Queen Elizabeth Is Worth More Than You Think

At one time, it was a given in England that the ruling monarch was the richest and most powerful person in the land, with many throughout history wielding their sovereignty to effectively bully those aristocrats below them on the feudal pecking order to take as much money for themselves as they liked. According to the British Library, the famous Magna Carta of 1215 was created especially to prevent monarchs from such financial domination, though in the centuries that followed, numerous rulers from Henry VIII to Charles I attempted to assert their divine right unjustly for financial gain.

Of course, things have changed since the old days, and it was in fact the misdeeds of Charles I that led to the dissolution of the monarchy and, following a bloody Civil War, the rise of parliamentary power and the reformulation of the throne as a constitutional monarchy, as described by Britannica. ​Today, the reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is considered a ceremonial figurehead, who nevertheless wields significant power as a public figure, as well as hefty financial clout.

But how much is the Queen actually worth, and where does her money come from?

Elizabeth II's personal assets and total net worth

Though her role is generally considered symbolic rather than executive, Queen Elizabeth II still enjoys a substantial personal fortune — though her personal assets are only a fraction of the true wealth that comes with ascending to the throne of England.

As noted by Celebrity Net Worth, the Queen's personal assets are believed to be in the region of $600 million, a figure that, while eye-watering on paper, puts her behind many other wealthy Brits such as Paul McCartney ($1.2 billion). Much of this wealth comes from a stipend granted by the UK government called the Sovereign Grant that last year amounted to £85.9 million ($117 million), according to the BBC, intended for the upkeep of the Royal Family's various residences and for expenses that arise during the execution of their Royal duties. Per the same source, the Queen also receives millions in annual profits from an estate known as the Duchy of Lancaster.

However, as Celebrity Net Worth explains, the Queen derived income from the Crown Estate, a portfolio of assets held in trust, believed to be worth at least £25 billion ($34 billion) according to the BBC, from which the Sovereign Grant is derived.

The Queen and leaked overseas files

In 2017, the British newspaper The Guardian conducted an investigation with a slew of media partners into a leaked cache of "13.4m files from two offshore service providers and 19 tax havens' company registries." The leaked documents, which the newspaper named the "Paradise Papers," revealed that the Crown Estate had, on behalf of the Queen, been involved in opaque offshore investments in various companies including a retailer called BrightHouse, which had been accused of exploiting vulnerable customers and which was subsequently ordered by the courts to issue nearly £15 million in refunds. The incident led to increased calls for greater transparency in royal spending, which at the time was increasing dramatically, according to another Guardian report.

But as further leaks revealed, royal spending didn't exactly come under control. According to Business Insider, Buckingham Palace was again under scrutiny when, in 2021, it was revealed that in 2018 the Crown Estate had spent $91 million on a property belonging to the royal family of Azerbaijan, which has been widely accused of corruption and human rights abuses.

Per Newsweek, a Buckingham Palace spokesman claimed that they believed the sale was legal, but that they were "looking into the matter."