Inside King Charles III’s $25 Billion Real Estate Empire

Inside King Charles III’s $25 Billion Real Estate Empire

How much wealth does the new King of England have? After training for the position for more than 70 years, king Charles III inherited large swaths of land, regal estates, rare jewels, paintings and other personal property, some going back centuries from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. He also now oversee sees the late monarch’s $42 billion portfolio of assets held in trust for the kingdom, including billions in investments and other opulent palaces, glittering jewels and priceless art that he will never actually own. 

Her Majesty’s will is expected to be sealed for at least 90 years, so the exact distribution of her assets will not be known for several generations. But as her eldest son, King Charles inherited the queen’s private estates her much loved castle in Balmoral, Scotland, where she died, as well as Sandringham in eastern England, home to the thoroughbred horse farm known as the Royal Studs. King Charles is also expected to inherit her enormous private collection of jewelry, art, rare stamps and any personal investments. 

Inside King Charles III’s $25 Billion Real Estate Empire

Altogether, Forbes values these personal assets at $500 million, and King Charles won’t have to pay a shilling of inheritance tax, thanks to a 1993 agreement with the British government that exempts transfers of property from one sovereign to another. 

The 73 year old monarch has money of his own, mostly through the lucrative annual income he received from the Duchy of Cornwall. He earned $27 million this year, which his eldest son, Prince William, will now inherit. As Prince of Wales, charles launched several ventures to protect the environment and foster organic farming through his charitable foundation, which William also inherits. King Charles owns the largest organic food brand in the UK, as well as a nature retreat and craft center in Transylvania that each operate as bed and breakfast. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William will now take possession of the Duchy of Cornwall, a conglomerate with one $2 billion in net asset. As the new monarch, King Charles assumes ownership of institutions that manage an estimated $42 billion in assets. These assets, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London, aren’t held directly by the king, but are instead owned by the reigning monarch in right of the Crown for the duration of their reign. 

King Charles & the Crown Estate

So what is it all worth? The single most valuable asset held by King Charles is the Crown Estate, a sprawling real estate portfolio with $17.5 billion in net assets. But the royal family also gets a cut in the form of allowance from the treasury, known as the sovereign grant. This is 25% of the net profit for the financial year. Two years earlier, in 2022, the sovereign grant amounted to $99.6 million. However, that enormous windfall doesn’t go directly to Charles. A 10% cut of that net profit, $39.8 million for 2022 is set aside for maintaining Buckingham Palace, and an additional 15% is used to finance the royal family’s annual travel, formal events, housekeeping and payroll. 

Inside King Charles III’s $25 Billion Real Estate Empire

The most expensive trip taken by the royals in the past year was Prince William and kate’s Nine-day visit to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas in March, which costs roughly $260,000. The Sovereign grant isn’t King Charles’s only source of income. The Duchy’s net revenues go directly to the King as an allowance called the Privy Purse, which covers any other official expenditures.

In 2022, that amounted to $24 million pre-tax. Unlike the Sovereign grant, which is tax-free, the Queen agreed in 1993 to voluntarily pay income tax on the portion of the Privy Purse not used for official purposes. In addition to the Crown Estate and the Duchy of Lancaster, King Charles also holds the Crown Estate Scotland, a portfolio with some $570,000,000 in net assets. The Crown Jewels are perhaps the most identifiable asset associated with the British royal family. 

King Charles Royal Collection & Crown Jewels

According to a 2017 report, the Royal Collection, including the Crown Jewels, is estimated to be worth $12.7 billion. There are also at least nine palaces, castles, and residences owned by the King in trust as sovereign, or, “in Right of the Crown”. Forbes estimates the combined value of these properties at $9.5 billion. As King, Charles now holds $500 million in personal assets, with another $42 billion held in trust as the sovereign. It’s amazing to be the King

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