“The Firm,” a nickname for the monarchy and its institutions coined by King George VI, is currently worth at least $23 billion, according to a new report in the Sunday Times of London.
Over the past decade, the royals’ asset wealth — which includes buildings, land, mineral rights, art and other treasures — increased faster than at any other time since the first pieces of their estates were acquired by Edward the Confessor almost 1,000 years ago.
In just 10 years, the wealth of the monarchy’s largest institutions — the Crown Estate and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall — has doubled. The royals also own hundreds of miles of the British coastline. The Ascot racecourse, the Oval cricket ground and many of London’s most famous private members’ clubs occupy royal property, the Times reported.
The vast Crown Estate, a massive property portfolio that includes land and buildings in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, is worth about $18 billion alone. Half of the Crown Estate’s wealth comes from London property, including almost all of Regent Street, major tracts of St. James’s and Pall Mall and some of the city’s most prestigious clubs, like the Athenaeum, Boodle’s, the Carlton and the Reform Club.
However, although the Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch, is not their private property to do with as they please. The sitting King or Queen has no power to sell holdings and does not receive income directly from the estate.
Instead, profits from the Crown Estate are plowed back into the Treasury, which returns a percentage of this sum to the royal family as the Sovereign Grant.
Among the individual royals, King Charles III, 73, is worth about $1 billion, the report said. With his mother’s death, he inherited the Duchy of Lancaster, an estate owned by the monarch since the 14th century with 45,092 acres of land in Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and south Wales.
Although Buckingham Palace and other royal palaces are owned in trust, the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, which runs to 20,000 acres, and Balmoral, the castle where Queen Elizabeth II died, and its 50,000 acres, belonged to the Queen and will probably pass to Charles.
How much Charles ultimately gets from his mother will never be known. A court decided in 1820 that a monarch’s will does not need to be published.
Prince William, 40, also became a billionaire after the death of his grandmother, in taking control of the Duchy of Cornwall. The new Prince of Wales was already rich, after inheriting millions from his late mother Diana and his great-grandmother.
Princess Anne’s wealth is estimated at about $52 million. Elizabeth II bought Gatcombe Park for her daughter in 1976. The Gloucestershire mansion includes 700 acres and is near Highgrove, her elder brother’s rural home. Anne, 72, has long been called the “hardest working royal” and is thought to own an extensive jewelry collection.
Disgraced Prince Andrew, 62, the queen’s second son, is thought to be worth less than $8 million, the Times reported.
Earlier this year he settled a civil sexual assault case brought against him in the US by Virginia Giuffre for somewhere in the vicinity of $10 million.
He receives an annual Royal Navy pension, but no longer receives the $270,000 per year stipend he got to run his royal office.
But Andrew has reportedly inherited significant sums of family money over the years.
Prince Edward, 58, and his wife, Sophie, are worth about $12 million, the report said.
Prince Harry, 38, and his wife, Meghan Markle, have wealth estimated at about $22 million, the Time said. Most of Harry’s money comes from his inheritance from his mother.