Prince William just inherited a 685-year-old estate worth $1 billion | CNN Business

CNN Business

Royal wills are never made public. That means what will happen to most of the Queen’s personal wealth after her death last week, it will remain one family. Secret.

Forbes estimated last year that the late monarch’s personal fortune was $500 million, made up of his jewelry, art collection, investments and two residences, Balmoral Castle in Scotland and Sandringham House in Norfolk. The Queen inherited both properties from her father, King George VI.

,[Royal wills] are hidden, so we don’t really know what’s in them and what they’re worth, and it’s never been made public,” said Laura Clancy, a lecturer in media at Lancaster University and author of a book on royal finance. told CNN Business.

But the bulk of the royal family’s wealth – totaling at least £18 billion ($21 billion) in land, property and investments – is now a well-trodden, centuries-old path for the new monarch, King Charles, and his successor. passes. ,

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The line of succession makes Prince William, now first in line to the British throne, the wealthiest man.

The future king inherited the private Duchy of Cornwall property from his father. The Duchy owns approximately 140,000 acres and a vast portfolio of properties, most of which is in south-west England.

Built in 1337 by King Edward III, according to his accounts of the previous fiscal year, the estate is worth around £1 billion ($1.2 billion).

Revenue from the Duke of Cornwall’s estate is “used to fund public, private and charitable activities”, says its website. This title is now held by Prince William.

By far the largest share of the family’s fortune, the £16.5 billion ($19 billion) crown estate, is now held by King Charles, the reigning monarch. But dating back under an arrangement In 1760, the emperor handed over all profits from the property to the government in exchange for a piece, called a sovereign grant.

Properties include properties in central London and the beaches around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has the status of a corporation and is managed by a chief executive and commissioners – or non-executive directors – appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister.

In the last financial year, it made a net profit of approximately £313 million ($361 million). From that, the UK Treasury paid a sovereign grant of £86 million ($100 million) to the Queen. This is equivalent to £1.29 ($1.50) per person in the United Kingdom.

Much of this money is spent on maintaining the properties of the royal family and paying their staff.

The sovereign grant is usually equal to 15% of the property’s profits. But, in 2017 the payment was increased to 25% for the next decade to help pay for the renovation of Buckingham Palace.

King Charles also inherited the Duchy of Lancaster, which in 1265 was a private property, valued At around £653 million ($764 million) according to its most recent accounts. its investment income Covers official costs not met by the Sovereign Grant, and helps Support other royal family members.

Despite the vast sums of money, the emperor and his successors are limited in how much they can personally benefit from their fortunes.

The king could spend the sovereign grant only on royal duties. And neither he nor his heirs are allowed to profit from the sale of property in their duchies. Any profit from the settlement is reinvested back into the property, according to an explainer published by Institutions of Government (IFG).

The IFG said the UK Treasury should also approve all large property transactions.

Yet, unlike the sovereign grant both generated by the Crown Estate Duchies are private sources of funding, meaning their owners are not required to provide any details other than reporting their income, the IFG said.

Regent Street in London during a pandemic lockdown.  The prime retail location is owned by Crown Estate.

Last year, King Charles, then Duke of Cornwall, paid himself £21 million ($25 million) from the Duchy of Cornwall estate.

According to the IFG, neither Prince William nor King Charles is obliged to pay any form of tax on their property, although both duchies have voluntarily paid income tax since 1993.

that The move comes a year after the royal family faced severe criticism for plans to use public funds to repair Windsor Castle, which had been damaged in a fire, Clancy said.

“Of course, the voluntary income tax [is] There is not a fixed rate, and they are not required to declare how much income they are taxing themselves. So really it’s like pulling a shape out of thin air,” Clancy said.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to CNN Business when reached for comment.

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