How Charlotte Church spent £25m fortune as she faces being left ‘broke’ after £1.5m hippy retreat dream hits major snag | The Sun

She was the star who found fame aged 11, spent her teenage years performing at prestigious concert halls – and racked up a £25million fortune in the process.

But now singer Charlotte Church faces going "broke" after her dream of turning a £1.5million 16th century mansion into a hippy wellness retreat has hit a major snag.

The 36-year-old has sunk "pretty much" her entire life savings into the eco project at Rhydoldog House in Powys, mid-Wales – the former 47-acre home of Laura Ashley – which she'd hoped to open in June.

But Charlotte has allegedly faced backlash from Welsh environmental bigwigs over her waste disposal plans for her woodland log cabins, and has withdrawn her planning application, reports the Daily Mail.

In a fly-on-the-wall documentary series earlier this year, called Dream Build, Charlotte said failing to open part of the retreat in summer would leave her "broke".

So where has her multimillion pound fortune gone?


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Convertible and jewel-encrusted bra

It was singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s operatic hit Pie Jesu on This Morning aged 11 that propelled Charlotte to go on to sell more than 10 million records.

Charlotte was able to access her millions when she turned 18 – after raking in a fortune from her six years performing all over the world and in front of President Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, the late Queen and King Charles.

In a 2004 BBC interview, when Charlotte was 18, she vowed not to get carried away by her massive fortune – which her mum said was around £7m.

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But the singer also claimed to be eyeing up some lavish purchases including a Mini Cooper convertible.

Charlotte also told reporters that she longed to buy a £1m ruby-encrusted bra to mark her 18th birthday.

While it’s not known whether she purchased the bejewelled item, her parents kept her grounded with modest birthday gifts including a CD player, some clothes and jewellery.

£10K girls' holidays

That same year, the singer enjoyed romantic trips to Dubai and the Maldives with then boyfriend Kyle Johnson.

She also took a group of girlfriends away on a week’s holiday in Ibiza.

Hello! magazine reported she splashed more than £10,000 on the trip to Spain’s party capital where she and friends enjoyed nightlife into the early hours.

During the trip, Charlotte didn’t hold back – paying for a private villa for them all to stay in and a full-time personal chauffeur to take them around.

She said at the time: “I’m just here on a girly holiday, I’m having a really good time.”

A source told The Sun Charlotte was “very generous” during the holiday and would “buy all of the drinks” whenever pals went out.

In the years that followed, she was snapped sipping Champagne and on several occasions appeared to fall asleep in bars. 

Mansions and a yacht

A year later in 2005, while dating former Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson, Charlotte bought a home in Cardiff for around £500,000, which she later sold for £900,000.

The couple then purchased a lavish manor sat on 20-acres of land in the Vale of Glamorgan – now reportedly worth £2.5m.

Charlotte and Gavin, who split up in 2010, had a bar at the bottom of their garden where they indulged in drinking sessions, according to the Daily Mail.

They were dubbed the ‘Posh and Becks’ of rugby and at one point owned a £800,000 yacht, which was moored in Swansea Marina. 

In 2013, Charlotte bought her ex a five-bedroom property so that he could live closer to their children Ruby and Dexter, Wales Online reported.

Funding the lifestyle

After performing for presidents and royalty it seemed Charlotte hit a mid-career slump in 2014.

The Sunday Times Rich List reported that her wealth had dropped to £11m that year.

In the documentary Charlotte Church: In Her Own Voice, she explained her concerns about cash.

She said: “I will have to work for the rest of my life, not because I want to but because I have to.

“The tax man is looking at my accounts wondering where I'm hiding all my money."

However, during an interview with Stylist, Charlotte claimed it was her spending that meant she constantly needed to graft.

She said: “I haven’t got a lot of money. I've got enough to be comfortable if I was reasonable for the rest of my life.

“But I'm not reasonable, so I will have to find a way to sustain my lifestyle." 

TV work, ads and books

Charlotte's last album Back To Scratch came out in 2010. Since then she's diversified her revenue streams with TV appearances.

She starred in The Charlotte Church Show, which aired on Channel 4 from 2006 for two years, and guest-starred in TV shows including Hospital 24/7 and Under Milk Wood.

The singer also turned her hand to adverts including ones for Walkers crisps and Virgin Holidays.

Charlotte also wrote two autobiographies, her latest Keep Smiling came out in 2007, and a number of opinion pieces for The Guardian.

Charlotte married musician Johnny Powell in 2017, and had a daughter, Frida, on August 15, 2020.

Earlier this year Charlotte stepped back into the spotlight on The Masked Singer as Mushroom, and came second.

Hippy commune

Last year Charlotte bought the grand Rhydoldog House for £1.5million, and has ploughed cash into turning the home into a nature-based health and wellbeing retreat.

The seven-bedroom mansion with three storeys has a helicopter landing area and a 200-year-old barn located on its 47 acres.

Charlotte planned to offer cycling, archery, foraging, hiking and strength and conditioning lessons at the estate, according to Wales Online.

The mum-of-three also wants to introduce a hot-tub, plunge pool and outdoor cinema to the luxurious estate in the Welsh wilderness.

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She described the “inspiring wellness project” as "one of the biggest, riskiest and potentially most rewarding challenges" she's ever faced.

With this latest reported set-back, it could be her most costly.

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