When it comes to the British royal family, money isn't in short supply. And as a result, there comes the common misconception that the royal family costs the population of the UK quite a lot of money - but in reality, this isn't actually the case.
The royal family's official website notes that, "The monarchy has sometimes been described as an expensive institution, with royal finances shrouded in confusion and secrecy. In reality, the royal household is committed to ensuring that public money is spent as wisely and efficiently as possible, and to making royal finances as transparent and comprehensible as possible."
To maintain transparency with the public, the royal family publically releases the figures regarding their sources of income each year. So how much money does the royal family really make, and where does it come from?
The Sovereign Grant
The royal family's main source of income comes from The Sovereign Grant, a fund paid by the British government to support the Queen's official duties. Per the royal family's website, the grant comes from "a percentage of the profits of The Crown Estate revenue."
The Crown Estate is a real estate business in the UK, worth approximately Dhs67.2 billion, whose surplus revenue benefits the Treasury (the British government's financial department), and therefore the general public. Technically, the monarch owns The Crown Estate by virtue of being head of state, but the institution is in fact managed by an independent board.
The British government also refers to The Crown Estate's annual surplus to determine how much money the royal family should recieve through the Sovereign Grant.
A duchy is traditionally the territory of a duke or duchess. Much of Queen Elizabeth II's income comes from the Duchy of Lancaster, which states on its official website that it was "Founded in the 13th century... [and] is a unique portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Sovereign in His or Her role as Duke of Lancaster."
The Duchy of Cornwall, meanwhile, provides much of Prince Charles' income, as well as supporting William and Kate, and Meghan and Harry, who "use the income from the Duchy of Cornwall to pay for their official activities, supported by The Queen’s Sovereign Grant funding to provide assistance with official travel and property," per Charles' official website.
Personal Income, Private Investments, and Inheritances
Per Queen Elizabeth's official website, the queen uses her own private income to fund her expenses, which is "derived from her personal investment portfolio and private estates," most of which have been inherited from her father, King George VI.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is known to have her own personal wealth, which she acquired prior to joining the royal family during her time as an actress and influencer. Prince William and Prince Harry are both also known to have inherited money from their late mother, Princess Diana.