Although still unofficial, reports in the newspapers suggest Peat, 51, a former partner at KPMG, has already accepted the position, and will become the Prince of Wales’ closest adviser, after six years as chief financial officer at Buckingham palace.
His appointment is seen by some as a strategic move to prepare Prince Charles for the eventual ascent to the throne, and to give him a ‘crash course’ in the operations of the royal household.
Sir Michael, who is descended from the Peats of Peat Marwick, one of the original firms to become part of KPMG, has dismissed all reports of his appointment as pure speculation, has become the scourge of many within the royal family after reducing its size and rooting out perks and privileges usually afforded to members of the civil list.
In addition he has frozen the value of salaries and wages for royalty until 2011 at £7.9m a year, in preparation for its eventual phasing out. During his time as Keeper of the Privy Purse Peat has halved the cost of the monarchy to taxpayers to just £37m a year.
However, his role has not been without controversy. In December last year he was grilled by the Commons Public Accounts Committee over why £14m, intended for restoration work, had been deposited into the Queen’s Royal Collection Trust.
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