You can find out the estimated net worth of just about anyone famous, thanks to the internet. It’s not 100% accurate of course, but it does help you to understand if someone is rich or rich rich. We all know Queen Elizabeth is rich rich, because being born into royalty will do that to a person. But if you want to know exactly how many coins The Queen has tucked away in her perfectly color-coordinated handbag, well you’re shit out of luck. A proposed law from the 1970s would have exposed The Queen’s personal wealth, but it never passed. And now Buckingham Palace is denying that The Queen was responsible for a shady cover-up back in the day.
Queen Elizabeth is a Queen, which means she’s partially paid by her subjects, just like all the royals are. It’s called the Sovereign Grant, and it’s a big lump sum handed over to The Queen from the government. And where does the government get the money for the Sovereign Grant? That would be from the Crown Estate, which is money generated from various properties and farms across the UK, but also from taxes. That’s why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to fork over the $3.1 million they owed British taxpayers when they renovated their house and then decided to haul ass to America. Because taxpayers don’t like seeing the Sovereign Grant being wasted.
The Queen also collects money from the Privy Purse, as well as the Duchy of Lancaster. But the British royals also get money through private funds as well, like the Duchy of Cornwall. And of course, they get money through inherited wealth. In 2020, it was estimated that The Queen’s net worth was about $461 million USD. Essentially, Queen Elizabeth isn’t clipping 2-for-1 Pizza Express coupons for Prince Andrew when she sees them in the weekly paper.
But what can’t be tracked are The Queen’s private shareholdings and personal investments, and that’s because there’s a law in place from providing full transparency into The Queen’s wealth situation. The Guardian published a story over the weekend in which they claimed that documents from the British National Archives allegedly revealed that in 1976, Queen Elizabeth’s personal lawyer intervened in legislation that proposed to shine a light on The Queen’s money.
Following the Queen’s intervention, the government inserted a clause into the law granting itself the power to exempt companies used by ‘heads of state’ from new transparency measures. According to government memos, the queen’s lawyer argued that such disclosures could embarrass the crown and become the subject of widespread scrutiny and “possible controversy.” Under a long-standing parliamentary procedure known as “Queen’s Consent,” ministers must notify the queen or Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, when a proposed bill is likely to affect their interests or prerogatives.
A day after The Guardian published their story, they published a follow-up in which they claimed that reporting that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles had used their power to mess around with more than 1,000 laws, including some that were directly linked to properties owned by the royal family.
Buckingham Palace responded to the story, and the Washington Post points out that they didn’t come right out and call The Guardian liars. Instead, they claimed that The Queen didn’t block any legislation, she simply pushed for parliament to give her the heads up first. Okay. via BBC News:
“Queen’s consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of sovereign purely formal. Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by government. Any assertion that the sovereign has blocked legislation is simply incorrect. Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by Parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect Crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch. If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”
A specialist in constitutional law named Thomas Adams told the Washington Post that what The Queen basically did was “push for changes” (aka she got to blocking), which resulted in “the kind of influence over legislation that lobbyists would only dream of.”
I know The Queen doesn’t want us to find out how much she’s got squirreled away in her various palaces, but she’s THE QUEEN. We all know she’s sitting on an obscene amount of wealth. Or maybe she’s not worried about that, but she’s worried about some of her more recent money moves. Did she dump a bunch of her wealth into GameStop stocks and now she can’t get it out? Okay, I can see why she wouldn’t want that getting out – that would be pretty embarrassing.