Queen Elizabeth II speech for Christmas 2016

The fortune of the Crown is the stuff of legends, and by extension, Queen Elizabeth II's money has long captivated our imaginations. Now that she is handing off more duties to her heirs, questions are arising about how much the monarch is worth after decades at the helm. Evidently, the Queen's net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars range. Here is a rundown of some fascinating aspects of her fortune.

Queen Elizabeth II does not own the whole of the fortune in her luxurious life. Instead, the Crown supposedly holds about $10 billion in assets, such as Buckingham Palace and the Royal Art Collection, but the Queen enjoys the perks of those luxuries. For example, she has called Buckingham Palace home for years. Experts say the palace is worth more than $1 billion. In fact, some people say it is worth several times that amount.

Not everything Queen Elizabeth II enjoys is hers, but she does have a private portfolio of assets, including Sandringham House in Norfolk, England, and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. According to Forbes, experts say Sandringham House is worth about $65 million, while Balmoral Castle is worth about $140 million. Besides these two historic buildings, the Queen owns acres of valuable farmland across the United Kingdom. Similarly, Queen Elizabeth II has a stake in the $750 million Duchy of Lancaster estate. She does not own it, but she still receives a hefty sum of money from the property each year.

The Queen also has an extensive art collection and a stake of the Royal Philatelic Collection, the postage stamp collection of the royal family. The collection dates back to the early nineteenth century and contains some of the world's rarest stamps. In fact, the only British stamp it does not have is one that sold for $9.48 million at Sotheby's a few years ago. Based on that sale, experts estimate the total worth of the Royal Philatelic Collection to be millions of dollars.

Of course, Queen Elizabeth II also owns tons of jewelry and high fashion. She reportedly has hundreds of vintage items by Cartier, including a one-of-a-kind tiara that once belonged to the Queen of the Belgium in the early twentieth century. It now has a value of nearly $1 million, and of course, it is not the only tiara Queen Elizabeth II owns. Some experts believe her tiaras collection alone is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Also, it is worth noting some of the profits of the Crown do benefit the Queen directly. For example, 15% of the Crown Estate goes toward The Sovereign Grant, an allowance of funds that pay for Queen Elizabeth II's expenses. Much of the money goes toward events the Queen hosts for diplomats from around the world. But a few years ago, the rumor mill suggested the Queen received $55 million from the Sovereign Grant. That seems like a pretty nice chunk of change for a "petty cash" allowance.

It will always be captivating to think about the immense wealth of the Crown and Queen Elizabeth II's net worth. It's even more fascinating to think about how much her heirs are going to inherit one day!

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