Buckingham Palace noticed Prince William’s ‘giddiness’ at spending Duchy money

Last week, Kensington Palace staff “excitedly” briefed Richard Eden at the Daily Mail about their plans to hire a Top CEO to run operations around KP, plus the Duchy of Cornwall and Earthshot and what have you. It actually didn’t occur to me at the time that this is just another version of “William is too lazy and stupid to do his job.” When Charles was Prince of Wales, he had a bloated staff at every level, but he was actually an involved executive, dealing with Duchy business constantly and creating all kinds of schemes and charities. William can’t be bothered – he’s going to dump everything on an “emotionally intelligent, low ego, ‘servant’ leader” CEO, who will then have to give William credit for everything and excitedly brief the media about how William is really running things. Well, Rebecca English at the Mail has a follow-up on the CEO hunt and how William’s lazy scheme is going down at Buckingham Palace. Some highlights:

The CEO hunt: They have even employed a top ‘global leadership services’ agency, Odgers Berndtson, to find their candidate – for a hefty commission no doubt, as big City headhunters traditionally charge a third of their first-year salary as a finder’s fee.

A revolutionary move: It’s almost impossible to convey just how revolutionary William and Kate’s decision to bring in a ‘real-world’ executive to oversee their Kensington Palace household is. Royal households are operations where, traditionally, senior executives boast historic titles such as ‘Lord Chamberlain’ (effectively Buckingham Palace’s CEO), and ‘Master of the Household’. Most have spent decades navigating the hierarchy of the royal household, or entered from a Whitehall or military background. It’s an internal joke (albeit repeated with tongue firmly in cheek) that the Palace still operates using ‘Windows 1066’. An ‘inspiring internal champion’ who is ‘able to flex’ (as the job description reads) is going to be either a breath of fresh air or an icy blast of wokery, depending on how you are minded to interpret it.

A good move? One source who has worked within the palace walls told me: ‘It’s a smart move, although one hard to align with the existing set-up at Buckingham Palace where many live for hierarchy and titles. Having a CEO that oversees all the various extensions in their world – the Duchy of Cornwall, the Royal Foundation [the couple’s charitable arm], the Earthshot Awards and the Princess’s Centre for Early Childhood – seems a good move to me. Modernising their organisational and operational structure is sensible, as long as it means bringing in people from the outside with ‘real world’ experience as opposed to career courtiers.’

Buckingham Palace’s reaction: How this will go down at Buckingham Palace remains to be seen. One well-placed insider remarked dryly to me: ‘Oh yes, I’ve heard about this ‘interesting’ plan’, suggesting perhaps not everyone is comfortable with the corporatisation of the court. Certainly, the move came as a surprise to many, until they read about it in my colleague Richard Eden’s Thursday column, which suggests family communications still aren’t as seamless as they could be.

Oh my: While there is pride for how William has stepped up to his new role, some have been less appreciative of his ‘my way, or the highway’ approach on occasions. Some are even asking whether there is a little ‘giddiness’ in the Team Wales camp now William has his hand on the tiller of the Duchy of Cornwall, the £650 million estate that funds the heir to the throne. This elevation means he no longer has to go cap-in-hand to Charles for cash or consult him on management decisions. ‘The reason William hasn’t done this before is because he hasn’t had the autonomy,’ one observer remarks.

A hiring flurry: I’m told that despite the hiring flurry, the Waleses are not keen to expand their operation too much. The job ad suggests their CEO would lead a 60-strong workforce. This seems a little on the low side given they have hired entire teams for their projects in recent years, as well as a raft of social media specialists. However, it’s still far fewer than the 250-plus employed by the previous Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. ‘William and Catherine are a couple who like to be very hands-on and able to wander around the office and know everyone who works for them by name,’ a source tells me. ‘They know their partners and their children and don’t blink an eye if people bring their dogs into work, as has happened over the years. It’s surprisingly informal, really.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“Some are even asking whether there is a little ‘giddiness’ in the Team Wales camp now William has his hand on the tiller of the Duchy of Cornwall” – I’ve long believed that Charles spent a significant amount of time and effort “William-proofing” the Duchy of Cornwall so his prodigal son wouldn’t loot the Duchy in a series of spending sprees. We’ll see if Charles actually managed to do that. From everything we’ve heard, over the years, Charles transformed the Duchy so that it operated as a more streamlined business, with executive officers and middle-managers and corporate accountability. I wonder what those people think of William’s giddy spending and his need to create a more baroque chain of command.

Anyway, it’s clear that Charles and Camilla want no part of William’s moronic CEO scheme, and I would imagine that eventually someone will be hired and they’ll work in KP for about six months before leaving under “mysterious” circumstances and that will be the end of that.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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52 Responses to “Buckingham Palace noticed Prince William’s ‘giddiness’ at spending Duchy money”

  1. Lucy says:

    I’m still flabbergasted they’re doing this. The Prince/king is supposed to be the executive, that’s the whole point. Willie’s trying to find someone so he doesn’t even have to show up more than once a month, “William and Catherine are a couple who like to be very hands-on and able to wander around the office and know everyone who works for them by name,” my arse.

    I still think one of his aristo friends told him how they gave a ceo who runs things, and you just have to make decisions every now and then. Very civilized really. Gives you all the time in the world for whatever faffing around.

    • Cairidh says:

      There’ve been several claims over the years of William sleeping with the female staff and Kate refusing to go to an event with him (at the last minute) as punishment.
      So he probably does wander round the office but not for the sake of working.

      When he was at St. Andrews it was claimed, that when sitting in the cafeteria having a conversation with a friend, instead of looking at them, his eyes would be scanning the room,
      looking for his next conquest. He’s lazy, so the offices at KP are the nearest place to look when he’s at home. Plus he’s the boss in the room, which gives him status, which unfortunately makes men more attractive. Being a Prince already gives him status, but the staff-boss dynamic is different.

      • Jais says:

        @cairidh, I’ve heard rumors about rose, yummy mummys, and London lawyers but never the staff😳. Whoa if so.

    • NotTheOne says:

      Have’t we seem something similar from them in the past? Hiring super educated/experienced executives that either leave fairly quickly or don’t even start. I’ll be surprised if they actually find someone who stays.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Well, I’m a bit of a literalist, so I’m hung up on the wandering the office & knowing everyone’s name. What office? Where is it located? Kensington, Windsor, Norfolk? One for Earthsh*t, one for the Duchy, one for the centre for kids who don’t read good?

  2. Chloe says:

    Staff isn’t happy lol

    • B says:

      The staff would be happy if it was Pete Davidson.

      Srsly, with William’s energy and performance, he’s gotta be spending a lot of money on dates and presents because that’s what he has to lean on.

  3. ambel says:

    When the CEO leaves, will we get stories about how they made staff cry by sending them emails at 5 a.m.? I can’t see how hiring a person with actual corporate experience dovetails with the do nothing staff, unless they fire them all.

    • Cairidh says:

      I’ve always been curious to know what the 60 staff actually do all day. Given that the Royals they work for do virtually nothing, what are the staff doing?
      Although Harry’s book seemed to suggest they spend most of their time refuting false information in the media.

      • Elizabeth Kerri Mahon says:

        I suspect the 60+ plus staff are running the Royal Foundation, Earthshot, and Kate’s Early Years Centre, plus William’s private secretary, the private secretary’s assistant, and the communications team. I cannot imagine that Amanda Berry, CEO at BAFTA, will want to answer to someone else.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    This briefing is very telling and says that Peggy is going a bit rouge and that relations between King and heir are not great.

    Peggy will use the money to hire people to do the work for him and Mumbles will shop non stop.

  5. Wannabefarmer says:

    “…he’s going to dump everything on an “emotionally intelligent, low ego, ‘servant’ leader” CEO, who will then have to give William credit for everything …”

    OMG, this particular reason never occurred to me but youre absolutely on point.

    • Lucy says:

      Reading the description again made me realize- they’re looking for another Harry. The requirements are very specific and not ones I associate with royalty or aristocrats, but they came up with them somewhere. It’s Harry.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Should’ve just called it a “chief impact officer” and been done with it. White they foolin’?!

      • Sunday says:

        Holy sh*t @Lucy, you’re right – Will just put out a classifieds ad for a new Harry. Absolutely nailed it OMG!!

      • poppedbubble says:

        Glad I scrolled because this was my exact thought. Good luck with that William.

  6. Always looking for a way to not do the work he is supposed to do so let’s hire a CEO. So now the part of the monarchy that Peg should be in charge of is now a common business with a CEO. Stupid Peg gave away his job to do what play statesman and putz around in the rose garden.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      It’s almost as if he’s TRYING to show the monarchy needs to be abolished. If a corporate CEO can just do his job for him, what do they really need a monarchy for, then?

  7. Amy Bee says:

    Look for that CEO to be smeared in the press and eventually leave KP in about 6 months to a year. The KP staff can’t be happy that another layer of bureaucracy is going to be added to the operations.

  8. ariel says:

    The royal family – and not just them- any wealthy family where certain people hold the purse strings and others are dependent on that- so many avenues for dysfunction.
    Weirdly in william’s defense- can you imagine being born into insane wealth- but having zero access to it, having to get bills and expenses approved by your crappy dad or your grandma.
    Now william was seriously indulged as the “heir”.
    And we have heard more about how harry had nothing, bought non-royal formal wear on discount, lived in a cottage, Meg paid for their new couch.

    Do you think lizzie held her kids in line the way charles has done to his?
    The whole thing is just- ripe for problems.

    No wonder he’s giddy – wouldn’t you be?

    • Snuffles says:

      I know, right? It’s the same thing Harry complained about. And according to Spare, William complained about it too.

      It straight up sucks and stunts your growth as an adult to have your purse strings controlled by Daddy and Grandma.

      • Lurker25 says:

        It’s worse for these English royals than the kids of obscene wealth bc the latter can go yet a job and earn a living if they don’t want to beg from the purse-strings-holder. The “working” royals can’t… Supposedly. Who knows since none of these”rules” are applied equally when non-white royals are involved.

        Personally i think bulliam is looking for another Jason Knauf – the swiss army staffer combo yes man, hatchet man, clever schemer, manipulator, PR charmer, amoral gay bro who will support rose pruning and never cock block.

        Also, first order of business will be to raise duchy rents. You know, bc “eradicating homelessness” will take money

    • Becks1 says:

      It is incredibly dysfunctional, but I don’t think the Queen was that way with her kids. She set them up in large mansions/estates when they married. The kids all went to schools that I’m sure weren’t cheap and I’m sure the queen picked up the tab.

      when Andrew stepped back from official duties, I was reading something about how they are paid – because they apparently do get stipends or something similar from the sovereign grant. Anne isn’t going hat in hand to Charles every time she wants to buy a new hat, nor are Edward or Sophie. that may change a bit with Charles as Duke of Lancaster and monarch, but the Queen seemed to have her kids set up pretty well.

      Charles seems to be the issue here. He should have given each son a yearly stipend from the Duchy of Cornwall for their work so they had independence from him (but of course he wouldn’t want that.) it’s like what Harry said in Spare – charles wasn’t just his father, he was his employer, except that Harry never got paid a salary.

      • Jais says:

        As you say @becks1, “Charles seems to be the issue here.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot. No doubt the queen was not a present mother for Charles. But a lot of this, the whole entwining of the RF with the tabloids directly goes back to Charles and subsequently Camilla. Briefing against Diana throughout their marriage. And then briefing about his sons. And then the financial control with his sons and the whole family really. So much of this is on Charles. William is following the dysfunction and leveling it up.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        “Charles seems to be the issue here.” – that’s because Charles appears to be an abusive person. Look at how he used various abusive tactics such as withdrawing money and security to get the Sussexes to crawl back. He plays by the abuser’s handbook.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        So my theory regarding the stipend. William and Harry both received a stipend from the Duchy. The amount of the stipend was supposed to generous enough and there would not have been an issue. Except 2 things happened.

        1) William has a pathological need to take everything away from Harry. Not because he wants what Harry has, but because he doesn’t want Harry to have anything. There are multiple videos throughout their childhood showing William being offered things first, refusing them, then when Harry is offered instead, William flies into a tizzy and takes it away from Harry. I think William wanted to squeeze Harry as much as possible for sport. So he kept demanding more and more so Harry would have less and less. Charles is weak and William is the heir so he kept being allowed to do this.

        2) Camilla. Camilla and her husband were financially strapped. It finally occurred to them that Charles was the gravy train they needed. Camilla got Charles completely under her thumb thumb then kept demanding more and more. The trust funds for each of her children, property like Ray Mill, then of course, all her debts etc. Charles was on a fixed income, William was the heir. Guess where the only wiggle room existed? Harry’s allowance. I think between Camilla’s demands and William’s, Harry’s allowance kept getting smaller and smaller until there was almost nothing left so he had to shop sales at discount stores and live in a shack.

        That’s what it meant when Harry talked about someday being married and having his own family and William responding that it may not happen. Think about it. What a strange response as every royal ever has gotten married and had a family and as spare, it would have been mandatory for Harry to do so.

        Everyone looted Harry’s share and squeezed him and squeezed him until nothing was left.

  9. Mary Pester says:

    Sorry but William isn’t employing a CEO, he’s employing a fall guy /stooge. If he has a good idea, it’s Williams, if an idea falls flat, it’s the stooges. If there is a massive overspend, it’s not Williams or Kates fault, it’s the stooges, he bought to many wiglets, to many buttons and too many pegs, and so it will go on until stooge decides sod this I’m of, I’m to professional to take this crap any more.
    And I will never, ever believe that bully or keen wander into offices and are happy to see staffs family and dogs /

    • Lucky Charm says:

      The only part I believe is that they wander around the office. It’s just that they wander around aimlessly wondering who those people are, and what the office does.

  10. Jay says:

    Okay, the RF still operating “Windows 1066” is actually a pretty funny joke!

    BP sources are just pointing out some of the same things CBers mentioned when the CEO job description came out – I can’t imagine anyone with the kinds of skills they are looking for wanting to take this job. All of the responsibility, decisions and hassle without any power to change things, no hope of coordinating with the other households, and all of the credit for any good work you do will go to Kate and William? There’s not enough money in the world.

    And hilariously, it seems like William didn’t bother to inform the other palaces about his “interesting plan” (amazing shade btw). I guess that confirms that he will not be promoting from within…

  11. Snuffles says:

    “Some are even asking whether there is a little ‘giddiness’ in the Team Wales camp now William has his hand on the tiller of the Duchy of Cornwall, the £650 million estate that funds the heir to the throne. This elevation means he no longer has to go cap-in-hand to Charles for cash or consult him on management decisions. ‘The reason William hasn’t done this before is because he hasn’t had the autonomy,’ one observer remarks.”

    Well, due to the fact this is a hereditary position, it’s William’s now to do with as he pleases. Mind you, I have ZERO faith he has any idea what he’s doing and will most likely spend it into bankruptcy with his half-baked ideas and one sided competition with Harry. That said, that’s how your stupid hereditary system works. Deal with it.

    • Christine says:

      I agree, Snuffles. This was all entirely predictable, and it’s how the British set up their society. Deal with it.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      He won’t bankrupt the duchy. All his ideas are small and not scalable and he doesn’t have the interest, skill, or will to see anything through. He’s a toddler who sees a toy, grabs it, and plays for a few minutes before forgetting about it.

  12. Em says:

    “This seems a little on the low side given they have hired entire teams for their projects in recent years, as well as a raft of social media specialists”

    A raft of bots you mean.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      I noticed that. A ‘raft’ of social media specialists? No one needs that many, that’s them admitting to paying for bot farms to attack Harry and promote them.

  13. Jaded says:

    What they need is a Change Management COO/CEO, a tough and determined one, because whoever they hire for this position is going to walk into a snake pit. The people side of any organization is always the most resistant to change and whoever takes on this role is going to have to create strong alignment between leadership (the WanKs), strategy, culture, and behavior that many won’t like as they’re so deeply entrenched in an archaic culture. Of course the person who takes this on is going to butt heads with the eternally enraged, stubborn and stupid William. What Willnot should do (but likely won’t) is take some proper business leadership courses….but he’ll probably dip halfway through.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      It doesn’t matter who they hire. They will fail because the problem is William and Kate.

    • BeanieBean says:

      They are advertising for a COO. If you google the headhunting agency’s name plus Kensington Palace job announcement, you’ll get the PDF of the announcement. Here’s the summary:

      ‘This is a unique opportunity to join a dedicated team of ~50 Staff intent on supporting the outstanding work of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales (“TRH”).
      The COO will be ultimately responsible for ensuring TRH’s have a best-in-class operating platform that supports their strategy. This role requires strategic thinking for the longer-term direction of the Household, as well as a hands-on appetite to get involved as part of a small and agile team, with a busy agenda in an ever-changing world.’

  14. MSTJ says:

    Didn’t all of Charles senior people moved over from the Duchy to BP with him hence Camilla working on who should be fired from late QE II staff at BP?

    It will be interesting to see how William’s new CEO works out in the ‘my way or the high way’ environment that William has set up.

    What is mind boggling to me is that that although Charles had been interning for 70 years, when the time came to take on the top job, there doesn’t seem to have been a well defined succession plan in place. It’s been a year and they are still not yet settled at BP or KP with a cohesive vision. The lack of communication and friction between the two palaces and their Principals is evident. It makes for good entertainment from the outside though. 😂

    • BeanieBean says:

      Kinda like trump’s first year: he had no plan whatsoever. Oh, wait, there was one plan that screwed up a lot: the freeze on federal hiring. Lots of folks got through the entire federal hiring process, but had start dates post-inauguration & therefore couldn’t start. I got lucky, the Park Service backdated my start date to the day before the inauguration. Some regions didn’t figure this one out in time.

  15. QuiteContrary says:

    LOL, this is going to be a spectacular fail, like everything else associated with the Wailses.

  16. Becks1 says:

    Of course William and Kate are giddy at the Cornwall funds. They haven’t even tried to hide that over the past year.

    And yeah, I def think one of William’s friends was like “oh all of us rich landowners have CEOs to manage our estates, we simply are too busy with the polo and hunting weekends” and William has decided he wants that too.

  17. Krista says:

    ‘William and Catherine are a couple who like to be very hands-on and able to wander around the office and know everyone who works for them by name,’ a source tells me. ‘They know their partners and their children and don’t blink an eye if people bring their dogs into work, as has happened over the years. It’s surprisingly informal, really.’

    Bull. Shit. Guaranteed everyone has to bow and curtsy.

  18. equality says:

    I would think the Duchy already has staff who are competent set up by Charles. PW would have to be goofy to mess with that since it has been so productive. I wonder how much he is allowed to change. ES is a separate entity and has its own board. So, basically, they are hiring a CEO to be over their in-house employees and foundation maybe? Doesn’t make sense.

  19. Lizzie says:

    That giddiness to spend duchy money quote is quite something coming from the crew who put on a multi million pound coronation just months after a multi million pound funeral last year. I love the shade but it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

  20. Lee says:

    Yawn! No real gossip! Just recycled stories

  21. Well Wisher says:

    The only job for the CEO of the lazy spendthrifts is to get Meghan’s designer contacts and future purchases……

  22. blunt talker says:

    The old style aristocrate will not like this and will interfere if they feel its necessary-this ceo cannot come in and get rid of all the people working for Will and Kate-the backlash would be brutal.

  23. Jenjen says:

    Emotionally intelligent, low ego servant reads: gentleman with a very low profile allowing the Prince to take credit when things go well or more likely chump to take the fall when they inevitably don’t. Imagine if he actually worked as hard working as he does at figuring out how not to work?

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