The King has surpassed his own mother and is now the richest member of the Royal Family, with a staggering fortune that comes from various sources.
King Charles III has an estimated wealth of almost £2 billion thanks to eight key assets, according to research conducted by The Guardian. However, the monarchy's personal finances are shrouded in secrecy, and it is difficult to determine the true extent of the monarch's wealth.
The research by The Guardian provides an insight into the various assets that contribute to the monarch's wealth, including properties, cars, racehorses, and rare stamps. It was published shortly after another report claimed that the King's wealth was greater than his mother's, the former Queen, who was estimated to have a net worth of £370 million last year.
The King's fortune: A breakdown of the assets
According to The Guardian, the difficulty in estimating the extent of King Charles III's wealth is due to the mixture of public and private assets that the monarch possesses. The monarch has inherited numerous properties that are technically owned by the sovereign in right of the crown, including Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.
However, the King has also inherited two rural estates, Balmoral and Sandringham, which are among his most valuable assets. With the help of specialists, Sandringham has been valued at a conservative estimate of £250m, while Balmoral is valued at £80m, taking the total value of English and Scottish land and property owned by the King to £330m.
Enviable collections of cars and racehorses
Aside from properties, the King has also inherited several high-value cars, including Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, and Jaguars. However, it is difficult to determine which cars are privately owned and which are held by the sovereign 'in right of the crown'. The Guardian has identified 23 vehicles at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and Sandringham. Based on expert estimates, it is suggested that the cars owned privately by the King are worth £6.3m.
The King also has an extensive collection of racehorses, with approximately 70 thoroughbreds valued at a minimum of £27m. He has begun liquidating his equine assets, earning £2.3m from selling horses at auction, including some given to the Queen as personal rather than official gifts.
The Royal family is also in possession of numerous expensive artworks received on foreign trips, including pieces by Marc Chagall and Salvador Dalí that were given to Prince Philip. The value of the artwork is difficult to determine, but it adds to the wealth of the Royal family.
The most valuable asset the King is said to possess is the Duchy of Lancaster, a 'unique portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Sovereign'. It is valued at £533m, and the revenue generated from it is used to fund the Queen's private and public expenditure. The fact that the estate is being considered as part of the king's personal wealth could be a source of dispute for republicans who have maintained that it should belong to the public.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said they do not comment on private finances but claimed the figures are 'a highly creative mix of speculation, assumption and inaccuracy'.
The King's controversial tax exemptions
One of the main reasons for the vast wealth accumulated by the monarchy is their exemption from inheritance tax. This has allowed King Charles III to inherit his mother's wealth, including her extensive property and art collection, free of any contribution to the public purse.
The monarchy is also exempt from paying tax on the income generated by the Duchy of Lancaster. This has contributed to the vast wealth accumulated by the Royal family over the years. However, the Queen voluntarily paid income tax on income received from the Privy Purse, which is used to fund the official activities of the monarchy.
The taxation rules surrounding the Royal family are complex, and there are numerous tax exemptions and concessions that apply to the monarchy. For example, the Sovereign Grant, which is the money given to the Queen by the government to fund her official duties, is exempt from tax, reports the BBC.