How rich is the Queen and where does her money come from?

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen's Speech from the throne during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords in London, Wednesday, May, 18, 2016. Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 96th birthday privately on Thursday, April 21, 2022 retreating to the Sandringham estate in eastern England that has offered the monarch and her late husband, Prince Philip, a refuge from the affairs of state. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
Queen Elizabeth II has just turned 96. Photo:Alastair Grant/PA

The Queen, who celebrates her 96th birthday today, is one of the richest monarchs in the world but where does her money come from?

Elizabeth II has an estimated net worth of £365m, derived from a grant from taxpayers and two additional income sources.

Her day-to-day expenses and income comes from the sovereign grant, an annual lump sum paid by the government. Last year this was set at £85.9m – the equivalent of £1.29 per person in the UK.

The agreement is that the Queen gets the grant in exchange for surrendering all profits from the Crown Estate – the family's portfolio of properties – to the government, who then give her an annual payment using 25% of the money from this.

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But, even if the Crown Estate's profits decrease, the Queen still receives the same grant as the previous year. So, it is possible for the Queen to receive more than 25% of its profits in a single year.

What is the sovereign grant spent on?

The sovereign grant is used to pay for the Queen's official duties and upkeep of the occupied royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and Windsor Castle.

The Queen isn't allowed to sell any of the royal residences to make money as they’re not her private property – they have to be passed on to her successor.

The grant doesn't cover costs of security and royal ceremonies

The Queen's private income is called the Privy Purse

The monarch also brings in private income, called the Queen’s Privy Purse, primarily through the Duchy of Lancaster estate.

The £577m portfolio of land, property and investments assets is held in trust for the British sovereign.

Its latest published accounts, in July 2021, showed the Queen’s income from it had risen by £1.5m to just over £22m.

It manages more than 18,000 hectares of land in England and Wales. For instance, London's Savoy Hotel sits atop land controlled by the Duchy of Lancaster.

A general view of Balmoral Castle as The Salmon School art installation, created by Joseph Rossano, goes on display in the Castle Ballroom at the opening of Life at Balmoral, the Platinum Jubilee exhibition at Balmoral Castle, in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. Picture date: Wednesday March 30, 2022.
The Queen also outright owns Balmoral (pictured) and Sandringham Estates, an expansive art collection, and other valuable assets that have been passed down from earlier monarchs. Photo: PA

Reigning monarchs have had the personal estate since the late 14th century and it is held separately from all other Crown possessions. It is headed by the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, currently Steve Barclay MP.

The Queen also has an income through properties such as Sandringham and Balmoral, which she owns personally.

According to the Palace, the Queen voluntarily pays income tax on these profits, but it has not specified how much.

How does the Crown Estate work?

Dating back to the 11th century, the Crown Estate used to be the name for personal property owned by the monarch.

However, in 1760 King George III reached an agreement with parliament to give up his income from the Crown Estate and instead receive a payment from the government annually.

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This yearly payment was known as the civil list until the introduction of the Sovereign Grant Act in 2011.

What is Prince Charles’ annual salary?

Estimates for Prince Charles' net worth vary widely. The website Go Banking Rates says just under £75m, while Wealth-X estimates almost £300m.

What we do know is that most of the Prince of Wales' wealth stems from a medieval estate known as the Duchy of Cornwall.

Like the Duchy of Lancaster generates money for the Queen, the Duchy of Cornwall grants Charles a separate annual income which he voluntarily pays tax on.

For 2020-21 this was was £20.4m, according to the Duchy's official website.

How much is the royal family worth?

FILE - From left, Britain's Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London, Saturday, June 9, 2018. Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 96th birthday privately on Thursday, April 21, 2022 retreating to the Sandringham estate in eastern England that has offered the monarch and her late husband, Prince Philip, a refuge from the affairs of state. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
The royal family is worth £21bn. Photo:Frank Augstein/PA

According to Forbes, the royal family is worth £21bn when various properties that belong to the monarch but cannot be sold are taken into account.

They include the Crown Estate (worth £15bn), Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster (£1bn and £573m respectively) and Kensington Palace (£482m). Buckingham Palace alone is estimated to be worth £3.75bn.

Watch: Where do the Queen and royal family get their money from?

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