Lady Tina Green attends the gala screening of 'Despite The Falling Snow' on March 23, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by )
Lady Tina Green attends the gala screening of 'Despite The Falling Snow' on March 23, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green is at the centre of a row over the collapse of BHS, with MPs calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood, pay the collapsed retailer's pension deficit, and answer questions on the sale of the retailer last year for £1 to a twice bankrupt former racing car driver with no retail experience.

In shining a light on Sir Philip's business exploits, MPs and the press have also drawn attention to the unusual way in which his retail empire — which included Topshop, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, and Ms. Selfridge — is structured.

While Sir Philip runs Arcadia, the group that controls all the brands, it is actually owned by Taveta Investments. Taveta is owned by Sir Philip's wife, Lady Tina Green, through a Jersey company that holds all the families shares.

Lady Green was initially summoned by MPs to appear alongside her husband at two Parliamentary Select Committee hearings on the collapse of BHS. But Sir Philip struck a deal with MPs to spare her the appearance and answer questions in her place.

Who is Tina Green and how involved is she in running the Topshop empire, estimated to be worth £3.2 billion?

Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Burberry

Despite often being called South African, Cristina Green was born in England. When exactly is unclear as she does not talk about her age in interviews. The Sunday Times estimates she's "about 65."

She told the paper in a rare interview that she grew up in Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand, following her businessman father around. A self-described "wild child", Green met her first husband, South African jazz drummer Bobby Palos, in Hong Kong.

She told The Sunday Times: "I was 17, he was 14 years older than me, 6ft 2in and divine. We travelled around Japan and Australia, moved to South Africa and got married when I was 18."

Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Green had two children with Palos during their 20-year marriage: Stasha, an artist, and Brett, who is on the board of Arcadia and, according to the Sunday Times, tipped as a successor to Sir Philip.

Green met her future husband Sir Philip in 1985 while running a clothing boutique in Knightsbridge called Harabels. Tina told The Sunday Times: "I remember him asking who I was. I said I ran a boutique, Harabels. He said rather dismissively: 'I've never heard of it.' I thought: 'What an arrogant man.'"

Ian Gavan/Getty Images for de Grisogono

Green moved in with Tina shortly after they met but, according to the Sunday Times, was reluctant to commit: "She had to give him an ultimatum before he proposed, and they married in 1990 in the garden of their home."

By that time Sir Philip, who left school at 16 with no qualifications, was chairman of discount retailer Amber Day, having worked his way up the retail foodchain. The couple have two children together: Brandon and Chloe, pictured above.

Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In the early years on their marriage, Tina says she: "loved being a home-maker looking after Philip and the children, and, to this day, I still love doing anything for him . . . cooking, putting away his clothes. Women are women and men are men. Does looking after your man take feminism back to the 1950s? Bulls***."

Sir Philip once joked that Tina's income from her business ownership was "housekeeping money."

Hamish Blair/Getty Images

But she also had her own business ventures. After marrying Philip, she moved on from her boutique and started a clothing business called Alma, according to the Daily Mail. "Both went under," according to the newspaper.

The paper added in the 2003 report: "Both were controlled by offshore companies. And in both cases, early company accounts said that Tina had no interest in the business. Subsequently, accounts said she had a stake."

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images for Burberry

The Mail says: "Until spring 1998 when the Greens moved to Monte Carlo, Tina's business involvement was small-scale". After that move, Tina became "pivotal in the tax-efficient ownership of the retail group he [Sir Philip Green] has assembled."

Tina held significant stakes in Philip's business ventures after that point, most notably holding all the Green family shares in Arcadia Group, the jewel in the crown that Philip acquired in 2002.

REUTERS/Patrice Masante

Tina is said not to involve herself in the day-to-day running of Arcadia and lives permanently in Monaco. Philip, meanwhile, jets to London weekly to oversee his retail empire.

This arrangement means that, while Philip pays UK tax, Tina does not. Monaco famously does not levy an income tax, meaning much of the wealth the Green family has gained from its retail holdings has escaped tax.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

BHS paid out £400 million in dividends under Green's ownership and in 2005 Tina received a controversial £1.2 billion dividend from Arcadia Group, at the time the biggest corporate payout in British history. It was four times Arcadia's pre-tax profit that year.

The large payouts to Tina in Monaco have made the Green family a target for UK Uncut and other tax protesters, who claim Tina's ownership of Arcadia is simply a brass plate arrangement that allows the family to avoid tax.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Greens strongly deny that Tina lives in Monaco and controls the business empire purely for tax reasons.

Philip Green blames a mugging in London for moving the family out of the UK. He told the Financial Times last year: "I walked to the corner and some guy attacked me with a sword. I had had two lots of heart surgery and I thought, 'Do you know what? Enough.' I thought, have some time out, maybe it's a warning. [At] that time I didn't even know I was going to work again … I just made a decision [to move the family out of the UK]."

Carl Court/Getty Images

Tina is also more involved in Arcadia than many think. In the FT interview with Green last year, Green recalls Tina's involvement in his attempted takeover of Marks & Spencer in the early 2000s. After confronting former 's boss Sir Stuart Rose outside M&S headquarters, the FT says he "handed his mobile phone to Rose so his wife Tina could weigh in from Monaco."

She has said in the past that "Philip does nothing without consulting me" and in a 2004 interview Sir Philip Green says: "My wife provided the money to acquire shares in Arcadia and it is the same for BHS."

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

But Frank Field, chair of one of the Select Committees investigating the collapse of BHS, says he only agreed to spare Tina a grilling because "There's nothing she knows that he [Sir Philip] doesn't."

Still, The Sunday Times says: "Those who know her... describe a tough, shrewd woman, who understands her husband and his business inside out." Her daughter Stasha told the paper: "She's a blonde hurricane, and I'm so lucky to have this tough independent little lady as my mum."

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Topshop Topman

Aside from Arcadia, Green's main business is interior design and spends much of her time designing for luxury yachts.

Times journalist Polly Vernon was granted a rare interview with Tina to promote her interior design business in 2012 and describes her as: "expensively ash blonde; her trousers are black leather and embellished with black leather appliqué flowers; her high-heeled platform-sole boots are silver-tipped. Her accent is jet-set-variant posh. She's wearing a couple of impressive rings, but they, and the hair, are about it in terms of obvious signifiers of wealth."

REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Tina has no formal design training but collaborates with Italian designer Pietro Mingarelli. Green told the Times that her products are "obviously high end, and obviously expensive."

A homeware line she's designed for the crystal glassmaker Lalique — whose product is pictured above — included €8,000 bed sheets, a €30,000 bar, a €18,000 sideboard, and a €10,000 mirror.

The Greens themselves are huge fans of luxury yachts. Sir Philip recently took delivery of his third luxury yacht, estimated to cost at least £100 million.

The Lionheart, pictured above, is "four storeys high and the length of a football pitch," according to the Daily Mail. "Jacuzzis and swimming pools are reportedly being plumbed in along with three hydraulic lifts, while a helipad is evident on an upper deck."

Tim Whitby/Getty Images

The Greens are well known for the lavish parties held on their yachts throughout the year, attended by celebrities like Simon Cowell, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell, pictured above. When Tina does come to London, it is typically for glamorous events such as fashion shows, film premieres, and celebrity parties.

Sir Philip reportedly spent £5 million on his 50th birthday party in Cyprus where guests were required to wear togas. The Sunday Times says Tina: "reportedly bought her husband a £7 million Gulfstream jet for one birthday, and a Monopoly set, reputedly with gold pieces and a £250,000 price tag, for another."

Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Tina is aware that this lavish spending and luxury lifestyle breeds resentment, which is in part why she avoids the limelight. She told the Times: "It's really scary. It scares me. Yes. Because it's been so … difficult." In another interview, she said: "It's about how England is. And it's too scary for me."

But, at the time of Sir Philip's £5 million 50th birthday party, she told a newspaper: "Why shouldn't we have a wonderful party? Philip has earned it. I don't understand the anger. I think, unfortunately, in this country there's a lot of jealousy."