After the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, Charles inherits the throne, but also his private fortune, a colossal inheritance that he will receive without having to pay inheritance tax, a privilege reserved to royal estates.
What did the queen own? While there is no requirement for British monarchs to reveal their private finances, she was at the head of a personal fortune of 370 million pounds (about 553 million Canadian dollars) in 2022 according to the Sunday Times , which is 5 million more than the previous year.
Buckingham Palace, the royal London residence, and Windsor Castle, about thirty kilometers west of the capital, are state properties, but Balmoral Castle, the royal family's summer resort, and the residence of Sandringham, where the royal family traditionally celebrates the end of year celebrations, were both properties of the monarch and will be bequeathed to Charles.
The Queen also owned a large stock portfolio and a royal stamp collection estimated to be worth £100 million, according to the authors of the Times 2021 Rich List.
The Queen's fortune comes on top of Charles' personal fortune, estimated at $100m (£87m) by celebritynetworth.com.
The famous Crown Jewels, valued to some 3 billion pounds, belonged symbolically to the Queen and are automatically passed on to her successor.
Prince Philip, husband of Elizabeth, left at his death in April 2021 a more modest estate of 30 million pounds (about 45 million CAD), according to celebritynetworth. He notably owned a collection of paintings and 3,000 works, most of which would have been bequeathed to friends and family.
Duchy of Lancaster
On becoming king, Charles inherited the Duchy of Lancaster, a property of royalty since the Middle Ages, which had generated in the fiscal year ended in March 24 million pounds (approximately C$36 million) in private income intended for the British monarch.
“Lancaster's money belongs to the Sovereign, King or Queen, by virtue of his office”, explains David McClure, author of a book on royal finances.
Charles, on the other hand, loses the Duchy of Cornwall, which goes to the monarch's eldest son and generates around 21 million pounds a year. “It will go directly to (Prince) William,” McClure says.
Charles also benefits from an annual allocation (“sovereign grant”) from the Public Treasury, set at 15% of the income from the Crown's assets, the “Crown Estate”, which includes land, but also a colossal wind farm, among others, and whose receipts have been returned to the Public Treasury since an act of law in 1760.
This allocation had reached 86.3 million pounds (approximately CAD 129 million) for 2021-2022, in taking into account a substantial extension for the renovation of Buckingham Palace granted for ten years (34.5 million pounds (approximately 51.5 M$ CAD) for 2021-2022).
The sovereign grant makes it possible to finance the expenses related to the official activities of representation of the sovereign or the members of his family, in particular the salary of the staff, the maintenance and the cleaning of the palaces, the official trips as well as the receptions.
If most of the Queen's wealth passes to Charles without inheritance tax, it is thanks to an exemption that dates back to 1993 supposedly to avoid that, if several monarchs were to die within a few years of each other, the heritage of the king or queen would vanish, being reduced by 40% with each inheritance.
“Private assets such as that Sandringham and Balmoral have both official and private use,” the finance ministry further explains, adding that the monarchy must also “have a degree of financial independence from the government of the day.” p>
But this advantage is limited to transmissions between a sovereign and his successor ss. “It is likely that the Queen will leave a will and that small sums” will go to close family members “but not the bulk of the wealth”, which will go to Charles, assures David McClure.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128