Palace finance chief faces grilling from MPs.

Buckingham Palace’s finance chief is to be quizzed on the royal finances by the Commons Public Accounts Committee next week.

The parliamentary committee, chaired by Conservative MP David Davis, will question Sir Michael Peat, 51, the first ever accountant to fill the role of keeper of the privy purse, on the maintenance of royal finances.

Centuries of mystery were brought to and end this year when the Queen’s annual expenses were revealed in detail for the first time.

Unveiling the breakdown of the royal finances in July, prime minister Tony Blair praised ‘very substantial efficiencies’ made by the royal household.

But the PAC, not renowned for rubber-stamping cabinet decisions, may take a different view on the palace’s finances.

‘The household made savings of 55% in real terms over the last decade,’ Sir Michael Peat told Accountancy Age earlier this year.

The Civil List – the money derived from parliament for the Queen’s official expenses – has been frozen at #7.9m a year until 2011.

In another move towards openness, pictures showing Prince William on a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, above, were released to the public this week.

Peat interview

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