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15 Unusual Ways The Royal Family Make its Money

By KK Angus, 27 June 2018

With every Royal wedding comes the criticism of the royal wedding budget. Recently, after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Royal family received a lot of flak for the spending. From Hollywood guests to Meghan's 100,000 pounds Givenchy wedding dress, everything in the wedding was top-notch and very, very expensive. But how does the royal family earn its living? You might think it's a stupid question, considering they are royals. But where exactly is the cash coming from?

From private jets to designer dresses to some seriously flamboyant jewelry, the Royals have it all. But how do they afford it all? What do their titles fetch them exactly? In short, how does it work? It was reported recently that the royal family runs on an annual budget which exceeds $350 million. That's a lot of money. But running a monarchy is not easy, cheap or in any way economical. So, how do the Queen and her clan keep up with the royal spendings? Let's find out.

1The royal wedding

The royal wedding which took place this May attracted a lot of attention to the Royal family's spending habits. Needless to say, a functioning monarchy has a lot to answer for in 2018, when the people question everything. The Royal wedding had everything, A-listers like George Clooney and David Beckham as wedding guests, a seriously expensive and couture wedding number, an equally spectacular reception gown, and a lot more. The royal wedding though simply styled, was quite an elaborate affair. Royal subjects now have a new royal to criticize whenever they get the chance - Meghan Markle.

The royal wedding

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2Meghan could try to learn from Kate

Kate Middleton was the first to earn a reputation as an economical royal. Not only is she delightfully thrifty but she repeats her outfits whenever she gets a chance. Moreover, her simple, fuss-free and chic style has earned her a lot of praise. And Kate really does know how to work her way around minimal fashion. Meghan, whose royal wardrobe is already garnering a lot of unwanted scrutiny could take a lesson or two from Kate's book, as it would only help her in the future.

Meghan could try to learn from Kate

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3The sovereign grant

The Queen receives a grant which is sourced from the treasury, which is in turn run with the taxpayers' money. In return, Queen Elizabeth II gives away 15 % of the profits to the government which she makes from her estate. Interestingly, in 2013, the estate of the Crown acquired a profit which exceeded 267 million pounds. This sovereign grant reportedly funds the main upkeep of the royal household. Yes, everything from the morning tea to cocktails to the dress and the shoes, the salary of the staff, the travel etc.

The sovereign grant

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

4The Privy purse

A Privy purse is basically the Queen's income. It entails 45,600 acres of land. This includes the revenues from the estate dealings and the residential agreements. But besides the Privy purse, the Queen also enjoys a stellar personal fortune, courtesy of being you know... the Queen. She enjoys a fortune of more than $400 million dollars, which is obviously a huge deal. The Privy purse and the personal income make up for some of the most reliable sources of income for the royal family.

The Privy purse

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5What the Queen said

Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, had once revealed that the Queen is adamant about keeping her household expenses in check. “The Queen is very keen that the Royal Household should continue to reduce its expenditure in line with public expenditure reductions. It will be very difficult for overall expenditure to reduce very much further without impacting on the Royal Household’s activities in support of the Queen and the long-term health of the estate,” he said.

What the Queen said

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6The Sandringham Estate

Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate is like her winter estate. She enjoys spending time there and spends Christmas over there with her family. Remember, last year Meghan Markle joined the Queen and Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry for the Christmas celebrations? The Norfolk retreat of the Queen is an inherited property. The estate was bought by King Edward VII, and the Queen eventually inherited it after the death of her father King George VI. Sandringham is one of two homes which the Queen owns in her 'private capacity', and not through her title.

The Sandringham Estate

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7They have all the gold

They really do. Do you know the Royal family owns most of the naturally-occurring gold in the United Kingdom? In case you're lost, that is a lot of gold. This also means that the royal family has rights on the gold found on some commoner's property. In fact a few years ago, more than 2,000 people residing in the UK got notices which said that the royals can look into their property if the Queen so wished. Besides gold, the Royal family also has assets in minerals like coal, slate and silver.

They have all the gold

Image Source: independent.co.uk

8The Balmoral Castle

The Balmoral Castle is the Scottish holiday retreat for the Royal family. The castle is also a personal property and the Queen inherited it from her father. In fact, the Queen was in residence at Balmoral Castle during Diana's death in 1997. If you've ever watched the Netflix show The Crown, you must have come across some scenes which featured the castle.

The Balmoral Castle

Image Source: www.royal.uk

9William has a job

It has been reported that Prince William is the first royal to ever hold a contract for a job. He works as a pilot in the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which deals with medical emergencies. He makes about $62,000. But did you know that most of the salary from his job goes to charity, and he hardly keeps any of his personal income for himself? So, he is technically working for his people.

William has a job

Image Source: metrouk2.com

10Diana's money

Princess Diana left quite a hefty inheritance for her children William and Harry. They inherited the trust when they were 30, and it fetched them $13 million each. The Princes also live off an investment earning of $450,000 per year, which is a stellar amount. Besides all this, they also inherited most of Diana's jewellery, which you often spot on Kate or Meghan. For instance, the gigantic aquamarine cocktail ring which Meghan wore to her reception, originally belonged to Diana.


Image Source: express.co.uk

11All that travel

You might have read reports about British people grumbling whenever the Royals travel all around the world. This is because their travels, however extensive, are funded by the Sovereign Grant, which is sourced from taxpayers' money. The Royals visit several countries through the course of a single year, from France to India to Canada. In 2017, the Royals spent around $5 million for official travels. Needless to say, their subjects do not always approve.

All that travel

Image Source: www.hellomagazine.com

12Let's talk about the jewellery

It might hardly come as a shock to you but the Royal family owns a lot of jewels. In fact, some of the jewellery in their collection is so rare that they are absolutely priceless. The Great Star of Africa, for instance, is the biggest clear-cut diamond in the entire world and it might cost something close to $65 million today. This is just one example. The Royal family owns so many jewels, crowns, bejeweled swords and weaponry that their combined cost can be something near $ 3 billion.


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13All the castles

The Royal family owns a huge number of castles, besides Sandringham and Balmoral which are personal properties. Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Barnwell Manor, Wren House, Hillsborough Castle, Clarence House, Holyroodhouse, Kensington Palace, Bagshot Park and St. James’s Palace are just some of the castles they own. But of course, these aren't exactly assets as they can never be sold by the Royals. Besides the royal retreats in Sandringham and Balmoral, the properties which the Royals can sell are Craigowan Lodge, Highgrove House, Delnadamph Lodge, Tamarisk, Birkhall and Anmer Hall.

All the castles

Image Source: www.hellomagazine.com

14They are landlords

Do you know the Royal family is the biggest and the most influential landlords in Great Britain? They own an amazing number of properties, the combined worth of them might add up to $ 20 million. Although just 58 % of that is actually real estate. It was revealed this year that their real estate empire is worth almost $ 18 billion, which is quite astonishing when you think about it.

They are landlords

Image Source: independent.co.uk

15The art

The Royal family obviously owns some excellent original artwork, which are outrageously expensive. It has been reported that the Royal family owns the biggest private art collection in the world. From Johannes Vermeer's 1660 piece The Music Lesson to Andrea Mantegna's 15th-century piece Triumph of Caesar: The Vase Bearers, the royal artwork collection is stunning. The collection boasts of 30,000 watercolors, 7,000 paintings, and 500,000 prints.

The art

Image Source: fineartmultiple.com