Royal News

Tracing the Origins of the British Monarch’s Private Wealth, Including Private Rural Estates, Jewellery, and Art

His majesty King Charles III is set to inherit assets that will bring his personal wealth to approximately £1.8 billion ($2.2 billion), ahead of his coronation. This figure, calculated by The Guardian newspaper, includes property, jewellery, cars, investments, horses, rare stamps, and art. The British monarch inherited most of his wealth from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and is exempt from the 40% UK inheritance tax under a 1993 agreement covering legacies between sovereigns.

Buckingham Palace described the calculations as “a highly creative mix of speculation, assumption and inaccuracy,” and refused to provide alternative figures, stating that the King’s wealth is private. Experts suggest that Charles’s wealth is mainly derived from real estate, including Sandringham and Balmoral estates, both estimated at £330 million, and the Duchy of Lancaster, worth £653 million, providing around £20 million in annual income. The King’s vast wealth also includes investments, shares, a £100 million royal stamp collection, and art valued at £24 million. A total of 54 jewellery pieces, 70 thoroughbred horses, and several other assets also add up to the vast fortune.

The Guardian arrived at the estimate by consulting experts in different fields, using the principle of “beneficial ownership,” referring to the person who ultimately controls or benefits from an asset. The Crown Estate’s properties, which include Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, are not the monarch’s private property, and he cannot sell them. The Crown Estate is publicly owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, and relinquishes all profits from the estate to the government, in exchange for a portion known as the Sovereign Grant, which covers the expenses of working royals.

In the case of Prince William, he inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall and the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate worth at least £1.04 billion, following his grandmother’s death. The Duchy, created in 1337 to provide the heir to the British throne with an independent income, spreads across more than 20 English counties and includes The Oval cricket ground in London. As of this year, the Duchy declared £23 million in distributable surplus, which will go to Prince William, estimated to have a net worth of $100 million, according to wealth tracker Celebrity Net Worth.

Before his father became king, his net worth was estimated at $30 million, much of which was inherited wealth, including a trust fund from his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and several million dollars from his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Prince William has been a working royal since the age of 21 and spent a decade working for the UK’s armed forces before retraining as an Air Ambulance pilot. His wife, Kate, the Princess of Wales, has a net worth of $10 million and receives no salary but has her expenses paid for by allowances from the Duchy of Cornwall.

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