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The £17bn Wealth Empire of King Charles III
With assets that would put the King in the world's top 100 richest people, we provide a breakdown of his investments.
The bulk of the King’s portfolio is held in real estate, including the £1.3bn Buckingham Palace.
With an annual grant of over £85m, the King generates working income.
Business ventures from food to lettings help to supplement further wealth.
The coronation of King Charles III is an event that will be noted not just by those in the UK, but around the world. With our investment hat always on, we thought it would be interesting to take a look into where the King will make his money from, and just how much we’re talking about.
The biggest asset class for the King is his property empire. This has been built up over centuries, given that the bulk of property is passed down from the family.
This includes Buckingham Palace (worth £1.3bn), Clarence House (£300m), St. James’ Palace (£600m) and Carlton House Terrace (£100m) just as an example of central London property.
If some raised eyebrows of the estimated value of Buckingham Palace, think again. Equating the square metre values in SW1 postcode and historical significance, we feel this estimate might even be on the conservative side…
The property portfolio also includes sporting venues such as the Oval cricket ground, Dartmoor prison and shopping real-estate including Regent Street.
In fact, real estate forms the vast bulk of the Kings wealth.
It’s hard to justify a title of a ‘salary’, but the King does technically receive a grant each year that is his income. It has to be split between other Royals, and pays for expenses including the upkeep of property and wages bills of servants.
Last year, the grant was £86.3m, which in itself is a sizeable sum for any billionaire.
Given the cloudy nature of the accounts, it’s impossible to see how much of this income is spent versus saved or invested.
The Crown Estate (headed by the monarch), receives income from the Duchy of Cornwall and Duchy of Lancaster estates. These entities run enterprises to generate cash in the process.
For example, the Duchy of Cornwall has a lettings business for properties on the land, as shown by the below example:
The Duchy also has strong business ties with Waitrose, as part of the Duchy Organic food produce that is sold in the supermarket.
Annual accounts show £25m and £24m in income from the two Duchy’s last year, respectively.
There’s a big catch
The point we end on is that the monarch doesn’t have a free rein on his investment portfolio. Most of the properties can’t be sold by the reigning ruler, meaning there’s no potential to cash in on property gains.
However, with no inheritance tax and only ‘voluntary’ income tax payable on earnings, the King is still very much a wealthy man.