Why A Royal Real Estate Deal From 2018 Could Prove Controversial For The Queen

There's a lot we don't know about Queen Elizabeth, but what we do know is that everything that occurs in the United Kingdom ultimately reflects the crown and what the royal family represents. This leads to controversies enveloping the queen, even if she's not directly involved in them. She is, for example, tied to Prince Andrew's sexual assault allegations, and even Prince Charles, the first in line to the throne, is reportedly making the queen unhappy. Maybe it's because of the media and how much news we can consume compared to the past, but it appears that the royal family is embroiled in more controversy right now than in recent times.

These controversies may now include a royal real estate deal from 2018. Three years ago, The Crown Estate, the monarch's land management entity, purchased land from Azerbaijan's president's family worth £66.5 million, or $91 million (via Business Insider). The family of Azerbaijan's president, Ilham Aliyev, reportedly earned £31 million ($42 million) from this sale of their London property.

The property's connection to Azerbaijan and the amount of money earned from the sale were previously unknown, but a leaked set of documents known as the Pandora Papers have busted open the floodgates of information on this sale — and the queen may have more controversy coming her way.

Ilham Aliyev has previously been accused of these crimes

The Pandora Papers contain 11.9 million files, per the BBC, and are the biggest file leak since 2017's Panama Papers. What these papers show is a lack of follow-through on promises given by the United Kingdom government. According to the BBC, the U.K. government has repeatedly promised to create a register of offshore property owners to curb illegal money dealings and to hold people accountable but has, again, failed to do so. These papers also reveal that Ilham Aliyev, as the president of Azerbaijan, has secretly been involved in more than £400 million worth of property dealings in the U.K.

Aliyev has been accused of torture and looting, among other heinous crimes, before, per the Daily Mail, and this 2018 estate sale isn't the first time the British royal family has been connected to Azerbaijan's president. The Daily Mail reported in 2011 that Prince Andrew was forging a bizarre relationship with Aliyev, which didn't look good to the public at the time due to Aliyev's accusations. These accusations are the same reason the queen may find herself in controversy now, only this time they're doubled up by the reveal of Aliyev's other massive property dealings in the U.K., as detailed by the Pandora Papers.

"At the time we did not establish any reason why the transaction should not proceed," a spokesperson for the crown has since said of the 2018 sale. Still, Aliyev is not someone with which you want your nation's royal family to be associated. In 2018, the crown's purchase was reported to be from Hiniz Trade & Investment, a British Virgin Islands-based company, per Business Insider.