Cheating Charles taken to cleaners

July 25, 2004 - 2:00PM

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, handed over his entire personal fortune to his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, as part of their divorce settlement, his former financial adviser told a Sunday newspaper.

Geoffrey Bignell, who handled Prince Charles's financial affairs for more than a decade until 1996, told the Sunday Telegraph that the royal was forced to sell his entire investment portfolio to pay Diana.

''Princess Diana took every penny he had,'' Bignell told the Sunday Telegraph last week, providing the first detailed account of the financial impact of the divorce on Charles.

''I was told to liquidate everything, all his investments, so that he could give her the cash,'' Bignell said.

''He was very unhappy about that.

''That's why I stopped being his personal financial adviser because he had no personal wealth left,'' he said.

''She took him to the cleaners.''

As part of the divorce in July 1996, Diana reportedly received a lump sum of STG17.5 million ($A45.31 million) and an allowance for her private office.

Queen Elizabeth II also allowed her and the couple's two sons, princes William and Harry, to continue living in Kensington Palace in central London.

Diana, 36, and her companion Dodi Fayed, 42, were killed in a car accident in an underpass by the Alma bridge in Paris in August 1997, a year after her divorce from Charles was decreed final.