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发布时间:2022-09-15 作者:yirui 点击:940

Royal wills are never made public. That means what happens to much of the Queen's personal wealth following her death last week will remain a family secret.



Forbes estimated last year that the late monarch's personal fortune was worth $500 million, made up of her jewels, art collection, investments and two residences, Balmoral Castle in Scotland and Sandringham House in Norfolk. The Queen inherited both properties from her father, King George VI.


"[Royal wills] are hidden, so we have no idea actually what's in them and what that's worth, and that's never ever made public," said Laura Clancy, a lecturer in media at Lancaster University and author of a book on royal finances.

兰卡斯特大学的媒体讲师Laura Clancy(其同时也是一本有关王室财富的书籍的作者)表示:“[王室的遗嘱]都是保密的,因为我们实际上并不清楚这些遗嘱的内容是什么,遗嘱中涉及多少财富,这些是永远都不会公布的。”

But the vast bulk of the Royal family's wealth — totaling at least £18 billion ($21 billion) in land, property and investments — now passes along a well-trodden, centuries-old path to the new monarch, King Charles, and his heir.


The line of succession makes Prince William, now the first in line to the British throne, a much wealthier man.


The future king inherits the private Duchy of Cornwall estate from his father. The duchy owns a sprawling portfolio of land and property covering almost 140,000 acres, most of it in southwest England.


Created in 1337 by King Edward III, the estate is worth around £1 billion ($1.2 billion), according to its accounts for the last financial year.

Revenue from the estate is "used to fund the public, private and charitable activities," of the Duke of Cornwall, its website says. That title is now held by Prince William.


By far the biggest slice of the family's fortune, the £16.5 billion ($19 billion) Crown Estate, now belongs to King Charles as reigning monarch. But under an arrangement dating back to 1760, the monarch hands over all profits from the estate to the government in return for a slice, called the Sovereign Grant.

迄今为止,皇家财富中占比最大的一部分财富就是价值165亿英镑(190亿美元)的王室产业(Crown Estate)。这部分王室产业目前属于执政君主查尔斯国王。但是,根据可以追溯至1760年的一项约定,君主要将产业的全部收益交给政府以换取一小部分收益,也就是王室津贴。

Crown Estate:王室产业,即英国的公有财产

Sovereign Grant:王室津贴

The estate includes vast swathes of central London property and the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has the status of a corporation and is managed by a chief executive and commissioners — or non-executive directors — appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister.


In the last financial year, it generated net profit of almost £313 million ($361 million). From that, the UK Treasury paid the Queen a Sovereign Grant of £86 million ($100 million). That's equivalent to £1.29 ($1.50) per person in the United Kingdom.


Most of this money is spent on maintaining the Royal family's properties and paying their staff.


The Sovereign Grant is usually equivalent to 15% of the estate's profits. But, in 2017, the payment was bumped up to 25% for the next decade to help pay for refurbishments to Buckingham Palace.


King Charles also inherits the Duchy of Lancaster, a private estate dating back to 1265, which was valued at about £653 million ($764 million) according to its most recent accounts. Income from its investments cover official costs not met by the Sovereign Grant, and helps support other Royal family members.

查尔斯国王还继承了兰开斯特公爵领地(Duchy of Lancaster),这项私人领地可以追溯至1265年。根据最新的财务报表,这一地产价值大约6.53亿英镑(7.64亿美元)。投资所产生的收入用来支付王室津贴无法覆盖的官方费用并为其他王室成员提供资金支持。

Restrictions apply


Despite the vast sums, the monarch and his heir are restricted in how much they can personally benefit from their fortunes.


The King can only spend the Sovereign Grant on royal duties. And neither he nor his heir are allowed to benefit from the sale of assets in their duchies. Any profit from disposals are reinvested back into the estate, according an explainer published by the Institute for Government's (IfG).

The UK Treasury must also approve all large property transactions, the IfG said.


Still, unlike the Sovereign Grant generated by the Crown Estate, both duchies are private sources of wealth, meaning their owners are not required to give any details beyond reporting their income, the IFG said.


Last year, King Charles, then the Duke of Cornwall, paid himself £21 million ($25 million) from the Duchy of Cornwall estate.


Neither Prince William nor King Charles are obliged to pay any form of tax on their estates, though both duchies have voluntarily paid income tax since 1993, according to the IfG.


"Of course, voluntary income tax [is] not a fixed rate, and they don't have to declare how much income they're making their tax on. So actually it's just like plucking a figure out of thin air," Clancy said.