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5 charts that break down the British royal family's wealth

Keerthi Vedantam on

Published in Slideshow World

Photo Illustration by Michael Flocker Stacker // Shutterstock // Canva 1/6

5 charts that break down the British royal family's wealth

The British royal family is simultaneously one of the world's most well-known and secretive families. They're one of the few remaining European monarchies to have managed to continue their influence on the U.K. and beyond, even as their territories have gained independence from the British and the country's global power has diminished.

Perhaps part of the allure comes from the fact that the inner workings of the family are kept under tight lock and key. While their opulent lifestyle—shown in castles, clothes, and inheritance—is easy to spot, the family has a vast, deep, and rather opaque network of assets that bolsters its wealth.

At the time of his coronation in May 2023, King Charles III was worth almost 2 billion British pounds (approximately $2.51 billion). After being diagnosed with cancer, the king has taken a step back from public life while other members of his family have taken center stage. So how much is the rest of the royal family worth?

OLBG compiled five charts that break down the British royal family's wealth and how the U.K. views the long-standing monarchy. Using information from The Guardian, YouGov, and public annual financial reports, these charts piece together a fair understanding of what the British monarchy is worth.

Visit thestacker.com for similar lists and stories.

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King Charles III's fortune is largely held in property and jewelry

King Charles III doesn't exactly have a shortage of houses, estates, or castles to live in. The Duchy of Lancaster, in addition to being a valuable piece of property, is also a profitable business for the king. King Charles nets approximately 20 million British pounds (roughly $25.1 million) a year from the Duchy of Lancaster, which comprises about 18,481 hectares of land.

Beyond property, it's difficult to get a completely accurate picture of how much worth is stored in the Windsor family's assets. Jewels, which account for roughly 533 million British pounds of the family's wealth, become more valuable simply because they were owned or worn by the family—though it's hard to say just how valuable they are.

While property and jewels make up most of his wealth, perhaps the most mysterious and unclear portion of King Charles' assets are his investments, which likely include company holdings on the FTSE 100, a London stock exchange index.

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The British royal family saw a significant income shortfall in 2022

The British royal family spent 5% more in 2022 than they did the previous year. The discrepancy, according to the British Royal Household, comes from the many expenses that went into Queen Elizabeth's funeral and King Charles' coronation, as well as the continued renovation project of Buckingham Palace and the 10.1% increase of the Consumer Price Index at the time.

It's unclear how much money the family spent on either proceeding—Queen Elizabeth's funeral cost the U.K. 162 million British pounds, and King Charles' coronation cost between 50 million British pounds and 100 million British pounds.

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The royal family's income crashed after the pandemic

Supporters of the royal family have long hailed the Windsors as a boon to the U.K.'s tourism industry, which took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though the isolating effects of the pandemic have long worn off, U.K. tourism still struggled in 2023. While the Crown Estate was the most popular destination post-pandemic, the royal family still hasn't recovered from the pandemic lull in tourism.

Between 2019 and 2020, the royal family's tourism income was almost half of what they made the year prior. They haven't recovered since—the Windsors made about 9.8 million British pounds in 2022 in tourism fees, including ticket sales, souvenirs, and event hosting at their estates.

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Renovating Buckingham Palace has cost over 100 million pounds

In 2017, Buckingham Palace announced it would undergo a 10-year reservicing program to replace some of the outdated architecture that could make the estate more susceptible to floods or fires and make the land more energy efficient by replacing boilers and arcane pipework.

The budget to refurbish Buckingham Palace was 369 million British pounds and broke ground in 2017. Between 2017 and 2022, the family spent 174.6 million British pounds, or 47% of that budget. Installations so far include two new elevator shafts and guest bathrooms in the East Wing, which should make the Palace more accessible to visitors.

The royal family didn't receive a bump in their yearly Sovereign Grant in 2022, forcing the Windsors to dip into savings to pay for expenses.

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There's a generational divide regarding the royal family's value in the UK

The royal family has come under fire for its obvious displays of wealth at a time when the poverty rate in the U.K. is rising rapidly.

Though the family's supporters have long maintained the monarch's history and its estates drive the tourism economy in the country, the U.K. is dealing with a cost of living crisis crippling homeowners and renters alike.

Support for the royal family is waning, especially among younger people who have witnessed some of the more controversial aspects of the monarchy. This includes the high-profile divorce between then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana, serious child trafficking allegations against Prince Andrew, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to withdraw from royal duties due to poor treatment.

Story editing by Carren Jao. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Michael Flocker.

This story originally appeared on OLBG and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


 

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