With all the media frenzy behind the Royal Wedding over the past few months, it was hard not to get pulled into the vortex. But for me, it wasn’t about Kate Middleton’s wedding dress (or her sisters), my thoughts revolved around the cost of the wedding (surprised?), but ultimately, the kind of income the Royal Family generates to support such an extravagant event.
At first, my assumption was that tax payers, or the British Government, covered the Royal Family salaries, staff salaries, and housing. I was partly right. It appears that the Queen receives a stipend from the government of approximately $7.9M (GBP) to cover her expenses while serving as her role as the Queen. However, she doesn’t receive a personal salary. She supports herself with the Royal family assets that generate (a boatload of) income.
What kind of assets are we talking about? From a trusty Wikipedia search, the primary source of income for the Queen is from the Duchy of Lancaster which is a portfolio of land, property and assets within England. This Duchy is held in trust and used to provide income to the British Monarch but the assets cannot be sold without special permission (if I understand correctly).
Now onto the good stuff. According to March 2010 year end financial statements, the land has a gross income of $17M (GBP), with a net income of approximately $12.8M (GBP) with a total net worth of $348M (GBP). Out of this, the statements indicate that the surplus payable to the Keeper of the Privy Purse (The Queen), was $13.26M (GBP). Not a bad inheritance!
In addition to the Duchy of Lancaster, there is what is called the Duchy of Cornwall which is held by the reigning monarch’s eldest son, Prince Charles. Digging through their 2010 year end statements reveals that Prince Charles’ also does very well. The land generated $24.5M (GBP) of which $17.2M (GBP) was distributed to the Prince. I guess funding his retirement is not on the top of his list of worries!
What’s also interesting is that with Prince Charles in line to be king, Prince William (the eldest son) will become the Duke of Cornwall, then take over the lucrative assets and the income it generates. I wonder what kind of household budget William and Kate will have?
It appears that distribution from the Duchy is taxable, with 40% paid by Prince Charles in 2010, and about half of his income donated to charities.
I was quite surprised at the numbers, what about you? Do you have the same financial curiosity about prominent figures in society?