Duchess of York moves her life to Switzerland
By Lexi Finnigan
THE Duchess of York has applied to become a permanent resident in tax haven Switzerland, claiming she feels “free and happy” in the country she now views as “home”. In an interview with a Swiss newspaper, the Duchess said “administrative procedures are under way” to formalise her move to the ski resort of Verbier. She has moved into the £13million Chalet Helora which she bought with her former husband in 2014. The purchase was a “nest egg” for their daughters Princess Beatrice, 27, and Princess Eugenie, 25, but it now appears the Duchess, 56, hopes to live there long-term. The Duchess told the newspaper Le Nouvelliste she first travelled to the canton of Valais, where Verbier is situated, when she was 16. “I have regularly returned for holidays to Verbier. My family has followed me over the years. We feel free and happy, we feel at home. Anyway, I call it ‘my home’. I find here a positive energy that allows me to focus on new philanthropic activities. “Furthermore, I have begun the process of officially becoming a resident of Valais.” Switzerland is renowned for its low levels of income tax and generous tax breaks. The country offers low tax rates including a unique lump-sum taxation regime available to foreigners who are not employed within its borders. It is likely that the Duchess will be applying for a “Class B” residence permit, which can be obtained without speaking the official languages of Switzerland and also allows the holder to buy real estate in the country. The Duchess has faced money issues in the past, and was reportedly up to £5 million in debt at her lowest point.