I’m fascinated by reports that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have bought a chalet in the Swiss Alps for somewhere between £8m and £13m. My fascination starts with the gap between the small number and the high number, given that the difference between the two – £5m – would buy you 25 houses in Scotland, 30 in the north of England and even 10 in the overheated London property market. It’s incredible the way newspaper reports these days can trivialise such a large sum of money, an amount in fact that most of us can’t comprehend in real terms and will never see passing through our hands. Indeed it relates to 200 years of so working at an income of £25,000 a year. But in this BBC report it can be written off a ‘somewhere between’£8m and £13m.
According to the article the couple has bought the property, which seemingly comes with half a dozen permanent staff including a chef, with the help of a mortgage. It would be interesting to know how they managed that in these days of strict mortgage regulation given that the Prince’s income is a modest navy pension and money from his mum, and God only knows where Sarah Ferguson earns her money these days. Not to mention the fact that anyone else with her debt history would find it difficult to buy a doll’s house never mind a multi-million pound chalet.
I’m sure they didn’t just walk into a local branch of Nationwide and ask to borrow £10m for a second home but it does seem strange that Buckingham Palace found the need to stress to the BBC that no ‘external party’ provided funding for the purchase.
I wonder who did fund it then?