Royal wedding: So who owns the crown jewels?
Royal wedding puts spotlight on a family that has plenty of assets. But most of those on display during the royal wedding are owned by the government.
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Taxpayers also give Elizabeth an annual allowance of $23.3 million for performing 360 engagements a year as Head of State. The Palace says she spends 70 percent of that on servants and entertaining 50,000 guests, mostly feeding them afternoon tea in the garden of Buckingham Palace.Skip to next paragraph
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Taxpayers also pay the Queen $25.9 million in expenses to maintain her palaces. $6.4 million towards the Royal Train, helicopters and jets. And an additional $6.4m towards other costs, like State Visits.
In total, each year the Queen gets $83.8 million from government.
It’s widely assumed Elizabeth also receives a multi-million dollar income stream from her private portfolio of stocks and bonds.
Even so, is the Queen’s own son richer that she is? Has Charles inherited property of greater value and does he have a bigger disposable income? Is Prince Charles richer?
Windsor Money follows first-born males. It mirrors succession to the throne. It’s all or nothing.
Other royal families in Europe have given their daughters the same inheritance rights as their sons. But the Windsor family remains exempt from equality legislation because parliaments would have to vote through new laws everywhere the Queen rules, from Canada and Australia to Saint Lucia and Belize.
As Elizabeth’s first male son, Charles instantly became heir to the throne at birth and instantly inherited a property portfolio currently worth over one billion dollars: 200 square miles of land known as the Duchy of Cornwall.
Last year, that estate generated $28 million in cash for Charles. His siblings get nothing.
The government does not own this estate. Charles actively manages it. Officially he’s not allowed to profit from the sale of any assets. But could he sell? Does Charles own inherited Royal assets in a way the Queen does not?
Charles on the other hand has a one billion dollar property portfolio, worth twice that—without beginning to count his homes.
Does Charles also have more disposable cash to spend than his mother?
His annual $28 million income equates to more than 60 percent of what taxpayers give the Queen that’s not directly linked to reimbursing expenses. But Elizabeth’s additional outgoings are far greater.
There are 800 servants at Buckingham Palace alone. Plus the Queen funds the rest of the Windsor family: upwards of $2 million in annual cash handouts in addition to paying rents to the government on Royal apartments that they would otherwise occupy for free.
Charles must provide for Camilla and his sons. But both princes are salaried pilots in the armed forces. More importantly their late mother, Diana left each of them $10 million—providing both with an investment income of $450,000 a year, according to Forbes.
Even the official website of the Prince admits that—after paying his own 174 servants and charitable activities—Charles still has 40 percent of his after-tax income to play with.
Charles just broke his uncle’s record for waiting more than 59 years to be crowned King. But as the monarch’s first-born male. Windsor Money ensures that happens far from poverty.