One of the questions everyone is asking about Harry and Meghan’s new, non-Royal life is: How will they pay for everything? Specifically, people want to know who will foot the bill for the Sussexes’ security detail.
The thing is, Meghan and Harry are already independently wealthy. This is thanks to Meghan’s acting career and Harry’s inheritance from Princess Diana. Plus, Harry is getting $2-3 million a year from his father.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be fine. But this question made me want to do a little more digging into how the British Royal Family makes their money.
The Sovereign Grant
The first, most obvious source of income for the Royals is the Sovereign Grant. The money for the grant comes from the Crown Estate–land, farms, and properties that generate hundreds of millions of pounds annually.
The money is split between maintaining the various palaces and castles owned by the Crown (such as Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle) and paying the Royals a salary for their work on behalf of the Commonwealth.
For example, when Prince Andrew was “fired” from being a full-time working Royal, he also forfeited his annual salary of $300,000. The Sovereign Grant also covers certain expenses, such as travel and security. These are expenses that the Royals incur as they’re repping the Crown. In addition, it allows the Royals to live rent-free at residences such as Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage is located.
The Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall
Since full-time working Royals aren’t permitted to have “real” jobs, they need some other way to earn money. That’s where the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall come in.
The Duchy of Lancaster includes properties, land, and other assets that belong to the monarch. For now, they belong to Queen Elizabeth, and the portfolio pays out about $25 million a year. Elizabeth’s three younger children, Anne, Andrew, and Edward, receive part of this money for their upkeep.
The Duchy of Cornwall belongs to the Prince of Wales. Charles has a reputation for being a savvy, forward thinking manager of the Duchy. His portfolio of land and investments brings in slightly more than his mom’s at $28 million a year.
Charles uses that money to bankroll himself and Camilla, as well as his sons and their families.
“His Royal Highness chooses to use the majority of his income from the Duchy to meet the cost of his, The Duchess of Cornwall’s, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s public and charitable work.”