How Does the British Royal Family Make Money?

Muskaan Kapoor Muskaan Kapoor
Dec 14, 2021 5 min read
How Does the British Royal Family Make Money?

The moment we hear the word Royal, the first thing that comes to our minds is huge Fortune. Our minds automatically create a picture of palaces, King and Queen in precious jewellery, and tons of money.

When we hear the term ‘Royal Family’, the first one to come to our mind is the Royal family of the UK. They are no doubt the most popular royalties in the world.

The British Royals are wealthy. Looking at the family’s palace, properties, staff members, and lifestyle, we cannot help but wonder what is the source of their money?

Members of the Royal Family
The Monarch’s Relationship with the Parliament
What are the Sources of Income for the Royal Family?
Prince Harry and Meghan- No Longer Entitled to Royal Wealth
FAQs

Members of the Royal Family

The British Royal Family
The British Royal Family

At present, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the state of the United Kingdom. The queen’s father King George VI died in 1952 and she has been a monarch since then.

The family consists of the Queen, her 4 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Queen’s late husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was also a member of the Royal family.

The other important family members include:

  • Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son. After the Queen, he will get the throne as the King.
  • Prince William, the firstborn of Prince Charles. He will be the next successor in line after Prince Charles.
  • Prince Harry, the second son of Diana and Charles. Last year, however, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, stepped down as the Senior Royals. Even though they live independently, Harry being born in royalty is still a Prince.

The Monarch’s Relationship with the Parliament

In the United Kingdom’s Parliament, there is the House of Commons, House of Lords, and the Monarch (the Queen, at present).

The Queen enjoys the power of Royal Assent in the Parliament. To pass a bill in the parliament, it is approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. After that, the bill goes to the Queen for final approval.

This approval is the Royal Assent which converts a bill into Parliament’s Act. She invites the leader of the winning party to form a government and become the Prime Minister. She also plays an important role in the case of the dissolution of the Parliament.

Today, but the constitutional role of the monarchy in the parliament has been reduced to a certain extent. It is now more of a ceremonial role.

What are the Sources of Income for the Royal Family?

The following are the sources of how the British Royal Family makes money:

The Sovereign Grant:

The first and the most significant source of income for the Crown in the UK is the Sovereign Grant. The monarch has official duties and for that, the government pays this grant.

The Crown Estate in the United Kingdom belongs to the throne. It means it belongs to the monarch during their time on the throne. A monarch has no power to sell the estate. It is not their private property. It is neither owned by the monarch nor the government.

The Crown Estate is super valuable that helps to generate revenue. A percentage of profits of this revenue makes for the Sovereign Grant. It is like an annual income for the monarchy.

This grant covers the expenses of the monarch’s official duties. This includes security expenditure, press meetings, basic maintenance, and travel.

The Treasure of the Royal Collection

Queen's Crown
Queen's Crown

It is one of the most significant and enormous art collections in the whole world. It consists of more than a million objects. Various vintage objects are ranging from fine to decorative art. This collection is living proof of the personal taste of various kings and queens over the years.

Buckingham Palace Exhibition
Buckingham Palace Exhibition

The Royal Collection gets maintained under the queen as a Sovereign. This collection helps in the generation of a lot of money. The items under the collection are given on loan to various museums. For this, there are annual visitors. All this makes a source of money for the monarch.

However, this trust income is not profitable for the royals. A major amount of this income goes into the maintenance of the queen’s public residences. Also, the artwork and jewels of the crown require maintenance expenses.

The Duchies

The Duchies are the properties and financial investments of the royals. It refers to their private estate. There are two royal duchies in England.

The Duchy of Lancaster, owned by Queen Elizabeth II. The second, the Duchy of Cornwall functions under the Duke of Cornwall. Prince Charles heads and enjoys the privilege of this private estate.

Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall 

These private estates are separate from the crown properties. The revenue generated by these is for the royals and their family’s private and public activities.

Inheritance

Inheritance and blood are what makes for a royal family. The members of the royal family also generate income from their inherited properties.

For example- The queen has her income sources under the Duchy of Lancaster. It was inherited by the queen from her father King George VI.

In the same way, Prince Charles gets his income from the Duchy of Cornwall. Prince William and Harry are also entitled to the revenue of this Duchy.

Prince Harry and William have also inherited money from their late mother, Princess Diana.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana

Apart from the crown properties, the royal family has their investments. Even the queen has her investments which are not revealed in public.

Prince Harry and Meghan- No Longer Entitled to Royal Wealth

Harry and Meghan Markle in America
Harry and Meghan Markle in America

In January 2020, Harry and Meghan decided to step down as the Senior Royals. They decided to shift to North America and be financially independent.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry revealed when he left, he got cut off from any financial help from the royals. He shared that he was grateful for the money inherited from his mother, Diana. This money proved to be helpful in his journey to new life.

Harry and Meghan are using their wealth to work further. Thus, maintaining their decision of being independent.

Conclusion

The royal family holds great importance among the people of the UK. The power is shared between the government and the crown. The queen has official duties and ceremonial powers that make her role important.

The royals of the UK get money from both public as well private sources. Thus, the royal family has various sources of money to enjoy their status as royalty.

FAQs

How much do British taxpayers pay to the Royal Family?

As per the latest Sovereign Grant the taxpayers are paying nearly $96.28 million.

How much is Buckingham Palace worth?

Buckingham Palace is worth an estimated $4.9 billion.

How many properties do the royal family own?

The British Royal Family owns 20 properties in the UK.

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