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The Queen is exposed as a tax avoider but nothing a fashion faux pas won't fix

The Paradise Papers have been released. An incongruous name summoning up images of sandy beaches and palm trees but actually exposing the indiscretions of many a tax avoiding celebrity.

And none other than Her Majesty the Queen has found her name mentioned in the same breath as the likes of 'end world poverty' campaigner Bono and Billionaire Tory donor Michael Ashcroft, who have all been found guilty of shielding their money in offshore tax havens.

The papers have revealed millions of pounds from the Queen's private estate has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund as part of an offshore portfolio which has never come to light before. The files show that the Queen, through the Duchy of Lancaster, has held, and still holds investments via funds that have been put into an array of businesses including failed off-licence chain Threshers and the retailer BrightHouse, which has been slammed for exploiting thousands of poor families.

The Queen has put around £10 million of her £340 million personal fortune into these offshore schemes which are totally within the bounds of the law but are considered morally reprehensible as they see some £2.2 billion of taxes lost from the UK each year which could be going into the NHS, schools and other public services.

It has been confirmed the Queen had no idea her money was being invested in tax avoidance schemes. She doesn't settle down of an evening with a gin and tonic and a Toblerone and contemplate her financial investments. It is unsurprisingly the work of her accountants to decide where her fortune is invested.

This does not mean Her Majesty has not come under criticism, with suggestions that at the very least she should be looking at who she employs to deal with her finances.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the Paradise Papers reveal there is one rule for the super rich and another for the rest when it comes to paying tax and went so far as to call for the Queen to publicly apologise for depriving the country of much needed cash.

Similarly Labour's Dame Margaret Hodge has called the Queen's tax avoidance a disgrace. She continued that the tax advisers employed by the Queen should have been making sure all the investments made on her behalf were “cleaner than clean”.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said, however, that she believes the current measures to tackle tax avoidance go far enough and she would not be committing to a public register of the ownership of offshore companies and trusts – even in the wake of the Paradise Papers.

Vogue magazine decided to illustrate their story on the Queen's tax avoidance with a style portfolio of her outfits from when she was a little girl through to the present day. This could have been an attempt to gloss over the Queen's monetary indiscretions with a few style ones instead.

Flick back through anyone's past clothing choices and you are bound to find at least a few fashion faux pas in there. The skirt over trousers trend is back for example. This was a huge trend in the late 1990s and involved wearing a pair of trousers and a skirt all at once. If you were very lucky you might have owned an actual 'skant' which was a pair of trousers that came with a skirt sewn on.

The trend was led by celebrities, particularly girl bands like B*witched and later Girls Aloud, and TV presenter Zoe Ball was also a fan. But now designers such as Celine, Toga, Marni and Emilio Pucci have produced their own versions of the skirt over trousers trend.

Sadly there was no evidence of the Queen sporting the skant in any of the photos in her style portfolio – not even in the late 1990s. Such a disappointment as she could have had a very nice one made for her out of Prince of Wales check.

In fact there were no blunders in the Queen's style portfolio at all. She has always dressed very appropriately for the ruler she was destined to become. Shame the same cannot be said for her financial portfolio.


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