Queen Elizabeth II Has an Incredible Net Worth — But She’d Rather You Not Know About It
Queen Elizabeth II has often been named one of the richest women in the world during her nearly seven-decade reign. But the true scale of her wealth has never been revealed, and there’s a good reason why.
A major British newspaper just made a major accusation against Queen Elizabeth
In early February, The Guardian published a story accusing Her Majesty of successfully lobbying the UK government to change the law. They claimed the goal was to hide her “embarrassing” private wealth from the public.
A series of government memos from the National Archives seem to show that the queen’s private lawyer pressured ministers to change legislation to prevent her from having to disclose her shareholdings.
The publication explained that the queen used “an arcane parliamentary procedure known as Queen’s Consent to secretly influence the formation of British laws.” The Queen’s Consent process allows Her Majesty and her lawyers to see bills that are going into parliament.
Before the legislation is debated and approved, ministers alert the queen if it could possibly affect “either the royal prerogative or the private interests of the crown.” It also gives Queen Elizabeth the ability to “secretly lobby for legislative changes,” the outlet claims.
After the queen intervened, the government added a clause to the law. This clause gave the government the power to exempt companies used by “heads of state” from the new transparency rules.
The palace claims Queen’s Consent is purely ceremonial
According to The Daily Beast, Buckingham Palace has “brushed off” The Guardian’s accusations. The royal family website describes Queen’s Consent as “a long established convention” that constitutional scholars see as a “harmless example of the pageantry that surrounds the monarchy.”
The palace claims that the Queen’s Consent is purely ceremonial. They also claim Her Majesty has never abused the process. But in the correspondence that The Guardian found, there was evidence that the queen’s legal team objected to transparency legislation in the 1970s that proposed all shareholders of publicly listed companies should be identified.
Apparently, Queen Elizabeth didn’t want the public scrutinizing her finances. In three pages of correspondence between the queen’s lawyer Matthew Farrer and civil servants at the Department of Trade and Industry, the queen’s objections are revealed.
“I have spoken to Mr. Farrer,” a civil servant named CM Drukker wrote. “As I had recalled he — or rather, I think, his clients — are quite as concerned over the risk of disclosure to directors of a company as to shareholders and the general public. He justifies this not only because of the risk of inadvertent or indiscreet leaking to other people, but more basically because disclosure to any person would be embarrassing.”
Queen Elizabeth is believed to have a fortune worth $500 million
Because of the lack of transparency, the true amount of Queen Elizabeth’s fortune isn’t publicly known. What is clear is that the British monarchy’s wealth comes from inherited property and investments.
They also don’t have to pay inheritance tax on their estates, and British taxpayers support the family through the “sovereign grant.”
According to Newsweek, Queen Elizabeth’s estimated net worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $480 million to $500 million. This past year, the family received a grant of $118 million from British taxpayers.
Queen Elizabeth also has income from the Duchy of Lancaster which is valued at more than $738 million. But her personal wealth from those sources is impossible to track because of UK laws.