Queen Elizabeth II, the 96-year-old longest-serving monarch in British history who died in Scotland after battling health problems since last October, has left behind over $500 million in personal assets from her 70 years on the throne, which Prince Charles will inherit when he is crowned king.
However, her Majesty’s wealth and its inheritance are a little complex. Much of what is seen to be owned by her actually belongs to the so-called Royal Firm.
Here’s an overview of the current scenario.
The Queen received income through a taxpayer fund known as the Sovereign Grant, which is paid annually to the British royal family. It originates from an agreement made by King George III to surrender his income from Parliament in order to receive a fixed annual payment for himself and future generations of the royal family. Originally known as the Civil List, it was replaced by the Sovereign Grant in 2012.
This grant amount was set to just over 86 million pounds in 2021 and 2022. These funds are used for official travel, property maintenance, and operating or maintenance costs of the Queen’s household, Buckingham Palace.
THE ROYAL FIRM
The Firm, also known as the Monarchy PLC, is a group of senior members and public faces of the House of Windsor, the reigning royal family that the Queen was the head of. They operate the global business empire that pumps hundreds of millions of pounds into the United Kingdom’s economy every year through televised events and tourism.
Her Majesty and seven other royals are members of the Firm: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge; Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter; and Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
The monarchy holds nearly $28 billion in real estate assets as of 2021, which cannot be sold, according to Forbes. That includes the Crown Estate worth $19.5 billion, Buckingham Palace worth $4.9 billion, the Duchy of Cornwall amounting to $1.3 billion, the Duchy of Lancaster worth $748 million, Kensington Palace at close to $630 million, and the Crown Estate of Scotland at $592 million.
The business’s purpose is to boost the economy, which can in turn provide wealth to the Windsors through free media coverage and royal warrants, essentially “stamps of approval” on high-end products, Forbes reports—which boost revenue for holders of the warrant.
— ENDS —