The world has been discussing the Royal Family a lot these past few days after the news broke that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were going to step down as Senior Members of the Royal Family.
In the announcement, they said they were going to “work toward becoming financially independent” and Queen Elizabeth II reiterated that in her statement today saying, “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
Us commoners may read into that thinking that the two weren’t going to live off grandma’s money, but how does the queen make money? The answer is: it’s a little complicated.
The primary source of income for the Queen is the Sovereign Grant.
The Queen makes the majority of her money is through something called The Sovereign Grant, which is paid by the government. According to the Royal Family official website, the grant comes from “a percentage of the profits of The Crown Estate revenue.”
The Crown Estate is a real estate business in the United Kingdom that’s technically public. The Monarch owns The Crown Estate by rights, but the institution as a whole is managed independently. The total amount of The Crown Estate is estimated to be around $18.3 billion when converted to US dollars.
The government looks to The Crown Estate’s annual surplus to figure out how much the Queen and her household will receive through the Sovereign Grant.
Most of the profits from The Crown Estate goes to the UK government, 15 percent of it makes up the Sovereign Grant. This grant covers everything the Royal Family needs to perform their duties including travel of the senior members of the family, press and communication, security details, essential maintenance, among a few other things.
So how much money does the Queen make from The Sovereign Grant? According to the 2018-19 report outlined by the Royal Family’s official website, the total received for the year was $107.3 million, which was a $25 million increase from the year before. The extra money was said to be allocated to do repairs and maintenance to Buckingham Palace.
Private Income, inheritances, and investments
The Queen also makes her money from her own personal and private estates and portfolio, and she uses this to cover any private expenses that don’t qualify under The Sovereign grant.
According to Forbes, her net worth in 2016 was estimated to sit around $530 million. Most of her money is made through something called The Duchy of Lancaster. This is basically her oldest and most unique real estate trust that paid her out $27 million in 2018 to be used for personal expenses, Forbes says.
However, the Queen works hard for her money.
It’s easy to forget that Her Majesty is 93 years old and working hard every day. It might seem like she sits around in Buckingham Palace with its 755 rooms, but she kept busy last year.
According to the official report, over the course of her reign as Queen, she has sent “784,000 messages to couples who were celebrating their 60th “Diamond Wedding anniversaries,” 254,000 “congratulatory telegrams to centenarians on their 100th birthdays,” and last year she went on 154 official engagements.
Long live the Queen.