The Wealth of the Windsors: A Special Report on the Wealth of the British Royal Family
|The British Royal Family is worth billions.|
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 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|
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.
Estimated Wealth: $200-500 million
|Much of Prince Charles' wealth are derived |
from the Duchy of Cornwall.
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.
Estimated Wealth: $16 million
|Prince Harry can live off a good life with his trust funds |
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.
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
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