It comes as no surprise that the royal family practically swims in money. After all, there are more than 1,00 years of power, imperialism, and several versions of a vast empire that lined their pockets for centuries to come.
Just how rich they are, however, may surprise. In a world where monarchies are less powerful and leaders don’t get paid like CEOs, the British family only got richer as their power went to the Parliamentary government. Learn more about the royal family net worth, how they make their money, and more.
The royal family is a business
One could argue that the royal family is less a government entity and more of a political PAC. After all, Forbes notes how Monarchy PLC, the infamous “Firm” that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex famously brought to life, acts like a cross between a PR firm, a government entity, and the Vatican. With $28 billion spread throughout the Firm’s umbrella.
The Firm doesn’t just handle the incoming finances given to the royals. They ensure that everything they do makes them money and operates within the traditions that are still going strong today. According to that same Forbes article, the Firm helped Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding bring $1.5 billion to the British economy.
Every time Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, or even the queen herself go on a tour, the tour helps raise money for the bigger machine overall. As such, when discussing the royal family’s finances, it’s hard to separate the family itself from the Firm that controls them.
What are the assests controlled by the royal family?
Town and Country reports the impact that the Crown Estate has on the bottom line. The system blurs the line between the family’s private property and government land set aside for their modern role. This estate consists of 263,000 acres of farmland, 12 miles of seaside property, and more castles, mansions, and summer homes than most could ever dream of. These holdings are worth around $17 billion in American money.
This agreement goes back hundreds of years when George III traded off a typical salary for land that could be sold for more than any income. Now, the crown holds less power than it ever has, yet the British Taxpayers are still splitting the bill as Queen Elizabeth collects over $100 million every year to go alongside her perks and state-owned properties.
Add to that over a thousand years of souvenirs, from Crown Jewels to priceless art and artifacts, and it’s safe to say that the Crown is one of the most lucrative government subsidies in history. While Queen Elizabeth is not often thought of in terms of wealth alone, one look at their overall net worth shows that this has less to do with money and more to do with its political capital.
How much is the royal family worth?
The royals are a powerful family, the unofficial head of a government, key decision-makers within the Parliamentary umbrella, and a tourist industry unto themselves. This does not come cheap. While they reportedly lost money in 2020, Queen Elizabeth is reportedly worth $530 million alone, while Charles has a cool $400 million.
According to Town and Country, the Crown is a $55 billion industry, with much of that going to the family itself and being recycled into new and exciting ways. Pinpointing their exact worth, however, is a large task. After all, a thousand years of power combined with an ever-changing role complete with land worldwide is hard to track, even by modern standards.
Whatever the actual numbers are, they’re a lot, and while the Crown may not be in its proudest moment, the family will not suffer, either.
What does the royal family do to make money?
The British royal family may not be the first ones people think of when it comes to financial woes, but everyone has to make money somehow. Being a royal involves a different type of empire that requires millions of private and public money to maintain. As such, it should come as no surprise that sometimes tough decisions must be made despite their massive wealth.
According to the official royal website, the royal family may not have the power that they did in the days of their ancestors, but it doesn’t mean they’re sitting easy, either. Many label the family as ceremonial figureheads without any power. While the Prime Minister has an increasing amount of power, however, the royal family still has enough sway to put claims that they don’t do anything to rest.
The royal family appears at over 2,000 official engagements every year, with the queen appearing at many of them despite her old age. Perhaps, the queen cannot carry out war or enact power the way King George did. However, she, her family, and her closest allies can shape the country’s entire political landscape with a single word.
The modern royal family could be called state-sanctioned philanthropists, with many of their roles about keeping the people of England happy and putting a spotlight on the poor and dispossessed. In all, whether the role is an important cog to the parliamentary government or a ceremonial title in everything but name, the Royals get paid a hefty sum of around $150 million paid through the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, the Sovereign Grant, and the Privy Purse.
The royal family has more palaces, museums, and getaways than they know what to do with. In fact, the tourism that these properties bring in both help pay for all the upkeep and the family’s luxurious lifestyles. According to Oprah Daily, when television host Lawrence Spivak spoke to the late Prince Philip, he asked about the “very high cost that the royal family must sustain on an allowance of one million one hundred thousand dollars a year. Is that creating an awkward situation?”
Noting how even royals had to adjust to the changing tides, the late prince noted that sometimes they have to make luxurious concessions that even the average millionaire may not be able to relate to. “The queen had a small yacht that she had to sell. And I should probably have to give up polo fairly soon,” spoken in half-jest, the comments were controversial to many British people.
After all, the properties cost millions of pounds to run each year, and while the family jokes about the luxuries they have to give up, others are living in poverty around the world. In all, the royal income is a combination of grants and stipends that offset the cost of owning so many properties and make the British people split the cost.
According to another page on the official royal website, Queen Elizabeth’s role as Sovereign “acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognizes success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.”
Despite the sway they hold, however, the royal family is a figurehead of British pride. They are a family that patriots look up to as their family and that the cynical, more critical people look like a relic of bygone eras. Regardless of someone’s faults, the royal family’s impact still has to this day shows that official power means nothing in the court of public opinion.
As long as there’s a royal family line, there will always be questions about what they actually do. This will likely change some more, but in the end, the royal family’s role is to represent Britain on a global scale, raise awareness for humanitarian causes, and occasionally use their unique place to enact change that their ancestors could have done with a single word or sentence.
Who are the current senior royals and how much are they worth?
With The Crown’s fictionalized version of historical drama and the real-life counterpart providing its fair share, people are once again obsessed with the royal family. However, the royal family is a vast collection of queens, princes, princesses, duchesses, and much more. However, when it comes to the senior members of the circle, that’s where all the real money is.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, a definition of senior royal family members is hard to come by. However, historian Marlene Koenig notes that, historically, it’s a blanket statement used to label the sovereign, their consorts, and their direct children, grandchildren, and the spouses of their immediate family. More succinctly, the senior royal is a family member who carries out their duties on behalf of the crown.
While the queen may be painted as a ceremonial relic of the Crown’s empirical past, she still holds a lot of sway. After all, the crown may not have the god-like power that it once boasted, but it remains a symbol of pride and patriotism to Brits and Anglophiles worldwide. Meghan and Harry were never going to be king and queen, but their recent departure from the family business carved outrage for months to come.
Within the senior members, the Counsellors of the State take on the most active roles, speaking for the crown and performing royal duties around the world. As such, when William travels to the United States on official business, or Prince Andrew appears at a political dinner, he’s doing so as an extension of the queen and English pride.
According to ABC News, the death of Philip and the departure of Harry meant that the senior circle was shaken up in ways it hadn’t seen since the dawn of World War II. Philip often served as her voice until his death at 99, while Harry provided a younger, hipper look at the crown. After he and Meghan’s tumultuous departure, however, the circle got much smaller.
The queen’s children—Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward—are still parts of the royal circle. While Andrew remains there in an official capacity, he left his role following several high-profile scandals. On top of that, all the children, spouses, and grandchildren of these members are a part of the senior circle, which ranges from children to people pushing 100 years of age.
None of them will likely need to worry about their rent money, either.
According to Marie Claire, Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for nearly 70 years, and with $520 million in the bank, she’s paid a hefty sum to do so. Redistributing her vast wealth, the queen’s eldest son and heir apparent, Charles, is not far behind, with $400 million in the bank. William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are reportedly worth eight figures, while Prince George will likely see the benefit of all the above names.
Being a royal is not an easy job. Every action that you take is met with scrutiny, political fallout, and rumors big and small. However, they make a hefty living and get millions in benefits every time they leave the house. The Crown is a multi-billion dollar industry that operates like a government, business, and PR firm at once. While the days of King George may be over, the royal family business is thriving in ways it never has before.
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