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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Jeffrey Webb

Aired June 30, 2003 - 20:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: On to Prince Charles now. Prince Charles is no pauper. That you know. But what is stirring up the latest tempest in the royal British teapot is his princely attitude towards his own income. Charles today revealed that last year, he earned the equivalent of $17 million. That is up 27 percent from the year before. And he released details of how he spent it.
Joining us now from Washington is BBC correspondent Justin Webb. And Justin, let's go through the numbers so you can help us understand what his expenses were. We're going to put up on the screen what he spent for salaries, entertainment, legal fees, travel, residence, staff training. Do you want to walk through the numbers for us tonight, Justin?

JUSTIN WEBB, BBC CORRESPONDENT: Can you fit it all on the screen?

ZAHN: Well, we did. But what do you make of these numbers?

WEBB: Well, I mean, I think the main one to keep an eye on is if you total it all up, that isn't the private income that he has. So let's make that clear, first of all. He has about 3 million pounds, $5 million of income from the British taxpayer, people including me, who pay that money to him that he spends. The rest of it comes, actually, from some very strange set-up, where he -- he has the Duchy of Cornwall, which is an organization set up in 1337 to provide the heir of the throne with money. And that gets money from rents. It's basically a land-owning organization. So not all of this was the money of the British people being spent. But nonetheless, when you look at all those fees, it's an awful lot of money. And interesting that he spends so much on salaries. He was accused a few months ago of having someone whose main job was to squeeze out the toothpaste onto his toothbrush, and looking at that figure, you wonder how much is being paid for it.

ZAHN: Need a 10-second answer to this one. Are people really outraged by all this?

WEBB: No, not particularly. You know, they try to persuade us with the British royal family that they're good value for money. And the more they try to do it, the more, in a sense, tacky it looks and the more people get a little insight into where the money is being spent. And that occasionally causes annoyance. But fundamentally, if you ask most British people, they're perfectly happy to keep their roles as they are and keep paying for them.

ZAHN: And they certainly spend a princely sum on that garden we just saw. Justin Webb, thank you very much for being with us tonight.

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