15+ ways that the Royal family avoids running into an instant bankruptcy with its lavish lifestyle
We all know that the British royal family has a pretty lavish lifestyle that goes from trips around the world and high-class weddings to expensive wardrobes and palaces. And those standards the Royals held doesn't come cheap; to be more specific, it costs around $358 million to run the monarchy yearly. That's a lot of money! We know most members have high net worths, but the question now is: where do they get their money from?
Some sources are pretty evident like the help they receive from taxpayers or a combination of investments. However, there are some other less-expected and shocking ways, both public and private, that Queen Elizabeth II and her closest relatives have come up with to keep it running. Let's delve into this matter and find out all the forms that British royals make money.
1. The Sovereign Grant
It is an allowance which replaced the Civil List in 2011 and that the British government provides yearly to support the Queen in her official duties including travel utilities, employee payroll, and palaces maintenance. It comes through a treasury that taxpayers fund, and it returns for it, the monarch gives the British government 15% of the Crown Estate's earnings annually.
The Crown Estate is an independent commercial property that the reigning monarch owns during her ruling. In 2013, it amassed $325.8 million in profits, meaning that the Sovereign Grant was 15%, which is $48.9 million in other words. According to CNBC, from 2016 to 2017, the allowance was £42.8 million, and this year, it was the staggering amount of £76.1 million (approximately $100 million).
2. A Privy Purse
No, we are not talking about a real handbag. It is actually a private income dubbed like that which comes from the Duchy of Lancaster and has a portfolio that entails agricultural, commercial and residential business dealings in 45,600 acres of land. According to the Guardian, the assets are worth around half a billion pounds, and in 2017, the portfolio gave the Queen an income of $26 million. Not bad at all!
3. A personal fortune
Even if the ruler didn't get the Sovereign Grant, she could still manage to have a lavish lifestyle through her own wealth, which is reportedly around $414.7 million and derives from her personal properties, such as Balmoral Castle, instead of those belonging to the Crown Estate. The difference is that Elizabeth could allegedly sell Balmoral Castle, but she cannot sell any residence that is owned by the Crown Estate.
4. Millionaire children
If you thought the whole list was about the Queen and her money, let us tell you that her offspring is also filthy rich. They all had a good start out in life and now have their fortunes. According to Reader's Digest, the newcomer, former actress Meghan Markle, entered the family with $5 million. Her hubby and her bro-in-law own around $40 million each. Prince Phillip has some modest $20 million, and the Prince of Wales owns $100 million.
5. The Sandringham Estate
Have you ever wondered why the Queen always has a smile of her face? We would also have one if we inherited a castle from daddy as she did. Free and clear, the ruler possesses the Sandringham Estate. It is hard to imagine the royal family as a normal one with all those millions, but the Queen once said they are not so different, "like all best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters, and disagreement."
6. A costly artwork collection
But buildings and money are not all that the Queen owns. Other investments include the Royal Art Collection, which is considered the largest privately owned artwork set in the entire world. How much, would you ask? Give it a try! No? Hold on tight because it costs a whopping £10 billion, and that is just market value. It is comprised of one million objects housed across thirteen royal residences in the United Kingdom.
According to Insider, the royal family owns almost all the gold in the UK. They also possess some other minerals like coal, slate, limestone, sandstone, and gypsum. Shockingly enough, in 2013, around 2,500 individuals received notifications that the blue-blood members could, if they chose to, pickaxe their properties to look for gold and other valuable metals. It is not a favorable notice, right?
8. Balmoral Castle in Scotland
And going beyond the borders of the UK, Elizabeth II also inherited the property mentioned above from her father. The huge estate house is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It has belonged to the royal family since 1852 when Prince Albert purchased it privately, not as part of the Crown Estate. Then, Edward VII inherited the ownership, and subsequently, George VI.
9. Prince Philip's annual payment
As a small contribution to the total wealth of the family, Prince Philip, the Queen's spouse for more than 60 years, receives $488,000 to finance his work as the monarch's husband according to what the Sovereign Grant Act of 2011 establishes: "to meet the expenses of carrying out his public duties." However, since his retirement due to medical reasons in August 2017 at the age of 96, it isn't clear if he still obtains this income.
10. Prince William's job
Perhaps you didn't know, but Princess Diana's eldest son was the first royal to get a civilian work contract. He used to be a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. His job was basically to fly and help out injured or ill civilians in remote parts of England. Because of his average work, he made roughly $62,000 yearly, which represent only a dime of all the millions he owns. That might be the reason why his earnings went to charities.
11. Money from wind
No, you didn't misread, and we are not crazy. The blue-blood family of the UK really knows how to make money, and another way it has been done over the last six years is through business dealings in the renewable energy sector. The Crown Estate leases out seabed properties to offshore wind farms and gets earnings from it, which in 2016 were of $31 million as BBC reported, and there are expansion plans for the upcoming years.
12. The People's Princess heritage
By the time of her death, Diana's net worth was $22.5 million, mainly coming from her divorce's settlement. She also had a great collection of jewels that, along with her money, went to her sons on their 30th birthdays. The late princess left a trust for her offspring that gave them roughly $13 million each plus some income of $450,000 they received annually to live off before turning 30.
13. Prince Harry's military job
While William was a pilot, the youngest of Diana's sons went for the army life. He started as an officer with a salary of approximately $45,251 yearly, and once he completed his training, he became a helicopter pilot for the Army Air Corps with a yearly wage of between $50,278 and $53,286. But after ten years of service, the royal retired in 2015 to focus his time on other priorities and duties such as charitable work.
14. A profitable hobby
The Queen of England is fond of horse racing, and maybe, that is why she possesses the Ascot Racecourse that gave her around $5.1 million in profits in 2016. Apart from the facilities, the monarch breeds horses, owning some of the finest thoroughbreds in the UK, and the dealings with these fantastic animals bring in $9.4 million. To give you an idea, if you want to do any breeding with Frankel, one of her horses, you must pay a $200,000 fee.
15. Children's grants
If you thought that the Privy Purse, the Sovereign Grant or the Duchy of Lancaster were for the Queen solely, let us tell you that you're wrong. Her children, grandchildren, and even their spouses also get some pieces of the pie, although the lion's share goes to Elizabeth. The primary purpose of this is to guarantee every member is well taken care of and does not need to worry about getting jobs outside their royal responsibilities.
Queen Elizabeth's portfolio of investment is very diverse, and it also includes blue-chip shares in British companies. According to BBC, as of 2015, her holdings were worth $14.89 million. But we all know that the stock market is almost a lottery game, and even the Queen has lost some money, like when she invested $154,000 on a site called getmapping.com, and it plunged to only $16,000. We wonder how Elizabeth did not have a heart attack after that.
17. Duchy of Cornwall
And as if the Duchy of Lancaster was not enough, the Royals have another suite of properties under the mentioned named which mainly cover the expenses of the Prince of Wales and his heirs; that is, William, Kate, their three children, Harry, Meghan, and the soon-to-be-born baby. In 2016 alone, they all received an income of $40.8 million. And we were wondering why none of them worked, but here we have the answer.
18. The portion of the coastline
We are not done yet. There are a lot more ways for getting money, such as owning half of the shores in the UK as well as roughly 340,000 acres of forests and rural farmland. CNBC revealed that the Crown Estate also entails coastal waters within 12 miles of land plus harbors, leisure boating, ports, marinas, and aquaculture facilities. The family yielded $66.3 million in profit last year from seaweed cultivation, duck hunting, and marine research.
Have you ever wondered who the biggest landlords in Great Britain are? The answer is pretty straightforward: the royal family. 58% of their real estate is in Central London, and the famous Regent Street is almost the property of the Royals, and that's without mentioning the half of the buildings that they possess in St. James, the bureaucrats' central area. The $20 million they have in landholdings include exclusive retail stores and residences for rent.
Talking about weird ownership, Royals wouldn't be a monarchy if they didn't possess something as extravagant as dolphins. We are pretty sure you never imagined the royal family had some stake in the animal kingdom, but marine wildlife falls under the Queen's jurisdiction. A 1324 law, dating back to King Edward II' ruling, enacts that any faunas in the monarch's property are also hers, and these cover whales, sturgeons, swans, and dolphins.
21. Numerous castles
If you thought that two castles were more than enough, you are very mistaken. Those were just some of the many the family has such as Highgrove House, Llwynywermod, Craigowan Lodge, Delnadamph Lodge, Anmer Hall, Gatcombe Park, Frogmore cottage, Tamarisk, and Birkhall. And that is without mentioning the ones the Royals control but cannot sell like Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Kensington Palace, and St. James's Palace, just to name a few.
Of course, talking about Royals, we could not miss out tons and tons of jewels in an almost unfathomable array that comprises scepters, swords, crowns, tiaras, and over 23,000 precious and semi-precious gems. Rumor has it that their jewelry is worth more than $3 billion, and we totally understand why. One of the stones one can find in the group is the Great Star of Africa, the largest clear-cut diamond in the planet that cost around $63 million.
23. Stamp collection
Do you remember when you used to collect stamps, and people thought it was lame? Let us tell you Elizabeth has a valuable and fantastic stamp compilation called the Royal Philatelic Collection that she obtained from her father and grandfather. Although the vast assortment hasn't been priced and inventoried yet, estimates indicate a worth over £10 million. Some others are way higher, putting the value at a whopping £100 million. You'd better start getting some stamps again.
24. Royal duties
More than responsibilities, royal duties can be a sort of job because royal members make money out of them. To give you an example, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend an event on behalf of the Queen, they get paid for that activity. Her eldest son is the head of around 13 charities, and her husband calls himself "the world's most experienced plaque unveiler" after giving almost 6,000 speeches during his service years.
25. Taxpayers' contribution
Royal tours are quite often among the nobility, and if they accumulated miles, they would have a lot. But all the expenses deriving from trips are funded by taxpayers through the Sovereign Grant. And we couldn't believe the huge bills the family racks up. BBC reports the monarch and her clan spent more than $5 million on official trips in 2017 alone. No wonder why this aspect is a sore spot for taxpayers.
Woo! We just reviewed twenty-five ways the blue-blood family of the UK gets its money from, and now we understand why they are so well-off. Did you know all this info before? What do you think of the strange forms, like dolphins and stamps? Let us know your opinion in the comment section and share this intriguing article with others who love the Royals as much as we do. Until next time!