Gifts from Imelda Marcos then Prince Charles’ speedboat named ‘Imelda’


(1st UPDATE) There is no known information on exactly when the speedboat was given away or its exact value, but it is clear that it happened at the height of illegal wealth of the Marcos family with Filipino taxpayers’ money.

Filipino taxpayers may have already unknowingly given the former Prince of Wales and now King Charles III a gift – at least 40 years before he ascended to the throne.

The gift took the form of a speedboat said to have been donated by former first lady Imelda Marcos, the other half of the infamous marital dictatorship under the administration of Ferdinand E. Marcos from 1965 to 1986.

A photo on Getty Images shows King Charles III, then rightful heir to the throne held by his mother Queen Elizabeth II, on a speedboat named ‘Imelda’ during a holiday trip to Britain’s Isles of Scilly.

The caption of the photo taken by Tim Graham labeled the boat as a “gift from the First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos”.

A 1978 article by Washington Post also discussed the speedboat, stating that it was built by the company of a certain Eduardo Marcelo who is involved in a shipyard business owned by one of Imelda’s brothers and “stayed close to the Marcos family.

“[Marcelo] presented one of the runabouts of his boat building company to Imelda Marcos a few years ago, [Imelda] sent it to Prince Charles of England as a gift,” the article read.

Imelda and Prince Charles met in February 1975 at the coronation of King Birendra of Nepal. A photograph shows the two sharing an umbrella. An article from New York Times published on the coronation also described the meeting:

“At the coronation in the morning and under a tent on the parade ground in the afternoon, [Imelda] managed to sit next to Prince Charles. “She certainly amuses Charles,” a UK correspondent said. She keeps talking and Charles keeps saying ‘Really? Really?’

A GIFT? A screenshot from a declassified UK article by Tom Sykes shows Prince Charles on a speedboat named Imelda.
Taxpayers’ money?

There is no known information on exactly when the speedboat was given away or its exact value, but what is clear is that it happened at the height of the city’s illegal wealth. Marcos family with Filipino taxpayers’ money.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) as of 2020 has already clawed back 174.2 billion pesos in Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth, while still chasing another 125.9 billion pesos.

Speedboat information is quoted in a May 2022 article written by Tom Sykes posted on United Kingdom declassified website focusing on ‘the UK’s global footprint’. Sykes’ article was recently posted on Facebook by author and history professor Vicente Rafael following the death of Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday, September 8.

Giving a member of the British royal family a luxurious gift was an integral part of the former first lady’s quest to elevate her status and that of her family outside the Philippines, at the expense of Filipinos suffering from poverty and economic crises under the reign of Marcos.

The former great propagandist of Marcos Primitivo Mijares wrote in his 1976 book The marital dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos that his “international escapades [were] undertaken under the pretext of opening the doors of the New Society.

“Of Imelda’s varied pursuits in actively sharing the powers of dictatorship, she most relishes the task which gives her the illusions of a woman with vast pretensions of being a global diplomat as she attends of his royal hegira,” Mijares said.

Mijares then disappeared in 1977. His 16-year-old son, Boyet, was brutally murdered, two of Marcos’ thousands of victims of martial law. Amnesty International said there were 3,240 killed, 70,000 imprisoned and 34,000 tortured in the Philippines between 1972 and 1981. – With reports by Jodesz Gavilan/


Comments are closed.