MIKE MERRITT BY MIKE MERRITTT
It was the location where the Queen Mother was said to be happiest, with her magnificent, fairytale turrets and towers overlooking the Pentland Firth.
But her beloved old Scottish home, Mey’s Castle, was only valued at £ 1 million since her association with the estate would prove difficult to value, accounting documents have shown.
The situation with the castle’s furnishings is close.
The castle trust controlled by Prince Charles produced a surplus of more than £ 532,000 and over £ 104,000 in investments for the balances just released.
Overall, this figure was £ 200,000 higher than in 2018, where the “trading” surplus of £ 640,992 that year was severely compromised by net investment losses of £ 203,870.
Mey Trust’s Queen Elizabeth Castle saw sales grow by more than £ 540,000 to £ 2,287,526 this time, but expenditures also grew significantly to £ 1,754,854, which was around £ 640,000 higher due to a longer accounting period and higher costs.
There was £ 1,260,000 in gifts and bequests – more than half of the profits – and the remainder was raised by charitable programs, other enterprises and investments.
The market value of the castle alone is valued at only £ 1 million amid a property boom in recent years – the same estimate as when it was donated to the trust by the Queen Mum when it was built in 1996. It was last revalued in 2010 by the trustees.
“In contrast to the advantages to be derived, a complete valuation was “considered onerous, largely due to the difficulty in determining a value for the appreciation resulting from the estate of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother,” the trust said.
“The basis of valuation used by the trustees was market value and the current trustee is satisfied with the valuation and is not aware of any changes.”
The furnishings of the castle were also revalued at £ 583,570 in 2004 – again, a complete valuation was deemed “onerous,” with the issue of measuring the cache value of the Queen Mother.
Almost £1.2 million of the contributions from the foundation were small funds.
Although donors were not identified, the Gosling Foundation, American philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman – daughter of the late pharmaceutical magnate Ewing Kauffman – and investment financier Louis de Ségur de Charbonnières and his wife Priscilla funded the multi-million pound, ten-bedroom Granary Lodge on the property.
In 2015, a wooded area near the castle was revealed to have been renamed in honor of a wealthy Saudi businessman who allegedly donated £ 370,000 to the renovation of the castle.
The forest area, situated east of the 16th-century Mey Castle, was renamed Mahfouz Wood in honor of Dr. Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz. He is the foundation’s honorary patron.
Prince Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, who stays at the castle every August in honor of his late grandmother’s memory, is known to be particularly skilled at attracting generous benefactors to his pet ventures.
The latest Caithness Castle reports – lodged with the Scottish Welfare Authority – span a period of 15 months to 31 March, when it fell under the trusteeship of the Prince’s Foundation, while the previous annual report covered 12 months, making it difficult to compare.
However, the study cautions that the latest financial statements do not reflect the effects of the pandemic of Covid 19, which seriously affected the opening of this year’s visitor attraction.
There is also a wholly owned trading arm in the trust, of which Prince Charles is president – Castle and Gardens of Mey Ltd.
The trustee’s report said funds were enhanced by the opening of Granary Lodge, which had “strong occupancy rates.” referred to as heritage b and b. The trust is now considering using the house as a place for weddings and smaller activities.
The castle welcomed 28,210 visitors during the time ending March 31, who benefited from its position on the booming North Coast 500 road, launched with the assistance of the Prince’s North Highland Initiative. Entrance fees have earned almost £ 242,000.
Furthermore, for a “Mey Occasions” weekend, the castle was leased out for exclusive use to the rich.
In the meantime, the palace gardens were tended by Charles and the most popular gardener,