Yes, the Royal Family is rich ... but how rich?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands with Queen Elizabeth as she unveils a portrait of herself this week in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. The portrait was painted by Canadian artist Phil Richards, left. Governor General David Johnston looks on from right. (CP)
For all the castles and jewels and servants and jubilees, the Royal Family is really pretty ordinary -- at least as far as the billionaire class is concerned.
A study by Wealth-X, a consultancy firm with a focus on high net-worth people, showed that it took the combined monies of the top 14-earning royals to reach $1 billion. Half that total belongs to Queen Elizabeth, who is barely among the top 20 of Britain’s richest women.
So the royals don’t make the list of U.K. billionaires, which number 37, according to Forbes. The richest of the rich is Gerald Grosvenor -- aka the Duke of Westminster -- at about $11.2 billion. The Royal Family reality is that they are well down the richest lists, yet remain, for better or worse, an iconic symbol of wealth and high society.
Mykolas D. Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X, connects the dots: “The fact that the combined wealth of the top 14 members only reached $1 billion (U.S.) reflects what has been suspected for some time: that new wealth is overtaking old wealth in Britain.”
True enough, but even the old royals are still doing quite well, thank you. And there’s money in those young royals too.
The Wealth-X numbers do not yet take in the $16 million that William (right photo) will be inheriting on June 21, when he turns 30. That money comes from the estate of his mother, the late Princess Diana. No word on how he intends to spend that dough, though some house hunting is rumoured.
Okay, enough suspense. Here are the top 14 royals money-wise, according to Wealth-X, with their spot in the the line of succession in brackets:
Queen Elizabeth: $510 million
Prince Charles (1): $210 million
Prince Andrew (4): $75 million
Prince Edward (7): $45 million
Princess Anne (10): $30 million
Prince Richard (19- Queen’s cousin): $25 million
Zara Phillips (14- Princess Anne’s daughter): $20 million
Prince William (2): $19 million
Peter Phillips (11- Princess Anne’s son)): $18 million
Lady Sarah Chatto (18- daughter of Queen’s sister, Margaret): $18 million
Prince Harry (3): $16 million
Viscount Linley (15- son of Princess Margaret): $15 million
Princess Beatrice (5- Prince Andrew’s daughter): $2 million
Princess Eugenie (6- Prince Andrew’s daughter): $2 million
Some noteworthy items from the list:
- If either Beatrice or Eugenie fluked their way into the top job, they'd be in for a hefty pay raise.
- We don't hear much from Prince Richard, but he is on the payroll to represent her. His father, Henry, was the third son of George V and brother to Elizabeth's father.
- Princess Eugenie is the youngest on the list at age 22.
- The Queen receives about $40 million a year, which is less than half what she was getting 20 years ago when economic times were good. Most of her wealth comes from her private homes such as Balmoral Castle in Scotland, stud farms, a fruit farm, her art and jewelry collection, as well as one of the world’s largest stamp collections built by her grandfather George V. Anything in the Royal Collection such as crown jewels belong to the state.
- Charles' income includes about $28 million a year that he receives from the Duchy of Cornwall estate.