Members of the Royal Family have been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to introduce contacts and give advice to a Hong Kong businessman.
The Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall was paid £100,000 a year for a non-executive directorship at the Global Group of companies, owned by tycoon Dr Johnny Hon.
Appointed to advise on horse racing for a sports investment arm, she was contractually required to attend just two board meetings by telephone a year and four company functions.
Dr Johnny Hon pictured with Princess Eugenie of York in November 2017
The Duchess of York was paid almost £300,000 from a firm chaired by Dr Hon, as well as a £72,000-a-year retainer for her non-executive directorship of his film investment company in Hong Kong.
Last night Dr Hon, 47, said her main role in the directorship was 'to introduce a few people to me in Hong Kong'.
When the Mail first approached Mrs Tindall over the claims earlier this year a lawyer acting on her behalf said it was 'wholly untrue' she was a non-executive director of Dr Hon's Global Group.
It was only when the Mail provided documentary evidence of the £100,000-a-year contract between her and Dr Hon's firm that they accepted that she had indeed held that role.
Mrs Tindall's brother, Peter Phillips, 41, launched a horse racing members' club with Dr Hon two weeks ago, where he will receive a salary for his 'figurehead' role.
The sums paid to Royals to front companies on behalf of the little-known entrepreneur have come to light following a four-month Daily Mail investigation.
Dr Hon has launched companies in Britain and Hong Kong and is behind a holding company – The Hon Organisation – based in the tax haven of Vanuatu. In recent years he has turned his attention to the Royals in an apparent bid to raise his profile to potential investors in the Far East.
In a frank interview with the Mail, Dr Hon – educated at Uppingham School and Cambridge University – admitted members of the Royal Family were brought on board 'because of what they can do for individual projects'.
But the revelations have turned the spotlight on how Royals who do not take a Sovereign Grant manage to fund themselves. Mrs Tindall, 38, is already an ambassador for Rolex and Land Rover.
Dr Hon regularly posts pictures online of his multi-millionaire lifestyle, posing alongside Hollywood actors and sports stars