Cost of the Crown

The Guardian

The Guardian’s Cost of the Crown series sought to penetrate the centuries-old wall of secrecy in a bid to force the monarchy – an institution that is constitutionally resistant to change – to open up to the public. As we explained in an opening piece launching the series: ‘These are not easy topics for King Charles to confront. He may prefer that we were not raising them on the eve of his coronation. But we believe the time is right.’

The campaign, driven by the Guardian’s investigations team, involved dozens of hard-hitting investigative pieces that lifted the lid on the king’s hidden wealth, the secrecy surrounding his fortune and the ways in which it has been derived from his public role. We revealed how Charles and the late Queen Elizabeth II have received payments equivalent to more than £1bn from the duchies, two land and property estates that are at the centre of a centuries-old debate over whether their profits should be given to the public instead. We also revealed hitherto hidden links between the Royals and slavery, which led Buckingham Palace to support further research into them for the first time. This front page married eye-catching design with real impact to kick off the series, with the design motifs it introduced running throughout the rest of the series in print and online.