Queen Elizabeth II Undertakes Her Final Journey
Welcome to a special edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family, this Sunday focusing on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III assuming the throne, and all the pomp, emotion, and drama around this week’s momentous events—and what’s to come. Subscribe here to get it the Royalist newsletter in your inbox every Sunday. Tears and flowers as the queen begins her final journey Sunday morning,Subscribe here to get it the Royalist newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.
When the Queen died, fortunes passed down the line of succession along with titles. © Reuters
Her death made her eldest son a hugely rich man as well as King, while his heir secured a guaranteed income of more than £20m a year along with the title Prince of Wales.
The Royal Family is funded by a rackety collection of assets with roots in the Middle Ages, refined over time in deals with parliament, the most recent in 2012.
Negotiated by George Osbourne, it guaranteed revenue streams for the monarch, their heir and the wider family, while leaving the question of tax largely voluntary. © PA The Sovereign's Grant, that King Charles will inherit, pays for staff and maintenance at palaces including Windsor
The principal source of the King's funding is the Sovereign Grant, calculated as 25% of the profits of the Crown Estate, a £15bn portfolio of commercial and residential property, agricultural and marine land owned by the Crown, not the individual monarch.
Australian stars pay tribute to the Queen following her death at 96
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was "inundated with dogs" when visiting the Queen.
© Reuters Kensington Palace
Nearly five-mile queue to see Queen - follow latest updates
In 2021-22 it was worth £86.3m, of which £52m covered official travel, the cost of employing almost 500 members of the Royal Household, and maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces; Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Clarence House, St James's Palace, Kensington Palace, Marlborough House Mews and Hampton Court Mews. © PA
The remaining £34m was allocated to an ongoing "re-servicing" of Buckingham Palace. The Sovereign Grant was increased from 15% of revenue to 25% in 2018 to cover the total cost of £369m over 10 years. © Reuters Paris's Chateau de Versailles beats Britain's palaces in the tourism numbers game
Handily for the monarch, the value of the Sovereign Grant cannot go down even if revenue falls, though that may be unlikely given its ownership of much of the UK seabed, on which lies hugely lucrative licences for offshore wind turbines will be granted in coming years.
Heartwarming moment Queen tries to remember all her corgis' names
The late monarch, who died aged 96 on Thursday at Balmoral, was filmed at her Norfolk estate alongside her adorable pets - which included Corgis and Dorgis.The late monarch, who died aged 96 on Thursday at Balmoral, was filmed at her Norfolk estate alongside her adorable pets - which included Corgis and Dorgis (a cross between a Dachshund and a Welsh Corgi).
No inheritance tax
King Charles will also draw income from the Privy Purse, made up primarily of the net revenue of the Duchy of Lancaster, a £600m portfolio of land and property assets worth £22.3m in 2020-21.
The Queen used this to cover the cost of expenses incurred by other members of the Royal Family including his siblings Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, but not his heir. © Sky News Screen Grab QUEEN DIES 9PM SPECIAL PROMO_100922-VER2
The Queen also enjoyed private wealth estimated at more than £350m, including ownership of Balmoral and Sandringham. If, as presumed, the bulk of her wealth passes to King Charles, he uniquely will not have to pay inheritance tax on his new fortune.
Gifts from monarch to monarch are exempt from death duties, though bequests to her other children, or any other individuals or entities, will be taxable.
No probate for this will
Queen Elizabeth II’s wittiest moments
Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II had her share of memorably humorous moments whether she was poking fun at other world leaders or photobombing athletes.There were many instances in which Queen Elizabeth cracked a joke. Whether it was during a speech or while performing a skit, she kept everyone on their toes with her sense of humor.
We will never know the details, however, because the sovereign's will remains sealed, the only will in the kingdom that does not have to pass into probate.
The Sovereign Grant is not taxed, but since 1993 the Queen has voluntarily paid income tax on revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster not used for official purposes. King Charles is yet to confirm he will do similarly.
As heir to the throne, Prince William, his wife and children will now benefit from the Duchy of Cornwall, a £1bn portfolio of agricultural land, property and investments that includes the Oval Cricket Ground & the Isles of Scilly.
Voluntary income tax
The estate paid the now-King £23m in the past financial year, earnings that are exempt from corporation and capital gains tax, and only subject to voluntary income tax on the net surplus after unspecified deductions.
Having decided to leave the working royal stable, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now rely on trading off their talents and residual titles, with income from various media deals including a £20m book contract.
In a profound irony, Harry and Meghan have signed a reported $100m deal with Netflix, which owes much of its dominance in the streaming market to The Crown, a dramatisation that has done for the Windsors what Shakespeare did for the Plantagenets, and costs more to produce per-series than the annual Sovereign Grant.
King Charles meets with mothers of victims of the Aberfan disaster
King Charles and the Queen Consort Camilla have met with the Aberfan Young Wives Club on their visit to Cardiff - after his mother the Queen made sure to keep in touch with families affected.On his first visit to Wales since ascending the throne, the King and Queen Consort attended a reception for local charities at Cardiff Castle, where they had tea with the members of The Aberfan Young Wives Club.
None of these income streams cover the cost of royal security, widely estimated at more than £100m a year and borne by the taxpayer, or the price of royal visits often funded by local authorities.
Nor does the Royal Family pay for its own celebrations. The Treasury set aside an additional £28m to fund the recent Platinum Jubilee, the majority of which was spent on four-days of pageantry in central London.
Even with a conservative annual bill of £250m, the monarchy's advocates argue they more than pay their way.
Does tourism foot the bill?
Tourism is routinely cited as their greatest benefit, yet revenue from the five royal palaces open to the public was just £9.4m last year, and only just exceeded £20m pre-COVID, and none are in the top 20 most visited popular attractions in Britain. With 1.5 million visitors, Windsor Castle ranked only 23rd, behind Chester Zoo, Stonehenge and Tate Modern.
Compare that with the appeal of Versailles, the palace of the long-gone French monarchy, which attracts almost 10 million visitors a year, and it suggests the UK's palaces underperform.
Less quantifiable, but almost certainly more precious, is the brand value the Windsors bring to the UK. They lend Britain's diplomats soft power and its businesses a unique selling point.
The touching reason Kate and Queen Camilla are wearing white pearls as they mourn the Queen
As the royal family enters a 17-day period of mourning following the death of the Queen, they will honour tradition and only wear black clothing as a sign of respect for the beloved late monarch. During the days that directly follow Queen Elizabeth II's death, we can also expect the women in the family to sport a hero piece of jewellery: white pearls. According to The Telegraph, white pearls are thought to be symbolic of tears and are officially worn by the royal family when in mourning. READ MORE: King Charles 'told Harry not to bring Meghan to Balmoral' © Getty Queen Elizabeth passed away in Balmoral on September 8, aged 96.
'Don't mess with the monarchy'
One FTSE 100 executive, recently returned from an investor tour of the US, remarked: "Don't mess with the monarchy. After Brexit, and with all the dysfunctional politics, it's about the only thing the rest of the world thinks still works in Britain."
That lustre may even be enhanced by the Queen's passing and the sustained display of pageantry and proclamation the past week has brought.
Weddings, divorces, defections and disgrace
She has been mourned around the world, with messages of goodwill from Beijing to Paris, and her funeral will take its place in the dramatic arc of weddings, divorces, defections and disgrace that have captured global attention throughout her reign.
King Charles, ascending at the height of a cost-of-living crisis and without the depth of goodwill enjoyed by his mother, will face greater scrutiny of his household and expenditure, not least how he will use at least eight palaces and private homes now available to him, and how many of the family will benefit.
Every CEO will tell you stability is the greatest asset of any business, and the Queen's passing cannot but bring uncertainty, but The Firm's income under Charles III is at least guaranteed.
And as the Elizabethan era ends with the first full state funeral of the colour TV age, the world will still be watching.
Whether the King can maintain the value of the Windsor stock, and public consent for the financial settlement, will be more a question of politics and philosophy than economics.
Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic fashion revealed, from her brightly colored dresses to her signature handbag .
A 96-gun salute has rung out in the UK, one round for each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.