• Queen Elizabeth II and her family receive an annual income from the Crown Estate and other trusts
  • The Queen alone has a net worth of around $500 million as of 2019
  • The Prince of Wales receives tens of millions from the Duchy of Cornwall each year

The British royal family has held on to its position through its ups and downs in the last century. With just ceremonial powers left, this is how they are growing their fortune in the 21st century.

Queen Elizabeth II alone has a net worth of around $500 million as of 2019, Forbes reported. People unfamiliar with the inner workings of the British monarchy may think that the Queen makes a living by appearing on behalf of the British government on various functions. However, the majority of her wealth comes from the properties under the $18 billion Crown Estate and the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Crown Estate is a portfolio of properties and other assets in the U.K. that generate hundreds of millions of pounds each year, per CNN. The official website of the Crown Estate claims that it is under the possession of the reigning monarch, but the properties cannot be sold by the monarch nor do their revenue belong solely to them.

The Queen currently receives about 25% of the income from the Crown Estate each year in what is called the Sovereign Grant, which funds her official duties. In the fiscal year 2018-19, the Sovereign Grant was nearly $108 million but rose to $119 million for 2020-21, according to the royal household.

This amount goes to the upkeep of Buckingham Palace as well as the monarch's payroll, travel and IT expenses, among others. The Sovereign Grant is also used for the salary of the staff attending to the needs of the royal family.

Aside from the Crown Estate, the Queen also receives millions from the $740 million Duchy of Lancaster each year for personal expenses. It is a real estate trust that traces its history back to 1265, per Forbes. The trust allocated a total of $27 million pre-tax for Queen Elizabeth II in the fiscal year 2018.

Other members of the family have their own sources of revenue. The Prince of Wales is a perfect example. Prince Charles, incumbent titleholder, is entitled to an annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall, which reached £22.2 million ($30 million) in the fiscal year 2019-20, per financial records.

Its official website revealed that it funds the activities and charities associated with the Prince of Wales. The duchy was established by Edward III in 1337 and is made up of land and properties scattered across England.

The Duchy of Cornwall also covers the annual expenses of Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, their children, and before breaking their ties with the royal family, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie, Forbes reported.

Royal Family
The royal family attends a reception to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on March 5, 2019, in London, England. Getty Images/Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool