How Much Money Did Princess Margaret Leave to Her Children?
The royals we all know and love, like Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, and Prince Harry, are known for being polite, polished, and well-behaved in public. But that wasn’t always the case with every member of the family. While there have been plenty of royal scandals over the years, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister, was known as the original “wild child” of the British royals. Her decadent lifestyle and many forbidden relationships captured the media’s attention for years. And though she was just 71 when she died, we have fond memories of her big personality.
While Margaret was alive, it was clear that she loved her children. So it’s no surprise that they inherited a large sum of money and assets when she passed. Here are the details regarding her two kids and what she left them.
Much of Princess Margaret’s personal fortune came from legacies and gifts
We know the royals have a lot of money — and when it comes to Princess Margaret, she was lucky enough to be gifted much of her fortune when she was alive. Daily Mail explains Margaret began amassing her fortune in 1943 when Dame Margaret Greville left her £20,000. After Queen Mary’s death and the passing of her father, King George VI, she also received huge inheritances here, too. And that was just the beginning.
The publication notes a Canadian tour in 1958 left her with jewelry and antiques worth over £65,000, and she was also given a brooch worth £30,000 alone when she visited East Africa. Not to mention her wedding yielded plenty of gifts for her as well. When she married Antony Armstrong-Jones, the gifts totaled over £200,000.
In total, by the time she passed, it’s estimated that Margaret had around £10 million in art and furniture, £5 million in investments, £2 million in jewelry, and £3 million in wedding gifts. Her fortune was around £20 million in total.
She left millions in her will to be primarily divided between her two children
Margaret may have been known for her partying ways — but it’s also certain that she loved her children and wanted them to be well taken care of after her passing. For this reason, The Telegraph notes she left most of the £7.7 million in her will to be split between her two children, David Armstrong-Jones (his title was styled as Viscount Linley at birth) and Lady Sarah Chatto. The queen was not included as a beneficiary of her will.
Margaret also wanted her children to have as much of her fortune as possible without having to fork over money for inheritance tax, too. For this reason, she transferred ownership of her seven-bedroom Caribbean home to her son, Lord Linley, in 1988 well before her death.
The bulk of the fortune left to Margaret’s kids was taxable, however. As Daily Mail explained, “A spokesman for Lord Linley confirmed yesterday that the princess’s estate was worth £7,700,176, on which inheritance tax was payable at 40 per cent. Cash and property left after tax would amount to about £4.5 million.”
Her children sold and auctioned off her property and valuables
We’re not sure what Margaret wanted her kids to do with her property, valuables, and money when she died — but Lord Linley and Lady Sarah took it upon themselves to auction off many of her belongings. The Telegraph notes Margaret’s two children auctioned off 800 of her personal items for around £5 million. And Lord Linley also sold the property his mother gave him in 1999 for a reported £1.5 million.
Not everyone was too happy with the auctioning and selling of Margaret’s items, however. Her ex-husband, Lord Snowdon, didn’t think her kids should have been profiting off of her items. And the queen also didn’t want there to be any scandal surrounding the sale of gifts that may have been given to Margaret throughout her lifetime by other notable royals. As one senior royal official said, “It is up to Princess Margaret’s beneficiaries what they do with her estate. However, the Queen made it clear from early on that, if there were any items given to Princess Margaret in an official capacity, then any proceeds should go to charity.”
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