the ones who can’t be senior royals since they get criticized anytime they try to work. It’s all so odd…like, Charles and William get to lord over everyone with their piles of cash and the rest are just begging to rent a cottage on a Crown Property.

      • Amy Too says:

        You would think the Queen would support her family members a little more just for the outside optics of it. If you want to maintain the royal family mystique and make sure the people aren’t constantly getting mad at BRF for stupid financial stuff like doing paid ads and sponsorships, and taking government money, or setting up their own little one person companies to lend themselves money as a way to hide and move their money around, then you have to give them all enough money to live comfortably. They’re not allowed to really work at everyday normal jobs because their positions cause too much interest plus they’re “above” the type of blending into the background 9-5 jobs working for others, the jobs they do get are pretend/vanity jobs that are based off of their positions and then it looks very unfair that they’re able to get “entry level” positions as like the VP of something, they shouldn’t be taking any form of tax money or loans or subsidies since the RF already gets a bunch of that. Their parents chose to have children and bring them into this weird limbo life where they’re not working royals but they’re not regular people either, so the parents and the Queen need to take care of them. If having a monarchy, and being the Queen, and being revered as some kind of ultra special chosen by God person is so important to them, then you need to pay the money to maintain that facade. Paying all of your grandchildren some kind of aristo-living wage seems like a small price to pay to maintain Queenship in an outdated monarchy that should have ended decades ago.

      • Margaret says:

        I have no issue with Peter Phillips or Mike Tindall or any of the other royals who operate real businesses and employ people accepting funds from government schemes open to all other business operators in order to keep the business afloat and the jobs available, but I draw the line at wealthy royal peripherals taking government money to support their own personal lifestyles. Assuming Mike is his company’s only employee he shouldn’t be taking funds designed to help ordinary working people keep their jobs and pay their bills during this difficult time. Whether or not he and Zara keep their finances separate, they should help each other with their and their family’s expenses and maybe cut back on some of the excesses at a time the majority of the country’s citizens are counting pennies and many are living under the threat of job loss.

    • gm says:

      I agree with pretty much everything in this thread. I always wondered how come the not first borns felt about pretty much the whole pot going to the first borns. Obviously they are making money off their name/ status and probably getting some money from the Queen but the difference is very large. The financial difference between Prince Charles and Princess Anne/ his brothers is obvious, like someone else pointed out they are not hustling for fun, for Mike Tindall to do this to get a few hundred pounds a month means it matters to his bottom line, because he must have been aware there was a chance it would come out.

  5. Becks1 says:

    Well, to quote from Love Story – “its not a matter of legality, its a matter of ethics.”

    It’s a bad look for the Tindalls for sure and like Snuffles said above – its interesting that these financial articles are coming out in a slow drip like this.

    • JT says:

      It’s incredibly tacky and kind of embarrassing considering his in-law is the Queen of England. This isn’t a good look. If this were Harry and Meghan there would be uproar. The Sussexes were “embarrassing” the royals by making their own money, imagine if they had to take out a PPP loan.

  6. Shoo fly says:

    I think the scandal is that he’s taking furlough money to support only himself. He has no employees.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      A person I know laid himself off from his own business to collect after he already collected the stimulus for small businesses to retain their employees during the pandemic. He still co to use operations under the table. So many are playing the system feeling the money is there so why not take it.

  7. MissMarierose says:

    I guess my question is how much of his wealth is liquid. If his millions are tied up in property, for instance, it’s not really available for him right now, particularly with the real estate market in the dumps.

  8. SarahCS says:

    This is 100% legal but a terrible look for the amount he actually got . Was it worth it?

    Part of me is just bitter as I also employ myself and only myself through a limited company (I have to for my clients to work with me) and as I hadn’t pay rolled myself at all prior to the first lockdown due to not having consistent income in my first six months of trading before covid hit hard I have qualified for exactly £0 of government support even though my income totally dried up. Grr.

  9. lucy2 says:

    Sounds like he’s been gaming the system for a while to avoid taxes and paying into the insurance pool.

    I wouldn’t have blamed the guy if his company employed others, had cash flow issues, and he wanted to keep them all paid, but if he’s the only one, that’s just lousy. If your family makes millions and you can’t afford a year out, living rent free on someone else’s property, you’re doing something very wrong.

  10. Liz version 700 says:

    Oh Lord with all of these negative stories coming out about how all of this family cheats to hoard their wealth, I imagine a story about how Meghan made someone cry is going to come out tomorrow. This family is so amoral. People in Britain (much like in the US) are loosing their homes and jobs due to Covid and these folks are sopping up millions wherever they can. So so gross

    • MyOpinion says:

      It’s actually revolting that Mike took furlough money. No one in the family should take benefits away from the actual taxpayers.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Did someone take benefits away from an actual taxpayer?

        I am lost as do not understand how the “benefits” system works in the UK.

  11. tcbc says:

    I have no problem with wealthy people taking PPP loans and the like as long as they employ others. I don’t see why a receptionist who works for a celebrity’s production company does not deserve a paycheck but one who works for a real estate office does. Expecting people to pay their employees out of pocket from their own personal wealth is unrealistic. First of all, even rich people usually aren’t liquid enough to do that. Secondly, I’d rather have them getting these loans to fund these salaries than firing people, which would be be logical choice if no government funds were offered. The business owners supposedly pay taxes so they have a right to the funds.
    The church doesn’t, though. They should not have gotten anything.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Agree!

      Non tax-paying churches should not have been eligible for any PPP or COVID relief money.

  12. Amy Too says:

    “The furlough scheme, which will cost taxpayers at least £50billion, was designed to stop Covid-hit businesses from going bust — potentially leaving millions jobless.”

    “According to the accounts, the company has only one member of staff — believed to be Tindall himself.”

    This is designed to prevent companies from going under during the pandemic and his “company” is basically just himself hiring himself and paying by himself and lending himself money through the “company,” to save himself from taxes and having to pay his fair share. Gross.

  13. Lowrider says:

    They need to liquefy their assets, no way are they broke and in need of furlough government money!

    What a disgusting bunch.

  14. Chelsea says:

    Tbis story js so bizarre. Im curious as to what their source is that he’s the only employee at that company because if true i think it opens some legal questions because I’m pretty sure this furlough aid was not meant for rich people to engage in self dealing.

    Curious as to if thd British media will be as vicious to him about this as they were to Victoroa Beckham who, though I feel shouldn’t have taken the assistance, had scores of actual staffers to.provide compensation and benefits for at a time when her company saw a huge deop off in business.

    But honestly i dont get why he’d try to deal what amounts to just 6k a year for himself when he doesn’t even have to pay for his own lodging. He lives on bis mother in law”s property. And did the Queen Mother not leave Zara an inheretance? It’d be weird if she was omitted