The Wealth of the Windsors: A Special Report on the Wealth of the British Royal Family

The British Royal Family is worth billions.  
The wealth of the Windsors remains a deep mystery that we could only speculate. A lot of reports surfaced that the Queen and the British Royal Family are worth billions, although clarifications have been made that much of the privileges enjoyed by Her Majesty, including living on palaces and castles such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, using the Crown Jewels and hundreds of priceless paintings are held in trust for the state. She could use them but she could never sell them. But with or without these, Queen Elizabeth II is a very wealthy woman. In this article, we will take a deeper look at the fortune of one of the world’s richest families, based on different articles which we have gathered.


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Queen Elizabeth II
Estimated Wealth: $450 million to $100 billion and up

Queen Elizabeth II is worth anywhere from
a few centimillions to hundreds of billions. 
In 1991, The Sunday Times of London estimated that Queen Elizabeth II had assets worth $11 billion. In 1992, Guinness World Record wrote that she was “asserted by some to be the wealthiest woman,” although “a few of her assets under the perpetual succession of the Crown are either personal or disposable.”

In Oct. 2001, The Mail on Sunday ran a two-part Royal Rich Report which pegged the Queen’s wealth at nearly $2 billion, mainly broken down into the following: stocks and shares estimated at $800 million, $120 million on jewelry collection, including a diamond brooch worth nearly $42 million, stamp collection valued at $167 million, and fur coats that she never wore worth $1.6 million.” This does not include her estates in Sandringham and Balmoral, which she owns personally, as well as “horses and a stud farm, wine, medals, a collection of classic cars and land.”

As early as 1962, estimates were being made on the actual wealth of the Queen. Jock Colville, the Queen’s former Private Secretary, then a banker, “made a statement in The Times in which he said that the Queen was worth £12 million,” writes Sarah Bedford in Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty The Queen. Furthermore, “The Lord Chamberlain announced that the Queen’s cash fortune was less than £100 million” in 1993.


In 2012, financial firm Wealth-X estimates Her Majesty to be worth $510 million.

The Queen also receives Parliamentary annuities, around $13 million, to pay for the cost of running her staff. The Queen also enjoys the income from the Duchy of Lancaster, an ancient estate made up of lands across the country and stock market investments. As of 2012, the Duchy has a market value of $600 million.

“Not included are those assets belonging to the Crown Estate,” writes Forbes, “which she gets to enjoy as Queen, such as $10 billion worth of real estate, Buckingham Palace (estimated to be worth another $5 billion), the Royal Art collection, and unmarked swans on stretches of the Thames. The Crown has claimed ownership of these birds since the 12th century when swan meat was considered a delicacy; they are no longer eaten.”

However, the Almanach de Gotha is more generous in assessing Her Majesty’s wealth. As the leading authority when it comes to royalty, the Almanach puts the Queen’s wealth north of $100 billion, claiming that as sovereign, the Crown Estates, royal palaces, Crown Jewels, etc., are legally hers. This makes not only the richest monarch, but also the richest person in the world. 

Almach de Gotha further claims that “there are no such documents in existence to proof this false view [that she cannot dispose the properties traditionally considered held in trust for the State]and as such they are owned, borne and enjoyed as hereditary possessions of the Reigning Sovereign, thus can be legally viewed as personal property of the British Sovereign, being owned and enjoyed under their inalienable rights as Monarch of the Realm.”

She's also the largest landowner in the world, because technically she owns the whole of United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other lesser known domains across the seas. 

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marks her 60 years on the throne, with celebrations throughout her realms.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Estimated Wealth: $45 million

Prince Philip is worth $45 million
Mail on Sunday writes: “Philip is the only royal during the Queen's reign who has been allowed personally to save money from his Civil List payments. His original annuity was intended to give him enough not only for official expenses, but also to put some aside for his retirement. This is no longer the case, but Philip may have some small private savings as a result of the earlier arrangement."

The Prince also “receives £359,000 (around $600,000) a year to cover official expenses, and does not spend it all. By last year (2000) he had saved £335,000. Any savings today do not go into his private purse. They are held by a surplus fund for future years as a buffer against inflation.”

The Prince was notorious for his penny-pinching habits. Once on an official visit to South Africa, he made headlines after he turned down a $230 a-night penthouse suite in exchange for a $47a-night single room. The Prince though has an art collection valued at $5 million, some of which he bought for a few shillings in the 1950s.

Prince Charles
Estimated Wealth:  $200-500 million

Much of Prince Charles' wealth are derived
from the Duchy of Cornwall.
Prince Charles is the richest person in the Royal Family aside from the Queen, although he derives much of his income, and wealth from the Duchy of Cornwall, valued at more than $1 billion, with an annual profit of $27 million. The Duchy owns his country home in Gloucestershire, most of his cars and even the pen he writes with. The Duchy however is held in trust for succeeding princes of Wales, so he cannot liquidate its assets. Although there are those who say the Duchy does not really belong to Charles. But until he accedes to the Throne, the 144,000-acre estate, which covers properties from the Oval cricket ground in London to Dartmoor prison and smallholdings in Devon, is run solely for his benefit and his profit, so we have included it in his wealth.

In October 2012, financial accounts from the Duchy of Cornwall reveals that, since 2007, the Prince had inherited an accumulated amount worth $2 million from the estates of the duchy's residents who died without a will as stipulated by a medieval law. In 2011 alone, the Prince enjoyed  $800,000. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Estimated Wealth: $25 million

Prince William, photographed here with his wife,
Kate, enjoys millions from his parents' estates,
as well as from the trust fund established
by the late Queen Mother.
Prince William, who turned 30 this year, received a substantial inheritance from the late Princess Diana’s estate, amounting to as much as $17 million. When he turned 21, he became recipient of the $3 million trust left by the Queen Mother, and another  $4 million trust fund, which continues to multiply in value, awaits him when he turns 40. The prince is also expected to inherit the substantial income from the Duchy of Cornwall when he succeeds as heir apparent once Prince Charles becomes king.

Prince Harry
Estimated Wealth: $16 million

Prince Harry can live off a good life with his trust funds
worth millions.
Although not as well-endowed as his elder brother, this zesty royal hunk still enjoys a substantial wealth, given that Princess Diana had split her estate evenly between her two sons. He is set to inherit his millions when he turns 30, just like his brother. We estimate that to be around $30 million when he reaches that age. The Queen Mother also left him with a substantial chunk of inheritance. “Funds with initial investments of £6.9 million ($11 million) were set up for Harry and, with interest, are now worth at least £10 million ($17 million). Prince Charles is reputed to have set aside for his sons money which must now be worth 8 million. It is likely that Harry has the larger portion of this,” writes Mail on Sunday.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Estimated Wealth: $75 million

The prince draws his wealth from a trust fund set up for him when he was still a child, plus substantial investments on businesses and properties. The Prince also receives an “annual personal allowance from the Queen in addition to the fixed £249,000-a-year annuity (that's around $415,000) he gets to cover costs such as staff salaries, which the Queen also pays.”

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie
Estimated Wealth: $5-6 million each

Prince Andrew’s daughters became instant millionaires in 1996, after their parents’ divorce settlement awarded them with roughly $3 million trust fund. In 1994, the Queen Mother established a $3 million-pound trust fund for each of the sisters.  

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Estimated Wealth: $40 million

Despite the recent financial losses incurred by the prince after his production company ceased from operations, as well as after his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, withdrew from her lucrative PR career to focus on their official duties, the couple still has sufficient millions to provide them a comfortable lifestyle. The Prince receives $235,000 from the Queen and the couple’s wealth is drawn primarily from their home, Edward's trust funds and valuable furnishings in Bagshot, their official residence, much of which were received as wedding presents.

Anne, Princess Royal
Estimated wealth: $30 million

The most frugal of the Queen’s children, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is the beneficiary of a trust fund set up by her grandfather, George VI, added to by the Queen and Prince Philip and reported to be worth around $2 million pounds when she was still a child. The Princess' wealth also came from valuable gifts she received during her wedding to Capt. Mark Phillips, including fabulous jewelry, valued at $1 million in 1976. With inflation, they are worth at least $10 million, although a considerable portion went to Mark on their divorce. The biggest present was her home, Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, bought for her by the Queen and now worth about $15 million and she has jewelries worth $7 million. The Princess also receives roughly $380,000 in annuity to cover the cost of her official duties. 

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Estimated wealth:  $25 million

As the sole surviving child of the late Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the principal heir of the late Princess Marie Louise, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and his wife, Danish-born Birgitte own valuable collection of jewels worth $13 million, rare books and other heirlooms worth about $6 million pounds and their $17 million-pound country estate. Nevertheless, the couple still cries poor.  In 2005, the Duke auctioned some of the family heirlooms to pay the death duties of the late Princess Alice. The auction realized around $2 million. The Duke receives nearly $300,000 a year from the Queen to cover his royal expenses and staff and pulls in $100,000 from the tenants of Barnwell Manor.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Estimated wealth: $10-15 million

Claiming to be the poorest among the royals, at least by their standard, the Duke of Kent and his family are still worth around at least $10 million, not to mention the privileges accorded to being a royal, including gifts, free holidays, grace-and-favor housing and free travel on official duties. The Duke also receives almost $400,000 pounds a year for carrying out official royal duties, as well as a small Army pension. The family’s wealth was tied to jewelries, estimated at $14 million. In 2006, the Duke and his siblings, Prince Michael and Princess Alexandra, enjoyed a windfall after making $3.5 million from the auction of some family  heirlooms.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
Estimated wealth: $8-10 million pounds

Dubbed as the "Rent-a-Kent" for their numerous commercial ventures—often bordering to the controversial side—the couple are the only members of the Royal Family that do not receive money from the Queen and do not perform any official royal duties. The Prince earns his keep from his own consultancy firm, Cantium Services, who, after several years of losses, posted profits worth $100,000 pounds. The company is currently valued at $500,000. The Princess meanwhile, earns more by writing books, providing lectures, and running her own interior design company, Szapar Designs. After being forced to pay or vacate their grace-and-favor apartment at Kensington Palace, the couple, who were crying poverty,  sold their Gloucestershire country home for nearly $10 million, while the $3.5 million-sale of their parents’ personal effects provided some extra cash.

Princess Alexandra
Estimate wealth: $18-20 million pounds

Princess Alexandra, a well-loved member of the Royal Family, derives much of her wealth from the inheritance she got from her husband, Sir Angus Ogilvy, who was a shrewd business until the Lonrho Affair forced him out from several corporate directorships. The Princess receives $375,000 pounds a year to pay for her official expenses. She also owns heirlooms, an art collection worth $6 million, and magnificent jewelries estimated at $15 million.

NOTE: for conversion purposes, as of today, 1 pound is roughly 0.6 dollars. 


About the Author

Christian George Acevedo is a book worm, mentor, and scholar of wide-ranging interests. He has authored hundreds of articles for various websites, and his expertise ranges from online marketing and finance to history, entertainment and many more. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr. Contact Christian at powerwordsonlinewriting@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Overprivaledged people who live in a bubble and do not have the slightest conception of how the majority of people live and struggle in the real world.royalty has no place in the modern world and certainly not be subsidised by the tax payer.They have enough wealth of their own to pay for the lifestyle they live.

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  2. But think again, the British royals earn more than their keep. They are the reasons why British tourism is robust. Just ask a foreigner why they want to go to London... They'll tell you they want to see the queen and probably her palaces. ;-)

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  3. Actually the report from Almach de Gotha that claims that “there are no such documents in existence to proof this false view [that she cannot dispose the properties traditionally considered held in trust for the State]and as such they are owned, borne and enjoyed as hereditary possessions of the Reigning Sovereign, thus can be legally viewed as personal property of the British Sovereign, being owned and enjoyed under their inalienable rights as Monarch of the Realm.”- is incorrect. The Civil List is the documents that provide that very matter! The Estate was turned over to the government, by each monarchy since George III made the arrangement, and is now always required to do so by the laws and governments, and as such CANNOT sell off anything, even the Estate itself int he matter of conducting business can't sell off everything unless it sticks to the strict standards in place!

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