King Charles and Queen Camilla criticised over gender pay gap as new figures described as ‘kick in the teeth’
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Figures from the latest Sovereign Grant report show King Charles’ private secretary Sir Clive Alderton receives more than double what Camilla’s ‘right-hand woman’ Sophie Densham is paid. The report, which lists a breakdown of royal expenditures, listed Sir Clive’s salary as £205,000-£210,000, whilst Ms Densham is paid around £90,000-£95,000.
Sophie Densham is often seen accompanying Queen Camilla at public engagements and has been her ‘right hand woman’ since 2008. Most recently, she walked alongside Camilla during the procession of the late-Queen’s coffin during her state funeral in September.
A former senior palace worker described the pay gap as "shocking", saying: "I’m really shocked by the disparity and I’m astonished by Sophie’s salary — that is a kick in the teeth." According to the report, Sir Clive was also provided housing "for the better performing of his duties" to the King.
As part of his role, the top aide reportedly resides at Marlborough House, near Buckingham Palace, where his office is. The accommodation is rented from the Crown estate, with the undisclosed rent deducted from his salary "at a rate agreed with HM Treasury".
A separate source told the Express: "Whether you think there’s a disparity in the pay because of their sex, rather than their seniority, there is a question there. Sophie is known as being a very capable and dedicated support to the Queen."
After joining Camilla’s private office in 2008, Ms Densham was elevated to assistant private secretary in 2015, before being promoted to the main role in 2021. Before that, she worked for the Memorial Gates Trust, a charity honouring the memories of fallen soldiers from overseas.