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£750k royal party bill was double what event raised for good causes

By Tony Jones

An events agency led by the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips was paid £750,000 in fees for staging a street party marking her 90th birthday — almost double the amount the event raised for good causes.

Mr Phillips, who leads the UK arm of Sports and Entertainment Ltd (SEL), was the driving force behind the Patron’s Lunch, the centrepiece of a weekend of celebrations last June marking the Queen’s milestone.

Questions had been raised about the £150 cost of the tickets for the day-long street party which saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry join 10,000 revellers enjoying a picnic in The Mall.

Now accounts relating to the event, where the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh paraded past well-wishers, have shown the not-for-profit celebration staged by SEL UK raised £384,000 before tax.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chairman of the Patron’s Fund, the charity which organised the celebration, defended their contract with the events agency and highlighted how the party was enjoyed by tens of thousands of revellers in The Mall and was seen by a global audience of millions.

He added: “You can’t run an event of this scale without incurring some costs.

“But our contract with SEL required them to undertake this on a non-profit basis, so that the maximum amount possible could be returned to the charity.

“This meant that the company made no profit from the event.

“In addition, we compared their costs to those of other suppliers for organising the event, arranging logistics and security, and raising commercial sponsorship, and we satisfied ourselves that they were competitive in every regard.

“The event generated nearly £400,000, all of which was given to the Patron’s Fund.

“This, combined with other donations, means the Patron’s Fund has been able to distribute £750,000 to the Queen’s charities.”

The Mall street party celebrated the hundreds of charities and organisations that have the Queen as their patron, and the total funds raised meant 290 bodies across the UK and Commonwealth were given £2,500 each.

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