Queen’s wealth makes some royals even richer, but her will remains a mystery

The Queen had an estimated £370 million ($633 million) personal fortune at the time of her death.

The late Elizabeth II owned a large collection of art, racehorses and jewellery.

She even had a personal stamp collection worth an estimated £100 million ($171 million).

Now, her vast wealth is being divided up among members of the royal family.

So, who gets what?

The King

The vast majority of the Queen’s personal wealth will be handed to the King.

The British general public face a hefty 40 per cent inheritance tax, but the nation’s sovereign is exempt from such taxes.

This is due to laws drawn up in 1993, that ensured the royals’ private wealth would not be wiped out if a series of monarchs died in quick succession.

The King’s inheritance will add to his reported £87 million ($148 million) in wealth.

The Crown Estate

The King will also receive the entirety of the Crown Estate, valued at a whopping £16.5 billion ($19 billion).

Its portfolio contains commercial and retail properties, and rural and coastal land across Britain.

However, under an arrangement drawn up in 1760, the King will hand on all profits made from these assets to the government.

He will receive back 15 per cent of these profits from the British government. Called the Sovereign Grant, this covers the costs of royal engagements, staff salaries and the upkeep of palaces.

Although these assets are owned by the King, they do not count towards his personal wealth, and they cannot be sold.


The Crown Estate includes all of Regent Street. Photo: Getty

The Duchy of Lancaster

The Duchy of Lancaster – a private estate of land holdings that began 750 years ago in 1265 – now belongs to the King.

The duchy consists of 18,433 hectares of commercial, agricultural and residential assets, valued at £563 million ($764 million), according to most recent figures.

A law passed in 1702 prohibits the monarch from selling any of the assets.

The Crown Jewels

On top of her personal jewellery collection, the late Queen also owned the Crown Jewels, worth an estimated £3 billion ($5.2 billion).

However, these jewels are only symbolically owned by the sovereign, and automatically transferred to the King upon the late Queen’s death.

Similarly, they will be automatically passed down to William when he becomes king.

The Prince of Wales

As well as becoming the Prince of Wales, William is now Duke of Cornwall.

One key benefit of that title means he receives income from private Duchy of Cornwall estate.

According to the duchy’s 1337 charter, the title of Duke of Cornwall is always held by the heir to the throne.

The Duchy of Cornwall estate is worth an estimated £1 billion ($1.7 billion). It has a portfolio of land and property covering almost 56,656 hectares.

The profits from the duchy can be used to support the duke, his children and their families, as well as his charitable and private activities.

William will likely pay tax on his income from the duchy. Although it is not legally required, the King voluntarily paid tax on his duchy income for several years.


The Duchy of Cornwall includes Poundbury – a town in Dorset. Photo: Getty

Queen’s will is a secret

Following the Queen’s death, many have speculated about which royals will receive a direct inheritance from her.

However, we may never know how her personal wealth was allocated – and if any royals were left out of her will.

In Britain, all wills are open for inspection and viewable by the public.

Royal wills are exempt. Instead, they remain locked in a metal safe in Somerset House.

It has been the convention for more than a century that, after the death of a senior royal, the courts are asked to seal their wills.

For example, the courts sealed the will of Prince Philip upon his death in 2021. It will remain that way for 90 years.

The Queen’s will has its own category, and may never have to be laid open for the public to view.

This royal loophole may mean the Queen’s will and the exact value of her personal wealth is forever concealed from the public.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.