October 4, 2022
Queen Elizabeth’s wealth and desire to remain secret

Queen Elizabeth’s wealth and desire to remain secret

The newspaper notes that no inheritance tax is liable on the Queen’s personal property. (file)


The estate of Queen Elizabeth II, often referred to as one of the wealthiest women in the world, remains secret and so her last will and testament will specify how her wealth will be distributed after her death in Scotland on Thursday. Will.

The British Monarchy as a brand was valued in 2017 by valuation consultancy firm Brand Finance to be around US$88 billion, with the Queen’s personal wealth from investments, art, jewelry and real estate estimated at around US$500 million by Forbes .

Historically, the wishes of the sovereign, along with those of other members of the royal family, have been private.

‘The Sunday Times Rich List’ calculated the late Queen’s wealth in 2015 at £340 million, with the Duchy of Lancaster being the British sovereign’s major source of personal wealth.

It is the sovereign’s personal property, which exists purely to provide an income to the reigning monarch: in the fiscal year ending 31 March it was valued at around £652 million and generated a net surplus of £24 million.

According to ‘The Times’, since it is an indivisible property of the Crown, it would not even appear in the Queen’s will and would simply be passed from sovereign to sovereign, without paying any taxes.

The newspaper noted that no inheritance tax is liable on the Queen’s personal property due to a deal with the then government led by John Major in 1993, in which the Queen agreed to pay income tax for the first time.

As part of that agreement, it was stipulated that sovereign-to-sovereign bequests would be exempt from inheritance tax.

The Treasury Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation, written in 2013, states: “The reasons for not taxing property passing to the next sovereign are that private property such as Sandringham and Balmoral have official as well as private use and that The monarchy as an institution required substantial private resources to continue its traditional role in national life and to achieve a degree of financial independence from the then government.” During a legal battle over the will of the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, a court was told that “the primary reason and purpose of sealing a royal will is to protect the sovereign’s privacy”.

In addition, for technical legal reasons – because the late emperor was the source of legal authority – his will is not required to be published like the others.

However, many of his sources of wealth – palaces, crown jewels and works of art – do not fall into the category of his personal property, but are kept in trust for future generations and will simply pass to the king.

Earlier on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II’s son and heir King Charles III reaffirmed the tradition of handing over all royal revenue from the Crown Estate to the nation in exchange for a Sovereign Grant covering costs for Britain’s royal family.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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