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Episode 171: No one knows for sure

How much money was the Queen worth with Mak & G
No one knows for sure - Educounting


This episode in honor of the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth. I take a look at how the British monarchy works, some interesting facts about Her Majesty the Queen and how much money the Queen got paid each year.


Queen Elizabeth’s death put the world on hold, but how much do we really know about the British monarchy, and how much was the Queen worth when she passed away?


In this episode, I look at how the British monarchy works, how much wealth they possess and the amount of money they make each year…


“The Queen didn’t need a passport to travel, nor a license plate on her car.” – Ben Jones

Time Stamps:

01:03 – Where different English words for car parts come from.

01:43 – The cost of gas in England.

02:20 – How leases work and where leaseholds came from.

03:07 – How the head of state works in the UK.

03:48 – The amount of property the British monarchy owns.

05:08 – How much the Queen is worth.

06:19 – How much money the Queen gets paid each year.

06:55 – The amount of inheritance tax the King has to pay.

07:55 – How often the Queen used to drink alcohol.

08:33 – How the Queen would secretly communicate with her staff.





Connect with Ben Jones:


DADWelcome back to Money with Mak & G.  Thanks for being here.  Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT on the podcast.  


It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, and one of the biggest stories is the passing of the queen on September 8th.  It brought back a lot of memories for me.  Sometimes those memories are just hidden and the next thing you know, I see a picture of some beautiful sunset, and I remember being on safari.  Or, I smell stinky blue cheese and it brings me back to a restaurant in Paris. Or, I see the majesty of the royal family and I’m thinking of London and trying to remember to look right so I don’t get hit by a car.


So, the flood of memories came back.  I had the pleasure of learning about the British, who are very different from us but at the same time very similar too.  I heard it more than once when speaking of the US and the UK that we are “Two Countries Divided by a Common Language”.  I broke my foot 4 weeks ago and had to wear a boot for it to heal.  That’s the word for the trunk of a car there.  Boot.  Funny name, which goes back to the 18th century when horse-drawn carriages were in play.  The coachman sat on a chest which stored items, including his boots.  So, the storage space was then referred to as the “boot locker” or just “boot” as things changed and cars were used. The bonnet is the hood of a car because it covers the engine and it’s an Old French word they picked up which means the “cloth used as a headdress”, so it covers the head like the bonnet covers an engine.

Ok, that was the “Bees Knees”. But, I was there for a handful of years 20 or so years ago. Queen Elizabeth II turned 75 when I was there and the Queen Mum passed away in 2002 at 101.  She was deeply loved. Believe it or not, I was her next-door neighbor, living in an apartment a couple of blocks from Windsor Castle which was totally cool.  


The years I spent there were very interesting. Money and the cost of things were especially interesting to me, as always. Gas was expensive and still is at about $7.50 a gallon there.  I lived with my buddy Robo in Wapping, which was located on the Thames in London.  Yes, Wapping. Fun to say right?


Anyway, it was an apartment, which is called a flat over there.  But he owned it.  He also had a 99-year lease. What? Huh? He owned the flat but had a lease which I believe was for the land the building was on. It was with all the other flat owners in the building.  How did that arrangement happen?  Great question, and it’s confusing for me so I’m NOT going to try and explain it.  But, from what I’ve read, there are about 4.6 million leasehold dwellings in London which are 19% of English housing.  I guess things just keep being carried on from year to year, decade to decade, and so on, which is very much like the monarchy.


My buddy Robo loved real estate, so I got a lot of information on the market when I was there.  It was insance. When I lived in London it was rated as the most expensive place to live in all of Europe.  The weather was worse than it had been in 30 years.  Which meant tons MORE rain than normal.  And, NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY would say it’s a culinary delight for its Banger and Mash, Tripe, Fish and Chips, and Pasties which are like Hot Pockets filled with lots of different stuff. But, the people made up for it.

So, if we talk about real estate, under their legal system, the Monarch who is now King Charles III is the head of state.  It’s said that he owns the superior interest in all land in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It’s a little like a catch-all and only really matters if a property becomes ownerless. But, get this. The royal family, per Forbes, owns about $28 Billion worth of real estate. Most of it is in something called the Crown Estate, which is a structure to hold ownership.  It is valued at over $19 Billion.  The Crown Estate has about 680,000 acres of land which is behind their Forestry Department at 2.2 million acres and the Ministry of Defense at 1.1 million.  


So, that’s a lot of money, right?  Prince William who is the son of Princess Diana and King Charles III just inherited the Duchy of Cornwall Estate which is 140,000 acres, mostly in southwest London, and worth over $1 Billion. It’s just passing down the wealth as it’s always been done to the prince of wales, who is now William to provide him income to live.  


So, there is a lot of money flying around.  There have been 61 monarchs, extending over 1,200 years.  So, that’s a long time.  But, to put the money into a bit of perspective, Bill Gates is worth over $100 Billion and it took less than 100 years along with Besos over $150 and Elon trying to get to $300. Weird, right?


Ok, I had to look for some information about the queen that I didn’t know.  We were just talking about money, so let’s start there.  We knew she was worth a lot, and there are different estimates, but she doesn’t OWN everything you see.  The Crown Jewels are part of that Crown Estate we spoke about, but you can’t sell them, you just get to use them in ceremonies.  The Crown Jewels are priceless and are a collection of royal ceremonial objects like crowns, swords, scepters, robes, rings, and lots of stuff with about 24,000 precious stones.  Yikes.  The Nizam of Hyderabad necklace, which was a wedding gift to Elizabeth may be the most valuable around $75 million. It is all beautiful and more spectacular in person if you get to see them at the Tower of London, which is a historic castle on the Thames. With a long history of weapons, money, prisoners, and more.


Anyway, there are several estimates of what she was worth.  I like the $500 million number.  Nice and round. And big.  However, it’s estimated that the author JK Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter is estimated to be wealthier. Very interesting


But besides the queen’s assets, she gets a Sovereign grant from the UK Treasury to fulfill her duties of $57millon last year. Plus, the Duchy of Lancaster provides money to the sovereign to live on, and she got $27 million last year. So, she gets around $100million, but a lot goes to upkeep, travel, etc.  But, the family wealth is a closely held secret.  I never knew about this $100M.  Anyway, who is going to benefit? Let’s just say it’s good to be the KING.


King Charles III gets to inherit a lot of stuff.  TAX-FREE.  Yes, TAX-FREE.  Our general rules in the US require paying taxes when you have more than $12 million to hand down to your family. It’s done by the US government, but some states also have a tax.  Wow, you die and pay more.  So, the saying should be, that there are only THREE things you can count on in life. Taxes, death, and more taxes. It’s good to be the king because he doesn’t pay any inheritance tax, even though, in the UK you pay 40% over $380k.  That would be somewhere around $200 million in TAXES alone!! So, he seems to be the real winner, and he also gets the 1) The Sovereign Grant from the UK Treasury and the income from the 2) Duchy of Lancaster.  Can you say $100million?


Ok, here’s something you may not know.  The Queen did like to have an alcoholic drink daily.  In one article it was a glass of champagne at night.  In another it was Gin before lunch, then wine with her meal, and then a dry martini and a glass of champagne every evening.  Wow.  The Pub scene was quite active and I would love to learn more about the money involved in the UK, but let’s just say I found one website that showed Brits drink more, and get drunk more than any other country on the planet. Everyone had to have their neighborhood pub, called a “local” and mine was the Blackbeard.  Talk about a money story.  That is one.


Here’s an interesting note about the queen.  She used her handbag to signal to the staff. She would switch from one arm to the other when she wanted someone to interrupt the conversation. If you continue to talk about her fashion, she often wore these magnificently bright or even neon outfits.  Supposedly, she did that so people could see her from far away.  So, if she was at a magnificent large gathering, people could point her out.  That’s kind of cool. She was only 5’3” and I got a chance to see Prince Charles play polio. He received a participation trophy from her.  She was about 25’ feet away and yes she was small.  I can see how the bright outfits would’ve helped.

Ok, here are a couple of quick facts.  The queen didn’t need a passport to travel, nor a license plate on her car. That’s kind of strange, right?


Here’s another interesting fact.  She celebrated two birthdays.  Her actual birthday is on April 21, but they celebrate her birthday on the second Saturday in June. It’s much warmer to have parades and celebrations in the summer.  King George II started it in 1748 and it caught on. Maybe I should move mine too?


Well, she was a beloved queen, who loved corgi dogs. The world will miss her.  Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you next time for more Money With Mak & G!!!  BYE!!!


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