In 2016, Sunday Times estimated that the Queen of England has a fortune of around £320 million which comes from taxpayer funding and two other sources of income. That’s far more than any other member of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who have a shared fortune of over £20 million.
Why does she get paid?
The UK economy relies on the royal family to attract tourists who are fascinated by the royal way of life. In 2017, the British monarchy contributed an estimated £1.8 billion to the UK economy, of which tourism accounted for £550 million. The royal household might be bringing in a lot of money for the country, but running it is equally expensive.
To keep up with the daily costs, one of the Queen’s main sources of annual income is the Sovereign Grant—which is used to pay for all her official duties, including travel, receptions, and maintenance of the royal palaces.
And while the Sovereign Grant may be public money, it’s not as simple as tax payers paying their share. The grant is funded by profits from a £13 billion property portfolio—the Crown Estate. The estate is technically owned by the reigning monarch, but the royal family does not get to keep all the profits. Instead, the money first goes to the Treasury, which then pays a percentage to the Queen in the form of a sovereign grant for the next ten years. She receives around 35% of the profits each year—15% more than what she received in 2019. Business Insider reports that the extra money is being used to pay for renovations to Birmingham Palace.
However, calculating the extent of the Queen’s wealth is certainly not easy as she does not disclose a lot of information about her private accounts. Recent estimates have put her personal wealth at £370 million and with the Sovereign Grant covering a large part of her expenses, that amount is expected to continuously increase.