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Prince Harry And Meghan Seek Financial Independence: How Do British Royals Make Their Money?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced Wednesday they will step back as senior royals and work to become “financially independent.” So how exactly does the British royal family make its money and finance its jet set lifestyle?

Benzinga · 01/09/2020 15:57

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced Wednesday they will step back as senior royals and work to become “financially independent.”

So how exactly does the British royal family make its money and finance its jet set lifestyle?

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, said they plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William were not consulted before the statement, and Buckingham Palace is said to be "disappointed," according to the BBC reports.

How Does The Royal Family Make Its Money?

It is well-known the royal family’s wealth has come from a number of sources. The royal family is transparent to some extent when it comes to their sources of income.

Three main sources of funding exist for Elizabeth and officials of the royal family, according to the monarchy's website: the Sovereign Grant, the Privy Purse and the queen's personal wealth and income.

The Sovereign Grant

This is the amount of money provided by the government to the royals in support of the queen's official duties, including the maintenance of the Royal Palaces such as Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, Clarence House and Marlborough House Mews.

The Sovereign Grant is provided by HM Treasury, which is responsible for monitoring the application of the Sovereign Grant in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between HM Treasury and the royal household.

Privy Purse, The Duchy of Lancaster And Cornwall

This is a historical term used to describe income from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is used to meet both official and private expenditure by the queen.

The Duchy of Lancaster is a portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the sovereign. It is administered separately from the Crown Estates.

The Duchy of Cornwall is an estate fund the Prince of Wales' family and his public, private and charitable activities. It's a Crown entity holding land and other assets to produce income for the monarch's eldest son.

The Queen's Personal Wealth

The queen’s personal income comes from her personal investment portfolio and her private estates and is used to meet her private expenses. The queen owns the Balmoral and Sandringham estates, which were both inherited from her father.

Estimates of the Queen’s wealth often mistakenly include items that are held by her as sovereign on behalf of the nation that are not her private property. These include the official royal residences, the majority of art treasures from the royal collection and the Crown Jewels. The queen cannot sell these items; they must pass to her successor as sovereign.

Photo via Wikimedia.;