The Queen doesn't get all her money from taxpayers. She profits from a land trust called the Duchy of Lancaster in addition to the estates and artwork she inherited from her father. Prince Charles paid Harry and Meghan, William and Kate, and their children a combined $6.5 million (£5 million) in 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Sunday Times estimated the Queen's net worth to be $442.92 million (£340 million) in 2016, which makes her far from the richest person in Britain. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Queen may be financially supporting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (for now, anyway) — but she's not as rich as you might think. Elizabeth II has a net worth of $442.92 million (£340 million), derived from a grant from taxpayers and two additional income sources, The Sunday Times estimated in 2016. That's still more than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have a shared fortune of $30 million, Business Insider previously reported. Nonetheless, the young couple announced their decision to "step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family" and work towards financial independence in a statement released on January 8. Here's how the British royal family makes their fortune.SEE ALSO: How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could earn enough money to become 'financially independent' of the crown — and why it likely won't include a return to the screen DON'T MISS: Here's how much Australia's billionaires have donated to relief efforts for the wildfires that have destroyed 25 million acres of land and have killed at least 28 people Every year, the Queen gets a chunk of cash from taxpayers called the Sovereign Grant.
It comes from the treasury and it's funded by taxpayers, according to the BBC. The basic agreement is that the Queen gets the grant in exchange for surrendering all profits from the Crown Estate — the family's massive portfolio of properties — to the government. Every year, the Queen is given an amount of money equivalent to 25% of the Crown Estate's profits. The Grant totaled $107.1 million (£82.2 million) in 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Sovereign Grant pays for the family's travel, palace upkeep and utilities, and royal employee payroll, according to official royal family financial reports. But The Telegraph notes that the grant doesn't cover costs of security and royal ceremonies — that money comes from a few other places. The Queen's private income is called the Privy Purse.
That money comes from the Duchy of Lancaster — a portfolio of land and other assets that's been in the royal family for hundreds of years. It contains $715 million (£548.6 million) worth of net assets (including 18,433 hectares of land) and is made up of residential, commercial, and agricultural properties, Wall Street Journal UK correspondent Max Colchester reported. It brought in $27 million (£20.7 million) in 2019, according to The Journal. According to the royal family website, this sum helps with costs not covered by the Sovereign Grant — namely, it's used to pay "expenses incurred by other members of the royal family." The Queen also has other valuable assets that add to her net worth.
The Queen also outright owns Balmoral and Sandringham Estates, an expansive art collection, and other valuable assets that have been passed down from earlier monarchs, Wall Street Journal's Colchester said on a January 14 episode of The Journal's What's News podcast. The unknown total value of Her Royal Highness' property makes it difficult to estimate her total net worth, according to The Journal. A royal finance expert did tell The Journal that the royal family members are "millionaires, not billionaires." In 2016, The Sunday Times estimated the Queen's net worth to be $442.92 million (£340 million). Prince Charles has a major income stream of his own.
The Duchy of Cornwall — yet another suite of properties owned by the royal family — covers the expenses of Prince Charles and his heirs. That means Harry and Meghan, William and Kate, and their children are all covered by the Duchy of Cornwall, too. Charles paid them a combined $6.5 million (£5 million) in 2019, according to The Journal. The Duchy paid Charles $28.1 million (£21.6 million), The Journal reported. Its total value is $1.2 billion (£923.8 million). The Queen and the Prince of Wales effectively control most of the royal family's fortune and divvy out payments to support other family members, The Journal reported. Royals who work for the Crown full time aren't allowed to earn any money from outside sources, however.
That rule will no longer apply to Meghan and Harry as they complete their transition to their "progressive new role" within the royal family. The couple will likely use book deals and speaking engagements to fund their luxurious tastes going forward, while other expenses like their security detail will remain on British taxpayers, royal commentators previously told Business Insider. Even though Harry has never had a job outside of his military service, it likely won't take much effort for them to start raking in multimillion-dollar paychecks. The Sussexes have "great earning potential," royal commentator and author Kristen Meinzer told Business Insider. "We could easily compare them to any former presidents," Meinzer said. "My mind keeps going to Barack and Michelle Obama and how [they] make money. The reason I compare the two is that they're already friends with each other and I would put them on the same level in terms of fame." The Duke and Duchess will likely start receiving book offers as soon as they are cleared to generate their own income, and the value of those offers will likely be in the neighborhood of the $60 million advance that Barack and Michelle Obama were reportedly paid for the rights to their memoirs in 2017, according to Meinzer. The Atlantic's Joanna Weiss theorized that the couple could leverage their massively popular @SussexRoyal Instagram account with sponsored content, but Meinzer says she doesn't expect that the couple will be hawking Sugar Bear Hair vitamins like Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians.
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Meghan Markle has reportedly signed a voice over deal with Disney, hinting at what their life will look like post royalty
Meghan Markle has reportedly signed a deal with Disney to do voiceover work in exchange for...Meghan Markle has reportedly signed a deal with Disney to do voiceover work in exchange for a donation to Elephants Without Borders, according to The Times. The palace nor Disney has confirmed the news. The potential deal comes just days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they will seek to become financially independent of the royal family. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Meghan Markle has reportedly signed a deal with Disney just days after announcing she and Prince Harry will step back from their royal duties. The Times has reported that the Duchess of Sussex will do voice over work for the company in exchange for a donation to the wildlife organization, Elephants without Borders. The palace nor Disney has confirmed the news, and no other details were shared, but it would mark the return of Markle's career in the entertainment industry. On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping back from their senior roles in the royal family and seek to become financially independent. Read more: Here's how much money Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could need to maintain their lavish lifestyle if they plan on becoming 'financially independent' How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could earn enough money to become 'financially independent' of the crown — and why it likely won't include a return to the screen Every time Meghan Markle broke royal protocol How the royal family will change now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are quitting their roles as senior royals Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.
The royal family opens presents on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day. They're known for getting each...The royal family opens presents on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day. They're known for getting each other cheap gag gifts. Prince Harry once reportedly got the Queen a shower cap that said "Ain't life a b****" and she loved it. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Christmas with the British royal family involves a black-tie dinner, a church service on Christmas Day ... and hilarious gag gifts. The royal family opens presents together at teatime on Christmas Eve at the Queen's estate in Sandringham, and they've been known to give each other some ridiculous items over the years. The quirky tradition makes sense seeing as the royal family has access to everything they could ever want or need. Why bother trying to pick out something tasteful that no one has any use for when you can get something cheap that makes everyone laugh? Here are some of the gifts they've bought each other over the years.Princess Diana didn't get the memo ahead of her first royal Christmas. At Princess Diana's first Christmas with the royal family, she reportedly wasn't in on the joke and bought everyone cashmere sweaters and mohair scarves to general amusement. Prince Harry reportedly gave the Queen a shower cap in 2013 that said "Ain't life a b****." According to royal biographer Brian Hoey, she loved it. The Queen also reportedly received a singing hamster from Meghan Markle. Markle surprised the Queen with the silly gift during her first Christmas with the royals, according to reports at the time. Princess Anne once got Prince Charles a leather toilet seat. According to Hoey, Prince Charles loves it so much he brings it with him while traveling. Kate Middleton once bought her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, a grow-your-own-girlfriend kit. The gag gift was before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married. Katie Nicholl shared the detail in "Kate: The Future Queen." Not all of Kate Middleton's gifts have been quite so silly, though. She once reportedly made fishing flies for Prince Philip. Grazia magazine reported that Kate also bought a bottle of Floris perfume for the Queen and a beanie hat for Prince William. Kate also gifted homemade jam one year. According to Vanity Fair, she gave strawberry jam and plum preserves as Christmas presents in 2011. Perhaps you could take inspiration from the royals this year? If you're stuck trying to think of what to get someone on your list this year, go for an inexpensive present that will make them chuckle — and tell them that's how the royals do it. Read more: 30 photos that show how the White House and the royal family decorate for the holidays 10 major ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's love story is different from Prince William and Kate Middleton's 10 times royals broke their own protocol in 2019