|The Queen's Duchy of Lancaster rises to $600 mn in value|
Despite the never-ending budget cut and credit crunch, the Merry Monarch of Windsor's fortune remains unaffected. Good Queen Liz still has the reason to smile as the Duchy of Lancaster, the Sovereign’s private estate has risen to £405 million (approximately $600 million) in value.
The Duchy of Lancaster saw a five-percent increase in value, from 2011’s $575 million. The increase could be attributed to the refurbishment of Wellington House, an office rental property in London, as well as the purchase of a new agricultural property in Lincolnshire.
Interestingly, the Duchy is not the personal property of the Queen. She could use it and dispose the estate's revenue, but she could never sell it. It is rather a property that passes on the hands of every sovereign for the sole purpose of providing private income to whoever sits on the throne.
Revenues from the Duchy subsidizes the public duties of the members of the Royal Family, except for Prince Philip, who receives money from Parliament, and Prince Charles, who has the Duchy of Cornwall for his personal income.
The Queen pays income tax from the revenue she receives from the Duchy, although the estate is exempted from paying corporate tax.
The Duchy of Lancaster, which comprises 46,000 acres of urban developments, historic buildings, and farm land in many parts of England and Wales, as well as large holdings in Lancashire, was established by Henry IV in 1399, which passed on to every reigning monarch as a separate entity from the sovereign’s other properties, one reason why it was not included when King George III surrendered the Crown Estate to Parliament in exchange for the Civil List.