Prince William will soon be one of the largest landowners in the U.K. With the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his father's ascension to the role of king, William inherits the Duchy of Cornwall's real estate portfolio, which has an estimated value of $1 billion. How much land does the royal family own in the world?
The real estate holdings of the Duchy of Cornwall estate are just part of the vast land holdings the royal family owns around the world. In fact, real estate is the most significant contributor to the royal family’s net worth.
Most of the royal family’s land holdings are within the Crown Estate.
Most of the land owned by the family is part of the Crown Estate. As of March 2022, the Crown Estate reported almost $19 billion in assets. Its holdings include over 287,000 acres of agricultural land and forests, various retail properties across the U.K., almost all of Regent Street, and about 55 percent of U.K. foreshore. It also owns several royal residences, including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Although the royal family owns the Crown Estate in name, it's actually controlled by the British government. Most of the profits from the real estate business go to the U.K. Treasury. The royal family receives 25 percent of the profits from the Treasury in the form of a “Sovereign Grant,” which totaled over $99 million last year, according to a Crown Estate financial report.
The royal family’s private holdings include Balmoral Castle.
The royal family’s private holdings include Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy of Lancaster holds 45,440 acres of farmland, urban developments, commercial properties, and historic buildings across England and Wales. The holdings include Lancaster Castle, Bolingbroke Castle, and The Savoy Estate.
The Duchy of Cornwall now belongs to William, who gained the titles of Duke of Cornwall and Prince of Wales after the queen’s death. The Duchy of Cornwall consists of 130,000 acres of land in England and Wales and various London properties. The Cornwall estate is valued at about $1.37 billion.
The queen didn’t personally own property outside of the U.K.
Although Queen Elizabeth once owned property in other parts of the world, at the time of her death, she no longer owned property outside of the U.K. Between 1949 and 1951, the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, lived in Malta. Still, they didn’t own the home they lived in, they leased it, Hello Magazine reports.
The countries around the world that are part of the British Commonwealth are considered ceremonially “owned” by the royal family. Those countries include Australia, Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.