Does Kate Middleton Get a Salary for What She Does in the Royal Family?
The Duchess of Cambridge is one of the busiest people in the royal family. That’s because she — along with Prince William, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle — is a “working royal.” Kate Middleton’s day-to-day schedule includes numerous official engagements, where she and her husband represent the monarch. Plus, Kate has her hands full raising three young children.
That sounds like a lot of work. So does Kate Middleton get paid for her efforts as a “working royal”? Here’s what you need to know.
Kate Middleton is a working royal
CNBC reports that when Prince Louis was born, his parents — Kate Middleton and Prince William — had to list their jobs on the prince’s birth certificate. “For Will’s part, he wrote, ‘Prince of the United Kingdom,’ in the ‘occupation’ section of the certificate, while Kate wrote, ‘Princess of the United Kingdom.'” For the record, Kate isn’t usually called a princess because she wasn’t born into the royal family, but she is technically both a princess and a duchess.)
So what do those jobs entail? “Being a royal is actually a lot of hard work,” CNBC explains. “The role of the Royal Family — which includes William and Kate — is to assist the Queen in carrying out her duties and also to carry out work in areas of public and charitable service.”
Each year, the royal family carries out more than 2,000 official engagements, entertains more than 70,000 people, and answers 100,000 letters. They also serve as patron or president of more than 3,000 charitable organizations. Participating in those duties, and representing the monarch as they do, is what makes William and Kate working royals.
Prince Charles pays for William and Kate’s living expenses
All of those engagements and appearances don’t exactly leave Prince William and Kate Middleton with enough time to get a day job. But as CNBC reports, the Duchy of Cornwall pays for the couple’s living expenses. The Duchy dates back to the year 1337, when Edward III established it to provide income for the Prince of Wales. Currently, Prince Charles — Prince William’s dad — is the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles receives the annual income of the Duchy of Cornwall. Charles uses it to finance his public and charitable work, to fund his private life, and to pay for the expenses of his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. According to CNBC, Prince Charles “has made millions from the suite of estates, and it was reported that in 2017, the Duchy reported spending $4.9 million to cover the official duties of Harry, William, and Kate.”
Though Kate Middleton may not technically earn a salary, the Duchy pays for things like official travel, wardrobe, housing, and staff costs, according to Money. She doesn’t have to spend much of her own money anymore, because the Duchy absorbs most of the living costs associated with her royal duties and responsibilities.
Prince William also has wealth inherited from Princess Diana
CNN reports that though Prince Charles pays expenses for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the couple also has another source of wealth. Princess Diana, William’s mother, was worth an estimated $31.5 million at the time of her death. And she left much of her wealth in trust to her sons, including a discretionary fund that benefits Prince William, Prince Harry, their wives, and eventually their descendants.
Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle benefit from the inheritance that Diana left to her sons. Neither couple signed a prenup before tying the knot. Money reports that Kate is worth at least £5 million, or $7 million, mostly in cash because she doesn’t own a personal portfolio of property or artwork. Prince William, on the other hand, has a net worth of at least $30 million.
Much of Kate Middleton’s net worth came from her parents’ business
As Money explains, much of Kate Middleton’s net worth came from Party Pieces, the online party supplies business that her parents started. The company is estimated to be worth about $50 million, “thanks in no small part to the exposure it gets from being associated with the royals.” Before she married Prince William, Kate Middleton worked for the family business and as an accessories buyer for a retailer called Jigsaw.
Kate’s parents made enough money to send her and her two siblings to expensive private schools. And before she moved into Kensington Palace, Kate lived in a Chelsea apartment worth about $1.4 million. But by marrying into the royal family, however, she also married into an $88 billion fortune amassed over generations.
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