The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II is a force of nature, to be sure, but there will eventually come a sad day when she goes to that great throne room in the sky. Not even a queen can cheat death, so what happens to her vast estate when she breathes her last?
Crown Income Sources
Elizabeth II gets a massive income from the Crown Estate. These are not hers per se, they belong ostensibly to the person wearing the crown, but she benefits from the $400 million per annum income generated from the roughly $15 billion owned by this trust. Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the Crown Jewels all fall under this category and are major tourist attractions that are good little earners for her. It is estimated that 15% of the income from these sources can be used by the Queen for events and travel costs.
The same goes for The Royal Collection Trust. This is another money-maker for the crown and is the world’s largest private art collection.
When the Queen dies, both of these will pass to the next monarch as convention dictates, presumably in this case to be her eldest son, Prince Charles. No big surprises here.
Personal Income Sources
The 93-year-old Queen also has private assets, though, which belong solely to her. Balmoral Castle, her beloved retreat in Scotland, and Sandringham House, her equally-adored country estate in Norfolk, England are two such assets.
As personal properties, she is free to do with these as she pleases, though tradition dictates that Charles will also inherit these as well. It is possible, however, that she may decide to give them to someone else, as is her right under the law, which would certainly shake things up in the royal household.
She also owns wind farms, diamonds, and racehorses, which are her weakness, as well as having money in the bank from her personal income (she receives a whopping great salary). These assets also can be dispersed at her pleasure to whomever she chooses.
The Queen’s personal wealth is estimated at about $520 million, and the monarchy is sitting at a staggering $88 billion. Despite this, the Queen is notoriously frugal and reportedly uses an inexpensive space heater to warm her room in winter as well as wearing the same $9 nail varnish she has used for 30 years.
While tradition will decide where much of the Queen’s estate will go, no one knows for sure what she will do with her personal assets. In the end, will this conventional queen do something completely unexpected, or will customary practices continue to dictate how her story ends? Only she knows for sure… but it sure will be interesting to find out!