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Royal money: surprising facts about Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and other royals' cash flow

royal family money facts
Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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the queen Sovereign Grant© Photo: Getty Images

The British royal family's finances are often misunderstood, but you may be surprised to find out just where everyone from the Queen to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge get their money from. While many details of their finances are kept private, it was reported in Forbes in 2017 that the royal family's net worth was a staggering £66billion.

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Sovereign Grant

As the longest ruling and oldest British monarch, the Queen is by far the wealthiest member of the family. The 92-year-old monarch's worth comes in part from a percentage of profits generated from the Crown Estate. The Queen also gets a percentage of that profit from the Sovereign Grant, which amounted to £76.1m in the 2017-18 report.

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An additional £30.4million was given in that year to help pay for the renovations of Buckingham Palace and essential building services including pipework, electrical wiring and boilers.

queen personal wealth© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen's personal finances

The Queen also has money in the properties she owns. These are Balmoral Castle - her beloved holiday home in Scotland where she spends each summer, and Sandringham House, which she inherited from her late father, King George. These properties are private, meaning they are not part of the Crown Estate. Her Majesty also gets an income from the Duchy of Lancaster. This is her private income - known as the Queen's Privy Purse.

prince charles duchy money© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchy of Cornwall 

Prince Charles receives a large sum of his finances from the Duchy of Cornwall. This is the income that funds the private and official expenditures of both Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and is taxed. The Duchy of Cornwall was established in 1337 by Edward II with the intention of providing an income to the future Princes of Wales. The estate owns a lot of land and properties, and is worth over £1billion. 

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prince charles pays for william harry© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Charles' funds for his sons

The Duchy of Cornwall also provides the income for Prince Charles' children and their wives - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. William and Harry's official visits are all funded through the Duchy, including their travel, clothes, food and accommodation. However, both Princes also earn their own incomes through their respective jobs. 

prince william harry inherited money diana© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's inheritance

Both Prince William and Prince Harry inherited a lot of money from Princess Diana when she died in 1997. The brothers, then aged 15 and 12, were given money from Diana's estate, as well as heirlooms such as jewels. 

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prince william salary helicopter© Photo: Getty Images

Prince William's air ambulance salary 

Prince William worked as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, where he is said to have earnt £50,000 a year. The Prince retired from the role in 2017 so that he could focus more on royal duties, and donated his salary to charity while he was working. William has often spoken about his role, and the trauma he witnessed while rescuing victims. The Duke urged others to talk about their emotions after admitting that it had deeply effected him, as part of the Heads Together mental health campaign. 

prince harry salary army© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry's army money 

Prince Harry earnt a lot of his money through working in the Royal Air Force for ten years, from 2005 to 2015. Harry was paid £40,000 a year, according to Forbes. Since leaving the army, the Duke has devoted a lot of his time to charity work, including the Invictus Games, and Heads Together, the mental health initiative he set up with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2016. 

meghan markle salary© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex's acting money

The Duchess of Sussex may now be a member of the royal family, but the mum-to-be also has her own fortunes from her acting career. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Meghan had an estimated £5million from her work as an actress, most memorably in Suits - where she played Rachel Zane until 2018. Since marrying Prince Harry, the Duchess now has access to considerable more wealth, with Prince Harry estimated to be worth £30million. 

royal family tourism© Photo: Getty Images


The entire world is fascinated by the British royal family, and each year millions come to the UK to visit Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. In the past year, thanks to the two weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Windsor Castle has never been more popular either. Income from tourism goes to the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. 

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