This Is How the Royal Family Earned Its Billions
It should hardly come as a surprise that the British royal family is well-off; After all, for most of
Between physical holdings, including the family's multiple private estates, art collections, and, of course, Her Majesty's prized jewels, as well as the more ephemeral value the royal "brand" brings to Britain, as a group, the royal family is estimated to be worth $88 billion reports Forbes.
A portion of that wealth comes courtesy of a trust known as the Crown Estate, a collection of lands and other holdings that functions as the sovereign's personal estate and is technically neither the property of the British government nor that of the royal family privately. Including 263,000 farmed acres, a significant portion of the buildings in central London, and about half of the UK shoreline, including 12 miles of seabed extending out beyond those coasts (yes, really), the Crown Estate's holdings were recently calculated at around $18 billion.
The structure of the estate traces back to King George III who traded off the management of his holdings in favor of an income—an income which Her Majesty and Prince Philip continue to receive every two years in arrears in the form the tax-exempt sovereign grant. The taxpayer-funded payment is designed to cover the expenses of carrying out the duties of the monarch (think: travel, entertaining, the cost of maintaining royal properties).
Traditionally the payment has been calculated based on 15 percent of the Crown Estate's profits, but in 2016, it was announced that the percentage would increase to 25 percent over the course of ten years, making the Queen's share nearly $100 million for 2017-2018.
Personally valued at $530 million, Queen Elizabeth counts among her private assets the 20,000
The Queen is not the only one in the family with a duchy to her name, though. Prince Charles's $400 million net worth is heavily funded by the Duchy of Cornwall, a tract of land spanning over 23 counties, which earned him $28.6 million between March 2017 and March 2018 according to a report released earlier this year. The report also clarified that while the Duke of Cornwall receives an income from the Duchy's revenue surplus, he does not
Like his mother, Prince Charles's assets largely fund his private life with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and contribute to the expenses of his children and grandchildren. Charles's sons, Prince William and , are each said to receive an unspecified "allowance" from the Duchy's funds.
As for the Princes, William and Harry each reportedly have net worths of around $40 million (no sibling rivalry here) predominately accumulated from funds left in trust by their mother, Princess Diana, inheritances from the Queen Mother, and their salaries from the military. Combined with their wives (Kate Middleton's estimated net worth is around $10 million while Meghan Markle clocks in at a cool $5 million) the brothers are in very comfortable financial positions.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.