Where Does King Charles Get His Money, and How Much Is the Royal Family Worth?

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 26, 2024

The British royal family is often considered one of the wealthiest monarchies in the world. 

While they have impressive jewels and an extensive property portfolio, these aren’t used to fund their daily lives. So, just how does King Charles III pay for his expenses and how much is the royal family really worth?

British Royal Family’s Government Stipend

The royal family receives a yearly stipend from the British government, funded by taxpayers, known as the Sovereign Grant.

A golden crown is pictured on a small leather seat

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Almost all of the funding is publicly accounted for, and a figure is released each year. From 2022 to 2023, the Sovereign Grant issued £86.3 million to the king.

What Will the King Spend the Grant On?

According to the BBC, most of the government-issued grant will be spent on the expenses of Charles and the wider royal family. Staffing costs and the upkeep of royal properties also eat up a chunk of the budget. 

King Charles III and Queen Camilla visit Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux, France

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The money is quickly spent as the royal family attends thousands of events throughout the year, both within the United Kingdom and overseas. 

British Public Raises Concerns

The British public typically raises concerns when excessive amounts of taxpayers’ money are spent on royal events.

Prince William and Prince Kate are pictured holding hands during their wedding ceremony in London, England

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One example was the $32 million spent on Prince William and Princess Catherine’s wedding in 2011, according to HowStuffWorks.

King George Works Out Sovereign Trade Deal

However, the Sovereign Trade deal was not issued from the goodness of the British government’s heart. Instead, in 1760, King George made an agreement with parliament that would see him give up the income from the Crown Estate.

A photograph of Buckingham Palace and its surrounding gardens in London, England

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So, while the reigning monarch technically owns the Crown Estate during their reign, it cannot be bought or sold. All of the money generated from the Crown Estate is used for public necessities, including hospitals and the police service, according to Al Jazeera

Palace Refurbishments Drive Up Spending

Speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera, Alex Penler, a history researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science, explained that while the Sovereign Grant is a set amount, spending can vary each year. 

Two construction workers are pictured during the renovation of a large home

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“Some years are higher, such as when the monarch or royal surrogates are asked by the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to make diplomatic visits,” he said.


The King’s Personal Wealth

The Sovereign Grant is but a fraction of the royal family’s overall wealth. Private collections of art and jewelry dramatically increase their overall net worth. 

King Charles pictured in a pin-striped blue suit during an event in London

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The Crown also generates considerable income from two enormous property portfolios named the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.


Royal Billionaires

Being one of the oldest royal families in the world, the British Crown has collected a vast net worth over the centuries that now amounts to billions.

The recently deceased Queen Elizabeth II sits alongside her son, the then-prince Charles, in 2019

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In 2021, Forbes estimated that the British royal family had an eye-watering $28 billion in assets, according to Investopedia.


Difficult to Discern True Wealth

As the royal family seldom releases any personal information, including that of their own finances, it’s difficult to say for sure just how rich they are. 

Aerial view of the royal family's Sandringham estate situated in Sandringham, England.

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However, estimations can be made by looking into things like their extensive property portfolio. The Windsor family, of which King Charles is the head, owns expensive properties, including Balmoral Castle, Sandringham country estate, Windsor Castle, and, of course, Buckingham Palace. 


Those Involved with the Firm

The entirety of the royal family and their wealth is often referred to as “The Firm.” This is separate from the individual assets of the reigning monarchs, including the former queen, Elizabeth, and now King Charles. 

A picture of the extended British royal family taken during an event in 2018

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The Firm’s money is held collectively by “King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William and his wife, Princess of Wales Kate Middleton, as well as the late queen’s daughter Princess Anne, her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie,” according to Investopedia


King Charles Inherits His Mother's Fortune

As the longest-reigning British monarch in history, it makes sense that Queen Elizabeth gathered a large personal fortune during her lifetime. 

King Charles III pictured as he gives a speech from a wooden table in Buckingham Palace

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According to Forbes, when the queen died in 2022, she had around $500 million that was passed onto Charles. 


Charles’ Personal Net Worth

With the inheritance from his mother, it’s estimated that King Charles now has a personal net worth of over $2 billion. 

King Charles pictured walking down the street with his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William

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It’s unlikely the king will spend much of this in the remainder of his life, which will see it passed on to his children. According to Forbes, Prince William, who’s already worth well over $1 billion, will be set to inherit an incomprehensible amount of money when the king dies.