Prince William just inherited a 685-year-old estate valued at $1 billion

Prince William just inherited a 685-year-old estate valued at $1 billion
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CNN Business

Royal wills are never made public. That means what happens to much of the Queens personal wealth after his death last week will remain a family secret

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

“[Royal wills] they’re hidden, so we have no idea what’s in them and what it’s worth, and that’s never made public,” Laura Clancy, a media professor at Lancaster University and author of a book on finance, told CNN Business. real.

But the vast majority of The wealth of the royal family — totaling at least £18 billion ($21 billion) in land, property and investments — now follows a centuries-old beaten path to the new monarchKing Charles and his heir.

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

The future king inherits the private property of the Duchy of Cornwall from his father. The dukedom owns an expanding portfolio of land and property covering almost 140,000 acres, the majority of which is in the south west of England.

Created in 1337 by King Edward III, the estate is worth around £1 billion ($1.2 billion), according to its accounts for the last fiscal year.

Income from the estate is “used to finance the public, private and charitable activities” of the Duke of Cornwall, his website says. That title is now held by Prince William.

Balmoral Castle in Scotland is part of the private fortune of the late Queen Elizabeth.

By far the largest chunk of the family’s fortune, the 16.5 billion pounds ($19 billion) crown estateit now belongs to King Charles as the reigning monarch. But under an arrangement dating back to 1760, the monarch gives all the profits from the inheritance to the government in exchange for a portion, called the Sovereign Grant.

The property includes vast tracts of property in central London and the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has the status of a corporation and is managed by an executive director and commissioners, or non-executive directors, appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister.

In the last fiscal year, it generated a net profit of nearly £313 million ($361 million). From that, the UK Treasury paid the queen a sovereign grant of £86 million ($100 million). That equates to £1.29 ($1.50) per person in the UK.

Most of this money is spent on maintaining the royal family’s estates and paying their staff.

The Sovereign Grant is usually equivalent to 15% of the estate’s profits. But, in 2017, the payment increased to 25% over the next decade to help pay for Buckingham Palace renovations.

King Charles also inherits the Duchy of Lancaster, a private estate dating from 1265, which was valued at around £653 million ($764 million) according to his most recent accounts. Income from your investments cover official costs not covered by the Sovereign Grant, and help support other members of the royal family.

In spite of the large quantitiesthe monarch and his heir are restricted in how much they can personally benefit from their fortunes.

The King can only spend the Sovereign Grant on royal duties. And neither he nor his heir can benefit from the sale of assets in his duchies. Any profit from disposals is reinvested in equity, according to an explanation published by Government Institute (IfG).

The UK Treasury must also approve all large property transactions, the IfG said.

Still, unlike the Sovereign Grant generated by the Crown Estate, both Duchies are private sources of wealth, meaning their owners are not required to give any details beyond reporting their income, the IFG said.

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

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

Neither Prince William nor king charles they are required to pay any kind of tax on their assets, although both dukedoms have voluntarily paid income tax since 1993, according to the IfG.

That The move came a year after the royal family faced heavy criticism for planning to use public money to repair Windsor Castle, which had been damaged in a fire, Clancy said.

“Of course, the voluntary income tax [is] it’s not a flat rate, and they don’t have to report how much income they’re making their taxes on. So it’s really like pulling a figure out of thin air,” Clancy said.

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

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