Hong Kong tycoon hires Queens grandaughter Zara and Duchess of York for

Before taking up her directorship in April 2017, the Duchess was paid £200,000 from an offshore bank for “marketing and promotion”.Three months later, she was granted a £90,000 “loan” from Gate Ventures. There is no suggestion any of the payments were illegal.A spokesman for the Duchess said both payments were loans from Gate Ventures solely related to her fledgling company Ginger and Moss, which makes tea. He added that the £90,000 had been repaid.A spokesman for Dr Hon said: “The building of relationships (charitable/business/otherwise) is a mutual beneficial matter – it is never intended to benefit one party alone.” Mr Phillips and Mrs Tindall refused to comment last night. The Duchess of York and the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall have reportedly been paid tens of thousands of pounds to advise to a Hong Kong tycoon.Mrs Tindall was paid £100,000 a year for a non-executive directorship at the Global Group of companies owned by tycoon Dr Johnny Hon, it was reported on Saturday.She was reportedly appointed to advise on horse racing for a sports investment arm in return for attending just two board meetings by telephone a year and four company functions.The Duchess of York was paid almost £300,000 from a firm chaired by Dr Hon, as well as a £72,000-a-year retainer for her non-executive directorship of his film investment company in Hong Kong, according to an investigation by The Daily Mail. Lawyers for Mrs Tindall, 38, daughter of the Princess Royal and already an ambassador for Rolex and Land Rover, initially said it was “wholly untrue” she was a non-executive director of Dr Hon’s Global Group. But they later accepted she had held that role when the newspaper provided documentary evidence of the £100,000-a-year contract between her and Dr Hon’s firm.Mrs Tindall’s brother, Peter Phillips, 41, is understood to have launched a horse racing members’ club with Dr Hon two weeks ago and will receive a salary for what is regarded as a “figurehead” role. Dr Hon has launched companies in Britain and Hong Kong and is behind a holding company – The Hon Organisation – based in the tax haven of Vanuatu.He has reportedly turned to members of the Royal family in recent years in the hope they can help raise his profile to potential investors in the Far East. Dr Hon, 47, said on Friday evening her main role in the directorship was “to introduce a few people to me in Hong Kong”.The tycoon, who was educated at Uppingham School and Cambridge University, told The Daily Mail that members of the Royal Family were brought on board “because of what they can do for individual projects”.The revelations have raised questions about the way Royals who do not take the taxpayer funded Sovereign Grant manage to pay for themselves. The Duchess of York, 59, was a non-executive director of Dr Hon’s Global Group Entertainment Limited until October last year, on a salary of £72,000 a year.She was said to have “introduced various strategic relationships” with Dr Hon. She is also a director of British media investment firm Gate Ventures, formerly chaired by Dr Hon, which was removed from the London junior stock exchange in 2015 after a number of Chinese investors came on board and caused the share price to rise 1,500 per cent. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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