The British Royal Family is one of the most well-known and prestigious families in the world. From their lavish weddings to their public appearances, this age-old institution has captured the attention of people from all over the modern world.
But how exactly does the British Royal Family make money?
Let's will explore the different ways the family generates income, their sources of wealth, and how they manage their finances.
How does the royal family make money?
Most Britons and the rest of the world would be surprised to know that funding for the royal family does not come from British taxpayers; instead, income is drawn from public funds known as the Sovereign Grant. This is an annual payment to the ruling monarch by the British government. It's been that way for a long time in one form or another.
But where does that money come from?
Well, it comes from the revenues generated by the Crown Estate, which are commercial properties owned by the Crown. The British government is making a lot of money from this arrangement as the revenue emanating from the Crown Estate far exceeds the amount annually granted to the monarchy to run its institutions.
In late 2022, when Charles became King, he passed one of the two Duchies to his eldest son, Prince William. The Duchy of Cornwall fell under Prince William’s purview, and he became the Duke of Cornwall.
This parcel of land is a 128,000-acre estate established in 1337 to provide income to the oldest son of the British monarch. It’s estimated to be worth over a billion dollars and provided a yearly income of $24 million in 2021. The Duke of Cornwall now governs the sprawling region of England, and income is generated from residential and commercial rents paid to the Duke.
Similarly, King Charles holds the title of the Duke of Lancaster. He manages the Duchy of Lancaster, which consists of 45,550 acres of land holdings (including rural estates and farmland), urban developments, historic buildings, and commercial properties across England and Wales.
The royal family members must account to the British public for the money they receive from the Sovereign Grant, and no member is allowed to make money from their name.
In short, the royal family does not get a free ride at the British taxpayer’s expense. As recipients of the Sovereign Grant, they must work for their annual income.
What does the British royal family do?
The British Royal Family undertakes various official, ceremonial, diplomatic, and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to functions such as bestowing honors and appointing the prime minister.
King Charles and his eldest son William are responsible for the running and the profitability of the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster to provide funds from the sovereign grant bestowed on the British royal family to run the monarchy.