How much was the queen worth when she died?

BBC has sadly announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8th at the age of 96. An official statement from the British Royal Family read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”

During her 70-year tenure, the Queen was one of the most visible and beloved monarchs in modern history. Born in 1926, she ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of just 25 and retained the title until her death. Finally, in 2022, the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her reign. She was the longest living and reigning British monarch at the time of her death, as well as one of the longest reigning in world history.

Queen Elizabeth II not only ruled the Commonwealth, which includes Canada, Australia, India and South Africa, but also served as matriarch of her own family. Amid recent scandals, including her son Prince Andrew, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial move to the US, the Queen remained the face of the British royal family and retained strong public approval in her later years. Given her royal duties and what she represents for the UK as a whole, one might be curious as to how much she was worth when she died.

Queen Elizabeth II’s net worth was less than one might think

Given the opulence of Buckingham Palace, one might have expected Queen Elizabeth II to top the list of the world’s richest women. But despite her royal lineage and lifestyle, she is nowhere to be found. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the Queen was worth $600 million at the time of her death. While that’s a staggering amount for the average person, there are plenty of non-royals whose wealth it dwarfs. That may come as a surprise to some, given that much of the British royal family’s money does not belong to them in the form of personal wealth.

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Overall, Queen Elizabeth II’s fortune can be divided into two main categories: her own personal possessions and the Crown estate. Although she did not technically own the lands and artifacts that make up the Crown Estate, she was able to use and possess them during her reign. The Crown Estate’s holdings include Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels and the Queen’s main residence, Windsor Castle. When you factor in the Crown Estate and other assets of the monarchy as a whole, her fortune is much more impressive at $28 billion per Celebrity Net Worth. As for her personal holdings, she inherited Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as well as Sandringham House and also owned a portfolio of shares independent of the Crown Estate. Not to mention that she received a handsome inheritance when her own mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, died in 2002.

Queen Elizabeth II’s fortune remains in the family

As heir to the throne, Prince Charles is on course to inherit most of Queen Elizabeth II’s fortune. Although her will has not been made public, the firstborn is almost always the first in a row after the death of a British monarch. The Queen’s grandson, Prince William, is second in line with his three young children right behind him. Like the Queen, when Charles becomes King, he will be in possession of all of the Crown Estate’s possessions and items, even if he doesn’t technically own them on a personal level.

As for the Queen’s own possessions, they are likely to be passed on to her successor as well. Gifted to her by her father, King George VI, Balmoral Castle has been inherited by generations of British royal families since Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 1852. The Queen is also likely to leave money to her other children: Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and yes, even Prince Andrew. Several members of the royal family reportedly received large inheritance sums when the Queen’s husband Prince Philip died in 2021, but his will has yet to be released to the public. After London’s High Court ruled it should be kept private for 90 years, it’s very likely that the Queen will follow the same path. However, one thing is certain: we can assume that some of it will go to charity.

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Queen Elizabeth II devoted herself to charity until her death

Contrary to the common image of kings, Queen Elizabeth II didn’t just sit on her throne and eat sweets all day long. Although she enjoyed a life of luxury, she was still devoted to philanthropy and charity. Around the time of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, she was again crowned with an even more honorable title as Queen. John Low, then chairman of the Charities Aid Foundation, told The Guardian: “The Queen has set an amazing example when it comes to her charitable support, which is making a tremendous difference to millions of people across the country; she does more for charity in the last 60 years than probably any other monarch in history.”

At the time, the Queen was a patron of 510 different charities in the UK alone. Since then, she has continued on her humanitarian streak, making numerous donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee. From the 2014 Ebola crisis to the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the DEC has been a regular recipient of the Queen’s donations. They publicly acknowledged their donation in March 2022, saying on Twitter, “Thank you to Her Majesty The Queen for your continued support of the Disaster Emergency Committee and for making a generous donation to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.” The amount was not announced as it was a private donation, but the Queen’s day-to-day spending habits appeared to have left plenty of room for charity.

Queen Elizabeth II saved so she could splurge

A fool and his money will soon be parted, but Queen Elizabeth II was no fool. Aside from a few luxuries she desperately needed, the Queen hasn’t touched on much of her massive $600 million fortune during her lifetime. Some have attributed this to her upbringing during World War II, which lasted from her early teens into young adulthood. In fact, she even used ration coupons to buy the fabric for her wedding dress. Even so, the dress was still expensive. According to Business Insider, it cost $42,000 in 1947, which is $1.6 million today, adjusted for inflation. By that estimate, it remains the most expensive wedding dress in British royal history, beating out those of Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.

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Although the Queen went all out for her big day, she was known to wear her clothes again and again in her later years. In 2022, Vogue called her “the original outfit iteration.” Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal stylist, said: “Her Majesty is always thrifty and wants her clothes to be customized and recycled as much as possible… After two or three outings, a piece will be known to the media, so we’ll post either.” Look for ways to modify it or it will become something to wear on private vacations. With the war long over, it sounds like the Queen has stuck to the financial stance of yesteryear – but will her successor?

The next king could surpass Queen Elizabeth II’s fortune

With a net worth of $100 million, Queen Elizabeth II’s son Charles is holding his own among his royal relatives, according to Celebrity Net Worth. After the death of his mother, he is now the richest living member of the British royal family. Depending on how much Charles inherits from the queen when he becomes king, his net worth could soon far exceed hers. While she’ll likely want to split it up among other family members, if Charles gets her total net worth of $600 million in addition to his own, Charles will have a combined net worth of a whopping $700 million. While we probably won’t know the contents of the Queen’s will right away, updated estimates of Charles’ net worth over the next few months should give an idea of ​​how much he’s inherited.

While the royal family will no doubt mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II in the coming weeks and months, they have already prepared for post-death arrangements. Karl’s coronation has been planned for years under the alias “Operation Golden Orb”. Despite its glamorous working title, some royal commentators believe it will be a less flashy affair than the Queen’s coronation in 1953. In February 2022, Russell Myers told the Mirror: “A shorter, cheaper and less lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey […] will be welcomed by a public that cares more about the ever-rising cost of living than what insignia goes on mailboxes.” Maybe Charles is buying his suit with food stamps!