Among the things King Charles III inherited when he became Britain's new monarch? A fancy throne, several crowns adorned with (stolen) jewels, multiple castles and palaces, and a ton of cash. Thanks to his new role as King, Charles is one of the wealthiest people in England–and if you're wondering where his money comes from, that would be the royal family's private wealth. As well as stamps. Truly, so many stamps. But before we get to Charles's personal fortune, here's a breakdown of what the "Firm" is worth.
Note: the "Firm" is both inextricably linked to, and exists independently from, King Charles. The New York Times describes it as "an enterprise that reaches well beyond the royals themselves, encompassing an army of private secretaries, communications advisers, ladies in waiting, heads of households, chauffeurs, footmen, domestic servants, gardeners, and all the other people who run the palaces, and the lives, of the royals who live in them."
With that in mind...
The Royal Firm Is Worth $28 Billion
To be clear, this is not King Charles's personal money. But according to Forbes, the Firm (aka “Monarchy PLC”) holds around $28 billion in assets. As we noted while reporting on the late Queen's net worth, that includes the Crown Estate ($19.5 billion), Buckingham Palace ($4.9 billion), Kensington Palace ($630 million), the Duchy of Cornwall ($1.3 billion), the Duchy of Lancaster ($748 million), and the Crown Estate Scotland ($592 million). These assets are used by King Charles in his capacity as monarch, but he can't sell them off because they belong to the Crown itself and will be passed down to Prince William once he becomes king (who will pass them to Prince George, and so-on).
However, the royals do get a personal percent of profits from the Firm's assets thanks to something called the Sovereign Grant. Take 2020 as an example. According to Forbes, the Crown Estate made £475 million in profits that year, and the royal family got 25 percent of them (or £86.3 million). The rest of that 75 percent? It went to the went to the British Treasury. At this point, you're probably wondering what that £86.3 million gets spent on. Welp, the BBC reports the 2021-2022 sovereign grant money was mostly used for maintenance of various palaces/castles, but it's also used by the royals themselves (not just King Charles) to pay for tours and engagements. In other words: when you see Prince William and Kate Middleton go on tour of the United States later this year, that'll be paid for by the Sovereign Grant.
Charles Lost the Duchy of Cornwall, but He Gained the Duchy of Lancaster
Now that the Duke of Cornwall title has passed to Prince William after the Queen's death, Charles no longer owns the Duchy of Cornwall—a giant portfolio of private assets that he made a huge amount of money from (like ~£23 million-per-year-levels of huge). But the good news (for King Charles, not the rest of us): He gets access to the Duchy of Lancaster now that he's the monarch. This duchy also happens to be a portfolio of land, property, and financial investments, and in 2021-2022 it reportedly brought in $21.98 million. A lot of money, but pocket change for Charles considering what he just inherited from Her Majesty.
^ Me, realizing how much money this man has.
He Just Inherited $500 Million From the Queen
Per The Telegraph's reporting, the Queen had $500 million (I repeat: $500 million) in personal investments that are “mostly in British blue chip shares." The bulk of her fortune is expected to have passed directly to Charles, including a huge art collection, a fancy and questionable jewelry collection, private royal homes, and a casual stamp collection. And please be advised this is not just any stamp collection. This thing is valued at £100 million, so if all else fails Charles can just start selling stamps on eBay and he'll be set.
Psst: Fortune reports the Queen also invested millions in offshore accounts, which presumably Charles now has access to. Oh, and on top of that, Charles likely inherited the Queen Mother's £70 million fortune (which passed to the Queen when the Queen Mother died).
So, What Is King Charles's Total Net Worth?
Somewhere between $500 to $600 million, give or take a few hundred mill depending on what's lurking in those alleged offshore accounts. And before we go, a brief note on inheritance taxes: he doesn't have to pay any.
According to Fortune, much of King Charles's newly inherited wealth will be tax-free thanks to a wild British law that exempts the monarch’s estate from the normal 40 percent inheritance tax if it goes to the Crown's successor (in this case, Charles). So basically, the Queen's assets won't lose money if Charles is given everything—which is why it's safe to assume the bulk of her fortune went directly to him.
And if you're into tax law (in which case, I pray for you), the memorandum on the royal exception reads: “The Monarchy as an institution needs sufficient private resources to enable it to continue to perform its traditional role in national life, and to have a degree of financial independence from the Government of the day.”
Welp. Off to check my bank account I guess!
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