Photo Credit: Max Mumber | Indigo
Properties passed down from one Royal to the next will never be made public. This essentially states that any personal fortune the Queen possessed following her death last week is exclusively known to the Royal family.
According to Forbes, Queen Elizabeth’s fortune was worth more than $500 million, which included her investments, art collections, jewels, and two castles – Sandringham House in Norfolk and Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her late father, King George VI left the two properties to the Queen.
Author and lecturer from Lancaster University, Laura Clancy, said, “[Royal wills] are hidden, so we have no idea actually what’s in them and what that’s worth, and that’s never ever made public.”
The main portion of the Royal family’s fortune, however, will now be passed to the new King, King Charles III, and his successor. The overall fortune in assets, homes, and lands is expected to reach at least £18 billion ($21 billion).
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the line of succession was shifted up, and Prince William, the successor to the throne, simply got wealthier. The prince already owns the Duchy of Cornwall land, which he inherited from his father. The Duchy of Cornwall is 140,000 acres of land and property in southwest England.
The estate, which is valued at $1.2 billion, was founded in 1337 by the late King Edward III. The estate’s profits would be used for operations in the public and private sectors, particularly philanthropic initiatives, under the direction of the Duke of Cornwall. Prince William presently holds this title.
Read Also: Queen Elizabeth II dies at the age of 96
Royal Family’s properties under the Sovereign Grant
The Crown Estate, the £16.5 billion property now entrusted to King Charles III under his new title as King, represents the majority of the Royal Family’s riches. However, according to an arrangement made in 1760, the estate’s profit would be passed over to the government, and the government will return a portion of it to the King. This is known as the Sovereign Grant.
The estate encompasses huge areas of downtown London and the seabeds of Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. The Crown Estate is a corporation led by a chief executive and commissioners nominated by the monarch or endorsed by the current prime minister.
The Crown Estate earned more than £313 million ($361 million) in the prior fiscal year. The UK government paid the Queen around £86 million, or $100 million, under the terms of the agreement. According to insiders, the grant money is used to maintain the Royal Family’s homes and pay their employees.
Previously, the Sovereign Grant represented 15% of the Crown Estate’s revenue. However, in 2017, the percentage was lifted to 25% for the Crown to fund Buckingham Palace improvements and maintenance.
Aside from the Crown Estate, the new King also owns the Duchy of Lancaster, worth £653 million ($764 million). The Duchy was founded in 1265 as a private entity. The estate profits pay for miscellaneous expenses not encased by the Sovereign Grant and other expenses spent by members of the Royal Family.
There are restrictions on property
While members of the Royal family benefit from their familial ties, there are still constraints on how they handle their holdings. For example, the monarch could only utilize the Sovereign Grant when carrying out his duties as King. Furthermore, he is prohibited from accepting any of their duchies’ earnings.
The revenue from the duchies will be reinvested in the estates, according to the Institute for Governments. Furthermore, substantial transactions involving the Royal Family must first be approved by the UK Treasury.
“Of course, voluntary income tax [is] not a fixed rate, and they don’t have to declare how much income they’re making their tax on. So actually, it’s just like plucking a figure out of thin air.”