LONDON — King Charles III built his own empire long before inheriting his mother’s.
Charles, who officially joined the British throne on Saturday, has spent half a century transforming the royal fortune into a billion-dollar portfolio, making him one of the most profitable moneymakers in the royal business.
While his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, had largely delegated responsibility for her portfolio, Charles was far more involved in the development of the private estate known as the Duchy of Cornwall. Over the last ten years, he has assembled a large team of professional managers who have increased portfolio value and profits by approximately 50%.
Today, the Principality of Cornwall is home to a landmark cricket ground known as The Oval, lush farmlands in the South of England, seaside vacation rentals, London office space and suburban supermarket depots. (A principality is a territory traditionally ruled by a duke or duchess.) The 130,000-acre real estate portfolio is nearly the size of Chicago and generates millions of dollars in annual rental income.
The conglomerate’s holdings are valued at approximately $1.4 billion and the late Queen’s private portfolio is approximately $949 million. These two her estates represent only a small portion of the royal family’s estimated assets. $28 billion fortuneIn addition, the family has personal assets that remain closely guarded and secret.
As king, Charles inherits his mother’s portfolio and inherits a portion of this vast personal fortune. He then relinquishes control of the principality to his eldest son William, further developing without paying corporate tax.
The increase in royal coffers and King Charles’ personal fortune over the last decade came at a time when Britain faced significant austerity budget cuts. Poverty rates have skyrocketed and access to food banks has nearly doubled.His palace and polo lifestyle have long fueled accusations that he was out of touch with the general public. when he was attacked and when he perched on a golden throne This year, he pledged support to his struggling family with his royal adornment.
today he takes the throne As the country buckles under a cost-of-living crisis, Poverty is expected to get worseA more divisive figure than his mother, King Charles is likely to give fresh energy to those questioning the legitimacy of the royal family during a difficult time in public.
Laura Clancy, author of Running the Family Firm: How the Monarchy Manages Its Image and Our Money, says King Charles has changed a once-sleeping royal account.
“The Principality has been steadily commercialized over the last few decades,” Clancy said. “It operates like a commercial enterprise with a CEO and his staff of over 150 people.” What was once thought to be simply a “landlord’s pile of land” now operates like a corporation. She said it is.
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The Duchy of Cornwall was established in the 14th century as a way of generating income for the heir to the throne, essentially funding Charles’ private and public expenses. An example of his financial power: The $28 million profit he made from it last year was slightly more than his official salary as a prince: $1.1 million.
Although it’s complicated to piece together the royal wealth, the properties generally fall into four groups.
First and most prominently is the Crown Estate, which oversees the monarchy’s assets through its board of directors. As King, Charles serves as chairman, but has no final say in how the business is run.
Valued at more than $19 billion on official accounts, the property includes shopping malls, busy streets in London’s West End and a growing number of wind farms. It’s for
This year, the estate’s profits, worth about $363 million, will be handed over to the State Treasury, which will give payments to the royal family based on those profits, known as royal subsidies. Previous year. In 2017, the government increased family payments to 25% of profits to cover the cost of renovating Buckingham Palace.
The latest government grant received by the royal family is around $100 million, which Charles’ family members use for official duties such as visiting, payroll and household chores. The government also pays for the security of the royal family, but the costs are kept secret.
The next major pot of money is the Duchy of Lancaster. This $949 million portfolio will be owned by the throne.
But the value of that trust is much less than in the Duchy of Cornwall, the third important home of royal money that Charles has long presided over as Prince. It has funded his personal and public spending, and has financed heirs to the throne, William and William’s wife, Kate.
It did so without paying corporate tax, which most companies in the UK are required to do, and without disclosing details about where the property invests its money.
Royal expert and author Marlene Koenig said, “When Charles came to the throne at the age of 21, the financial situation of the principality was not good,” citing poor management and a lack of diversification. Charles took a more active role in the portfolio in the 1980s and began hiring experienced managers.
“It was at this time that the principality became financially aggressive,” she said.
Financial information leaked in 2017 Documents known as the Paradise Papers The Duchy of Charles has revealed that he has invested millions in offshore companies, including a Bermuda-registered company run by one of his close friends.
The last pool of money, and the most secretive, is the family’s private property. British wealth catalog published annually, according to the Rich List. Sunday Times, the Queen’s net worth was around $430 million. This includes her personal assets such as Balmoral Castle inherited from her father and her estate at Sandringham. Many of her personal assets are kept private.
King Charles also made financial headlines unrelated to his wealth but tied to the charitable foundation he chaired and operated in his name. marred by controversy, most recently this spring, Sunday Times .
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The money went to his foundation, which funds charitable causes around the world. Charles will not benefit financially from such contributions.
“He’s willing to take money from anyone without questioning whether it’s a wise thing to do. Something the royal family doesn’t want you to know.”
Baker described Prince Charles as the most progressive and caring person in the royal family. But he also said he had filed a complaint with the police for improperly selling his honorary title.
“That’s not the way to behave for the royal family,” he said. ongoing scandal over whether Charles granted a Saudi businessman a knighthood and citizenship in exchange for a donation to one of Charles’ charities.
Charles denied knowing about this, one of his aides involved resigned, and authorities launched an investigation.
Charles also generated controversy for his outspoken views and campaigns. He has lobbied government officials, including Tony Blair, through dozens of letters on issues ranging from the Iraq War to alternative therapies. Although not required by British law, royal protocol calls for political neutrality.
In his inaugural address on Saturday, the King indicated he intended to withdraw from outside efforts. is,” he said.
Author Clancy said the new king, in theory, would be expected to stop lobbying and business ventures altogether.
“Whether it works is another matter,” she said.
Sarah Hertes Contributed to reporting from Brussels.