How Much Money the Queen Makes (And How She Uses It)

From her castles to her Crown Jewels, it’s no secret that the Queen of England has a lot of money. That said, not all of Her Majesty’s perceived assets actually belong to her. Case in point: The Crown Jewels are actually owned by the Royal Collection. And, Buckingham Palace technically belongs to whoever is the reigning monarch.

Despite that, the queen is still said to be worth around $520 million. Thanks to several properties — such as Balmoral Castle — she inherited from her family, a comprehensive stamp collection, priceless works of art, and other assets, the queen is not exactly strapped for cash.

How much money the queen makes depends on The Crown Estate’s net income. | Stefan Wermuth – WPA Pool /Getty Images

How much money the queen makes

While she might be worth millions, many want to know how much money the queen makes annually, how she makes it, and what she spends it on. Albeit complicated — especially since most of the information is kept private — the queen makes her annual income in a few ways.

For one, she receives a grant from the government, known as the Sovereign Grant. According to the reports, the grant amounts to around 15% of The Crown Estate’s net income from two years prior. For example, in 2018, the queen received 15% of the net income from 2016. And, while the actual amount changes from year to year, the British government cut Her Majesty a check for $58 million for 2016 to 2017. That said, there was a huge increase for 2017 to 2018, as Buckingham Palace is undergoing extensive renovations (more on that later).

In addition to the Sovereign Grant, the queen also brings in cash from several properties, including the Duchy of Lancaster. The Duchy of Lancaster is a residential, agricultural, and commercial estate that provides the queen a good chunk of change every year. In 2017, the queen reportedly made around $26 million from this land.

How much money the queen makes changes annually, but for 2016 to 2017, she made around $84 million. However, with a ten-year increase on the Sovereign Grant (to cover costs for the Buckingham Palace renovation), this could go up to around $130 million.

Queen Elizabeth II

For the most part, Queen Elizabeth II spends her money on official family business. | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

How she uses her money

Despite her millionaire status — and stingy spending habits — the queen’s position requires a lot of spending. From official business to personal expenses, here are all the ways Queen Elizabeth II uses her annual income.

Family salaries

With the exception of Prince Charles — who receives his income from the Duchy of Cornwall — and his immediate family, the queen pays her children for their official duties. While there’s not a whole lot of information on how the rest of the family makes money, it is widely known that the queen uses money from both the Sovereign Grant and Duchy of Lancaster to reimburse her children for their time and expenses when working on behalf of the family.

Travel

In addition to funding certain family members, the queen’s income covers travel expenses, too. That said, as she has gotten older, she now has her son and grandsons do most of the traveling for her. Their expenses are typically paid for by the annual income Prince Charles receives from the Duchy of Cornwall.

She donates to the church

The queen never carries cash — after all, what would she need it for? However, on Sundays, Her Majesty donates to church collection. And, according to an Express source back in 2015, “her butler irons a five pound note into a little square by folding it until you can only see her face.”

Staff salaries

The Sovereign Grant might be viewed as “free money” to some, but the queen doesn’t see much of that income. For the most part, she uses the money to pay for staff salaries, among other necessary expenses for her role.

Palace upkeep

The queen doesn’t just use the Sovereign Grant to pay for her expenses. As it turns out, she’s required to put some of the money back into Buckingham Palace. According to reports, the Royal Household uses at least 50% of the annual grant increase to pay for property maintenance.

Renovations

The queen is responsible for covering the cost of some of her home renovations. However, not for all of her properties. Case in point: Buckingham Palace is currently under a 10-year, $700 million renovation. To cover the cost, the Sovereign Grant is temporarily increased by 10%.

The reason she’s not technically paying for it? Well, she doesn’t technically own it. Since she is the monarch, she has ownership by right of the crown. However, a majority of it belongs to the government — sort of. Because of that, she is not required to pay for the renovation out of pocket but must use the additional money given by the Sovereign Grant to cover the cost of the Buckingham Palace renovation.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!