$ 13,587,949.61 … that’s the amount of money the Queen has earned with horse racing in the last 30 years.
For most people, that would be an unimaginable fortune, but for His Majesty, it is hardly a drop in the ocean.
The finances of the royal family have long been a kind of enigma, partially hidden from public view and wrapped in secret, but this week, the decision of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to resign as members Frontline of the royal family has caused a renewed approach. about the finances of the Windsor family. Namely, how much money do they really have? And where does it all come from?
The answers to those questions are far from simple to answer. The Queen, and her family’s financial arrangements, are very complex, often murky, and some aspects have never been made public.
Harry and Meghan, writing on their recently launched website, revealed that 5 percent of their income comes from the Sovereign Grant, while the remaining 95 percent comes from Prince Charles. Having made the historic decision to resign as “older” working members of the royal family, they have announced that they will no longer accept the Sovereign Scholarship, while the will of the Prince of Wales to distribute a very generous annual allowance for the couple. It is far from true.
Obtaining the full measure of the finances of the royal family is almost impossible, in large part because they face different rules.
“There is a residual deference in the royal family, which means they have not always faced the awkward questions, which they should have done,” said former member of Parliament and the Private Council, Norman Baker. news.com.au in an interview last year.
“For example, they are largely exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. They do not have the same requirements for the declaration of gifts as politicians … and they mix and combine the private and the public in a rather inadequate way in public life. “
Baker says: “They are all worth 20 billion pounds, at least that’s a very conservative estimate. They are all fabulously rich.”
Not everyone agrees with such an estimate. “They are millionaires, not billionaires,” said David McClure, an author who has written about real finances. Forbes.
Either way, you can’t escape the fact that the Windsors are very rich. This is where all that comes from.
SOVEREIGN SUBSIDY 101
Each year, the Queen receives a fixed percentage (25 percent) of Crown Estate’s net income (which has large extensions of real estate in London and land throughout the United Kingdom), which last year amounted to a payment of $ 155 million (the rest of the income goes to the Treasury).
That money is used to pay for the maintenance of the royal palaces (for example, the $ 300 million renovation that Buckingham Palace is experiencing) and the travel and office expenses of working royals (except security costs) , which are not paid with the grant money).
However, the Sovereign Grant was used to transform Frogmore Cottage from a ruined building to the new Sussex house (although the couple paid for the accessories and furniture).
Currently, it is estimated that the grant pays three members of Harry and Meghan’s office staff, and it is not known if they will now personally collect the bill for these roles.
Different members of the royal family face different arrangements. For example, while Princess Anne receives money from the Sovereign Grant to pay for her official work expenses, she finances the maintenance of her home in Gatcombe Park independently rather than with the grant.
THE DUKE OF CORNWALL
So where does the other 95 percent of Moolah from Harry and Meghan come from? The Duchy of Cornwall, also known as Dad’s Bank. Dating from the fourteenth century, the Duchy has long been the possession of whoever the Prince of Wales is, the idea of being the great possession of rural lands would help maintain a future king in the style he wanted to be accustomed to.
Charles took control of the Duchy in 1969 when he became the Prince of Wales and at that time transformed the 500-square-kilometer estate into a successful and successful business. Last year, the Duchy earned Charles $ 40 million, of which he, in turn, gives princes William and Harry (and their wives) a combined total of $ 9.4 million.
However, Charles has faced criticism for the Duchy’s financial arrangements. Baker writing in his 2019 book And what are you doing?, He reports that while Charles pays taxes on his income, he is allowed to make deductions for his personal staff and Camilla’s clothes and jewelry (oddly enough, the Duchy also audits himself).
Basically, this is where Harry and Meghan get the money to buy all those $ 2000 hats and to pay for private planes for mini getaways in Ibiza. However, will Dad continue to give money to his son and daughter-in-law now that they have flown the cooperative? That remains to be seen.
THE DUKE OF LANCASTER
The Duchy of Lancaster is the Queen’s private estate and is valued at $ 1 billion, according to the most recent accounts. He earned $ 40 million in the most recent financial year.
The Duchy owns a large strip of real estate in central London (as part of the famous Regent St) along with land in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire and other investments.
The Queen can do what she wants with this money, it is her own to spend what she wants. We know that she uses this source of income to support Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and the Earl of Sussex. However, according to Baker, His Majesty “claims these payments as a deductible expense, even though the rest of his family does not play any role in the Duchy. The result is to significantly reduce the tax bill he pays (voluntarily).”
He also notes that the Duchy does not have to pay any corporate tax despite being called “private equity.”
In 2017, when the Paradise Papers made headlines, it was revealed that the estate had invested around $ 10 million in extraterritorial funds. At that time, a spokesman for the Duchy of Lancaster said: “We operate a series of investments, and some of them are with foreign funds. All our investments are fully audited and legitimate.”
Ah, now this is where things get even more murky. The amount of money that the Windsors have kept in their private bank accounts and investment portfolios is something like a guessing game.
In 2015, The sunday times Rich List reported that Queen’s investment portfolio has a value of $ 207 million. She also personally owns Balmoral Castle in Scotland and Sandringham House, which have been valued at $ 200 million and $ 94 million respectively. And all that is even before considering the collection of royal stamps, art, jewelry, cars or horses.
A legacy of a king or queen to the heir who succeeds them does not face the inheritance tax.
Baker has written: “It is estimated that the Treasury lost about $ 37 million to $ 47 million from the death of the Queen Mother in March 2002.”
Estimates of how much Prince Harry and Meghan are worth are in debate. When the Queen Mother passed away, it is said that she left her grandson millions of dollars. When Diana, princess of Wales, was murdered in 1997, her $ 25 million fortune was left for her two children. Some estimates estimate Meghan’s value at around $ 7 million thanks to her work in Suits and real estate investments.
All of which might seem like small potatoes since there are reports that they could become billionaires in a matter of years, they are now free to start signing trade agreements worldwide. Maybe it’s time they also bought some racehorses.
Daniela Elser is a real expert and writer with 15 years of experience working with several of Australia’s leading media titles.