Before Queen Elizabeth II passed away this afternoon, it was common knowledge that she was rich. Like, owns multiple palaces, several sparkly diamond tiaras, a solid gold piano, all of Hyde Park (lol), literally every single swan in the United Kingdom, and a casual abbey R-I-C-H. But how much does she actually have tucked away in the bank, you ask? Answer: It’s complicated because a ton of stuff “owned” by the Queen actually just belongs to the “Royal Firm,” so the time has come to break it all down.
First Up: The “Royal Firm” Is a $28 Billion Empire
According to Forbes, the crown, through the the Firm (which actually goes by “Monarchy PLC”), holds nearly $28 billion in assets. Quick tally of its various assets: The Crown Estate holds $19.5 billion, Buckingham Palace is worth an estimated $4.9 billion, the Duchy of Cornwall holds $1.3 billion, the Duchy of Lancaster holds $748 million, Kensington Palace has an estimated worth of $630 million, and the Crown Estate Scotland holds $592 million.
But not all of this money belongs to the British royals! Some of it belongs to the British Treasury. Let’s take the Crown Estate as an example, shall we?
The Crown Estate technically belongs to the reigning monarch (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II) for the duration of their reign but isn’t their private property nor is it the property of the government. Instead, it’s run by an outside board. Per Forbes, the Crown Estate made £475 million in profits in 2020, and the royal family got 25 percent of that (this sum is known as the Sovereign Grant), while the remaining 75 percent went to the British Treasury. That year alone, that grant amount totaled a truly eye-watering £86.3 million!!
So yeah: The Queen *did* make money from the royal institution as a whole—but it’s honestly kinda irrelevant because she also had an entirely separate set of assets that were just hers.
The Queen Had $500 Million in Personal Assets
Said assets include but are not limited to personal investments that are “mostly in British blue chip shares,” a truly massive art collection, an equally massive jewelry collection, and real estate—including Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle.
Plus, She Inherited Her Mother’s Entire Estate
The Queen Mother left an estimated £70M fortune to the Queen, including many significant works of art. Although according to the BBC, Her Majesty decided the most important pieces left by her mother would be transferred to the Royal Collection, where they would be “held in trust for the nation.”
And speaking of inherited estates, the Queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, is said to have left an estate worth about £10 million, including a collection of paintings by Edward Seago as well as 3,000 books.
The Queen Owned a Wildly Expensive Stamp Collection
According to the Sunday Times, the Queen owned the Royal Philatelic Collection, which is valued at £100 million and is composed of UK and Commonwealth stamps.
There Are Claims She Was Trying to Hide Her Wealth
Back in February 2021, The Guardian released a bombshell report alleging that Queen Elizabeth II “successfully lobbied the government to change a draft law in order to conceal her ‘embarrassing’ private wealth from the public.” Apparently, this occurred in the 1970s and “placed a veil of secrecy over the Queen’s private shareholdings and investments until at least 2011.”
But according to The Sun, a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace shut down this report, saying in part that “any assertion that the sovereign has blocked legislation is simply incorrect.”
Hmmm. Curious! Anyway, in conclusion, the Queen was super rich. Bernie Sanders, get in here!
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