14 Surprising Facts About the British Royal Family’s Money

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Even though the British royal family holds only symbolic power, King Charles III and his heirs still make millions.

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The new king and sons Prince William and Prince Harry all make money from personal sources of wealth. As working members of the royal family, King Charles and Prince William also benefit from government money as well as from the income from estates that have been passed down through generations. Want to learn more about the British royal family? Click through to learn interesting facts about the royal family’s wealth.

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The King Receives a Sovereign Grant From Taxpayer Money.

The sitting monarch receives a Sovereign Grant from the HM Treasury to pay for the salaries of household staff, official travel expenses and the upkeep of the palaces.

The grant comes from profits from the Crown Estate. In the 2021-22 budget, the Sovereign Grant was £86.3, equivalent to £1.29 per person, the BBC reported. In U.S. dollars, those figures equal about $98.5 million and $1.50.

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The Sovereign Grant Changes From Year to Year.

The Sovereign Grant currently is equal to 25 percent of the Crown Estate’s total profits, so when profits rise, so does the size of the grant.

The Crown Estate does not belong personally to the monarch or the royal family. It is managed by an independent group, and remaining 85% of profits go to the treasury to benefit all residents of the United Kingdom. The holdings of the Crown Estate are worth more than £7.3 billion — $8.3 billion in U.S. money – and includes everything from beef farms to facilities for stone mining.

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The King Gets Additional Income From the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Duchy of Lancaster refers to the portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the king or queen of England, and it provides the head of the royal family with an independent source of income outside of the Sovereign Grant.

For the year ending March 2022, the Duchy of Lancaster delivered a net income of £24.0 million ($27.4 million).

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The King Also Has His Own Personal Wealth and Income.

Other sources of money for King Charles III are the personal investment portfolio and private estates, which include the Balmoral and Sandringham Estates that have been passed to him since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8. Forbes valued the inheritance at $500 million. The royal palaces and Crown Jewels are not part of his personal wealth, as they must be passed on to his successor and are not his to sell.

King Charles III has the highest British royal family net worth at $600 million and is by far the richest member of the royal family.

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Prince William Gets His Money From the Duchy of Cornwall.

While the king gets income from the Duchy of Lancaster, the Prince of Wales, William, gets his income from the Duchy of Cornwall.

The estate, which is one of the oldest and largest in Britain, is spread throughout England and contains agricultural, commercial and residential property. The Duchy also includes a financial investment portfolio.

As the newly titled Duke of Cornwall, Prince William will take over management of the Duchy of Cornwall and receive its annual net surplus of the as his personal income. The Duchy of Cornwall paid then-Prince Charles £21 million — nearly $24 million -last year as its overseer,  The Guardian reported.

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Prince William and Prince Harry Each Inherited $13.4M From Princess Diana’s Estate.

Princess Diana left £21 million in assets to her sons William and Harry, to be held in a trust until they turned 25, according to Forbes. By each of their 30th birthdays, they were believed to have received about $13.4 million, plus accrued interest from their 25th until 30th birthdays.

They also received a collection of her personal items, including her wedding dress, jewelry, photographs, letters and more. Prince Harry used two of the diamonds he inherited as part of the engagement ring he designed for his now-wife, Meghan Markle. When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, he presented to her the stunning ring containing a 12-carat oval sapphire, surrounded by 14 diamonds, that belonged to his mother.

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Prince William Worked as a Helicopter Pilot.

Before officially retiring in July 2017, Prince William worked as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service. He also previously worked as a military rescue helicopter pilot for seven years.

The average helicopter pilot salary is about $78,000, according to PayScale.

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Prince Harry Had a 10-Year Military Career.

Prince Harry joined the British Army in 2004 and officially retired in 2015 after two tours of Afghanistan. He rose to the rank of captain of the Army Air Corps during his decade-long military career, which gave him an annual salary of $60,000, according to Discovery Finance.

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Princess Kate Used To Work for Her Parents’ Event Planning Company.

Kate Middleton’s parents own the event planning company Party Pieces, and Middleton herself worked for the company for several years where she designed and produced catalogs, worked on marketing and took photos, CNN reports.

She also spearheaded the launch of First Birthdays, a division of the company that specializes in planning parties for babies.

The average salary of an event planner is $45,000, according to PayScale.

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Prince William Doesn’t Have To Pay Income Taxes.

The Duchy of Cornwall is tax exempt, but his father, then-Prince Charles voluntarily paid income taxes on it anyway. It remains to be seen whether William will will follow suit.

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But King Charles Will Pay Taxes.

According to the official royal family website, the queen volunteered to pay income tax and capital gains tax in 1992. Beginning in 1993, her personal income was taxable as it would be for any other taxpayer.

The queen also always had to pay the Value Added Tax — a consumption tax common in most countries outside the U.S.

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The Royal Family’s Biggest Expense Is Property Maintenance.

If you’re wondering how the British royal family spends its money, wonder no more — it’s actually all documented.

According to the royal family’s official 2021 Sovereign Grant Summary, the largest royal expense for the year was property maintenance, which includes the ongoing, long-term reservicing of Buckingham Palace. Property expenses totaled £49.5 million ($56.5 million) for the year. The next largest expense was staff payroll, which cost £24.1 million ($27.5 million). King Charles already has signaled he intends to cut staffing.

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The Queen Helped Raise Billions for Charity.

Research released by the Charities Aid Foundation in 2012 showed that Queen Elizabeth II’s support of various charities helped them to raise £1.4 billion annually, or $1.66 billion. Those are the most recent figures available.

Members of the royal family are patrons or presidents of hundreds charitable organizations, including the British Red Cross and several military organizations.

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The Crown Estate Is Worth $34.3 Billion.

The Crown Estate owns real estate and other assets that are legally owned by the sovereign, but it is held in trust and overseen by an independent organization. The monarch cannot sell any of the properties in the $34.3 billion Crown Estate, which includes Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace, CBS News reported.

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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.