Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week at age 96, didn’t have a traditional salary. But, she received money from a taxpayer-funded program called the Sovereign Grant and inherited land, castles and various other assets from her ancestors. She was estimated by Forbes to be personally worth around C$657 million.
The Queen’s sources of income include the Crown Estate, private estate, a stock portfolio and personal assets.
Her personal assets include her valuable stamp collection, several works of art, jewellery and horses. She also has a massive stock portfolio. An international project called the Panama Papers revealed in 2017 that $17 million of her money was invested in offshore portfolios in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
The Crown Estate’s property includes Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Holyrood Palace.
The Queen’s annual Sovereign Grant comes out of the Crown Estate’s profits, in exchange for yielding the rest of the revenue to the U.K. government. Approximately 15 per cent of the Crown Estate’s earnings are paid to the reigning monarch. The percentage is determined by the U.K government and is subject to change.
For example, it was agreed that, in 2017, the Queen would receive 25 per cent for the next 10 years to help fund the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace.
The grant was used to pay for her royal duties, including official engagements, and the payroll of her staff.
The Sovereign Grant for 2021–2022 was set by the U.K. government at almost $131 million, equivalent to almost $2 per person in the U.K. according to the Royal Family’s financial reports.
The U.K. government’s treasury is also required by law to top up the grant if Crown Estate profits fall in order to prevent a decline in targets. This took place in 2020.
As the next monarch, King Charles III will also receive this grant.
The Queen’s private property, inherited from her father, includes Balmoral castle in Scotland and Sandrigham in the U.K.
Like all other members of the Royal Family, the Queen had a will to determine who will inherit her resources. While royal wills are not disclosed to the public, the Queen’s heir, King Charles, will inherit Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, according to CTV News Royal Commentator Richard Berthelsen.
“There may be other bequests to individuals or family members, perhaps even staff, but generally all is inherited in terms of personal property by the King in his personal capacity,” Berthelsen told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.
The Crown Estate’s property, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Holyrood Palace, and a variety of other items including the Crown jewels, an art collection, and archives, will also remain the property of the reigning King Charles, in his official capacity, Berthelsen said.
“One has to distinguish between the private property and the state assets, both almost all go to the King, and all of the official assets which are held in trust for the nation, like the art and jewels,” he said.
It is still unclear who will receive the Queen’s private assets, including her stock portfolio and other investments.
While there is a 40 per cent inheritance tax in the U.K., King Charles will not pay tax on the fortune inherited from his mother due to a government memorandum applying to sovereigns for assets valued above $493,553.
The memorandum notes that some royal assets are held by the Queen “as Sovereign rather than as a private individual” and that “it would clearly be inappropriate for inheritance tax to be paid in respect of such assets.”
Official residences, the Royal Archives, and the Royal collection of paintings and other works of art, are examples of these types of assets.
But, other inheritance left to other family members will likely not be exempt from the tax due to not meeting the value threshold.
King Charles III has passed the Duchy of Cornwall — a sprawling private estate comprising land and property covering almost 140,000 acres and worth $1.5 billion — to his eldest son, Prince Wiliam, CNN has reported.
While the estate’s revenue is not disclosed publicly, the Duchy of Cornwall website says that it is “used to fund the public, private and charitable activities” of the Duke of Cornwall, a title traditionally reserved for the reigning monarch’s eldest son. It is considered a source of high revenue for the Royal Family.
It has still not been announced what the Queen has left to her other children — Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — her grandchildren, and other close relations.
With files from Associated Press and CNN
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