Celebrity Net Worth: How rich is the UK royal family?

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, we take a look at the personal fortunes of the British king and his immediate family ahead of his coronation on May 6

The single biggest component of King Charles III's £1.8 billion fortune is real estate, according to The Guardian newspaper. AFP
Powered by automated translation

King Charles III

Even before his coronation on Saturday, King Charles III has inherited assets that take his personal wealth to approximately £1.8 billion ($2.2 billion).

The figure, calculated by The Guardian newspaper, includes property, jewellery, cars, investments, horses, rare stamps and art.

The British monarch inherited the majority of his wealth from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles, 74, is exempt from the 40 per cent UK inheritance tax under a 1993 agreement covering legacies between sovereigns.

Buckingham Palace described the calculation as “a highly creative mix of speculation, assumption and inaccuracy”, according to The Guardian. The palace did not provide alternative figures, asking that the king’s wealth remain private.

Previous estimates have put the private wealth of the British sovereign — first Elizabeth and now Charles — at figures ranging between £600 million and £1 billion.

Watch: King Charles’s coronation carriages unveiled

King Charles’s coronation carriages unveiled

King Charles’s coronation carriages unveiled

As head of state, the British monarch's residences include Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. These holdings are part of the Crown Estate, a collection of assets publicly owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign.

The Crown Estate’s properties were valued at £15.6 billion in its most recent annual accounts, released last June.

The Crown Estate is not the monarch’s private property. He cannot sell it and relinquishes all profits from the estate to the government, in exchange for a portion known as the Sovereign Grant, which covers the expenses of working royals. By contrast, Charles’s private holdings are his own.

The Guardian arrived at its estimate in consultation with experts in different fields. It used the principle of “beneficial ownership”, referring to the person who ultimately controls or benefits from an asset. The figure does not include the Crown Estate.

Perhaps the single biggest component of Charles’s £1.8 billion fortune is derived from real estate.

Two private rural estates are together estimated at £330 million. Sandringham, where the royal family celebrate Christmas, in Norfolk, England, is valued at £250 million.

Balmoral, Charles’s summer home in Scotland, is estimated to be worth £80 million.

In addition, the Duchy of Lancaster is worth £653 million, according to its accounts. It is a portfolio of rural and urban property and assets spread over 18,433 hectares. Founded in the 13th century, it is held in trust for the British sovereign and provides around £20 million in annual income.

The UK prepares for the coronation of King Charles III — in pictures

The calculation also includes 54 jewellery pieces estimated at £533 million. Queen Mary, Charles’s great-grandmother, acquired the majority of those jewels. Others, including two Cullinan diamonds from South Africa, were private gifts.

About 70 thoroughbred horses are worth about £27 million. Charles has sold some of these since Queen Elizabeth died last year, earning £2.3 million from auction sales.

Investments, including shares, are pegged at £142 million. Other assets include a £100 million royal stamp collection and art with an estimated value of £24 million.

Meanwhile, some estimates have put Queen Consort Camilla's net worth at about £5 million, although there is no clarity on her potential sources of income.

Prince William, the new heir to the British throne, is estimated to have a net worth of $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. AFP

William and Kate, Prince and Princess of Wales

When he became Prince of Wales after his grandmother died last year, Prince William also inherited the title of Duke of Cornwall. With it came the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate worth at least £1.04 billion, according to recent accounts.

Created in 1337 to provide the heir to the British throne with an independent income, Cornwall is one of two royal duchies.

The more than 21,000-hectare estate spreads across more than 20 English counties. Besides forests, rivers, farmland and other commercial property, it includes The Oval cricket ground in London.

The Duchy declared £23 million in distributable surplus in the last financial year. As of this year, that annual payment will go to Prince William, 40.

Neither he nor his father are required to pay any form of tax on their private estates — although both duchies have voluntarily paid income tax since 1993.

The heir to the British throne is estimated to have a net worth of $100 million, according to wealth tracker Celebrity Net Worth.

Before his father became king, Prince William’s net worth was estimated at $30 million. Again, much of this was inherited wealth.

The bulk came from a trust fund passed down from his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, according to the BBC.

Together with his brother Prince Harry, he also received “several million dollars” from his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She put aside two thirds of her money into a trust fund for her great grandchildren in 1994, according to the BBC.

Princes William and Harry shared about £14 million from her estate.

Both princes may also have inherited cash or other assets from Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, but this information has not been made public.

Prince William has been a working royal since the age of 21, when he was appointed a councillor of state.

Prince William spent a decade working for the UK’s armed forces, including with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, before retraining as an Air Ambulance pilot. His annual salary during these years was estimated at $68,000 to $74,000, according to Forbes.

His wife Kate, the Princess of Wales, 41, has a net worth of $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

As a working royal, she receives no salary, but her expenses are paid for by allowances from the Duchy of Cornwall.

The couple and their children also have three homes: Adelaide Cottage near Windsor Castle, a 21-room residence in Kensington Palace, and Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom Georgian country house on the king’s Sandringham estate.

King Charles’s second son Prince Harry, who is married to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has a net worth estimated at $60 million. Getty

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex

King Charles’s second son, Prince Harry, has a net worth estimated at $60 million.

Like his brother, a significant portion of this is from the estates of his mother and great-grandmother.

However, the Duke of Sussex, 38, has successfully added to that total in the first major test of how the British royal family might cash in on their influence independent of roles linked to the state.

Prince Harry and wife Meghan, 41, have entered a number of commercial agreements since stepping down as working royals in 2020.

The couple were prevented from developing their SussexRoyal brand, but were able to conclude production deals worth more than £100 million with entertainment streaming services Netflix, Spotify and Apple TV+.

These include the Harry & Meghan documentary series, where the couple talked about life as members of the royal family, and the Archetypes podcast.

The January publication of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, has further added to that total. It sold more than 1.4 million copies across hardback, digital and audio formats on its first day of sales in the UK, the US and Canada. He reportedly received a $20 million advance for the controversial book, according to Forbes.

Watch: Readers rush to scoop first UK hardback copies of Prince Harry's memoir

Readers rush to scoop first UK hardback copies of Prince Harry's memoir

Readers rush to scoop first UK hardback copies of Prince Harry's memoir

Prince Harry and Meghan own their home in Montecito, California, where they live with their two children. They paid $14.6 million for it in 2020. It is already worth close to $30 million, according to the UK’s Sun newspaper.

Since 2021, the couple have also been involved with US asset manager Ethic as “impact partners”. The company has $1.3 billion in assets under management, but the Sussexes’ earnings from the partnership remain undisclosed.

Updated: May 01, 2023, 5:00 AM