Queen’s Last Will to Remain Undisclosed after Her Death While William Reportedly Inherited a $1 Billion Estate
The royal family has a 685-year-old estate.
The royal family's wills are well-kept family secrets that will never be revealed to the public.
The last fiscal year saw the estate grow by £313 million ($361 million). The UK Treasury paid the Queen a Sovereign Grant of £86 million ($100 million) from this fund. This could be divided by every UK citizen at £1.29 ($1.50).
Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8, 2022, immediately making her son King Charles III. She passed away at her Balmoral home in Scotland with her family surrounding her as she took her last breath.
The Queen was placed under medical supervision earlier that day, just days after she appointed the new Prime Minister of the UK, Liz Truss. After she passed away, royal protocols immediately got underway.
Queen Elizabeth II prepares to greet Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at Buckingham Palace on November 4, 2015 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
One of the protocols that had to be followed was the reading of Queen Elizabeth II's will. CNN reported that Prince William would inherit the estate worth $1 billion. The estate is 685 years old as of 2022.
Prince William is not the only royal that stands to inherit such a vast fortune, though. Other members of the royal family are also likely to inherit large sums from the Queen as the royal family's wealth totals at least $18 billion in land, investment, and property, says Express UK.
Royal Family Wills Are Best Kept Secret
The royal family's wills are all kept secret for legal reasons. Some details might be released to the public, but the full extent of a royal's estate will never be public knowledge, according to SCMP Magazine.
The will of King Henry VIII, king of England from 1509 until his death in 1547, January 02, 1754 | Source: Getty Images
The royal family's wills are kept locked in a strongbox, says the publication. Prince Philip's will is locked in the same strongbox as the Queen Mother's, Princess Margaret's, and 30 other final testaments of late royal family members.
The strongbox in which these wills are held is under the care of Sir Andrew McFarlane. McFarlane is a High Court judge and president of the family division of the royal family. He revealed:
"The most recent additions were made in 2002 and are, respectively, the wills of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, and Her late Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon."
Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leave after the funeral service of the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Patricia Knatchbull at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge, London on June 27, 2017 | Source: Getty Images
Many have questioned the taxing processes in the royal family when the estates are passed from one royal family member to another. While the public will never know the full extent of the inheritances, questions have been posed as to whether or not these assets are taxed.
Hindustan Times clarified that these assets are not taxed due to reasons stated in The Treasury Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation, written in 2013.
Queen Elizabeth II (left) watches as pall bearers place the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England | Source: Getty Images
The statement gave a reason why the assets were handed down to the next generation without being taxed, saying:
"The reasons for not taxing assets passing to the next sovereign are that private assets such as Sandringham and Balmoral have official as well as private use and that the monarchy as an institution needs sufficient private resources to enable it to continue to perform its traditional role in national life, and to have a degree of financial independence from the government of the day."
While there are still many wills and testaments of the royal family locked in strongboxes, some have been released to the public because these members were no longer considered part of the royal family.
The Last Will and Testament of Diana, Princess Of Wales, March 03, 1998 | Source: Getty Images
One of these wills is Princess Diana's, who divorced King Charles III before she passed away in 1997. Her will is viewable on CNN, as SCMP reports. The publication also says that British law stipulates that all wills, barring those of the royal family, should be made public.
Queen Elizabeth II Received a Large Inheritance
When Queen Elizabeth's mother died on March 30, 2002, the question of her estate came into play. Queen Elizabeth had only one sibling, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. The estate would be handed down only to Queen Elizabeth, as reported by the royal family via their website.
Queen Elizabeth and daughters Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, March 09, 1944 | Source: Getty Images
The Queen Mother requested that Queen Elizabeth leave divide specific items between her staff members on her behalf, which would all be subject to the usual inheritance tax. The rest was for Queen Elizabeth II to decide what to do with.
In May 17, 2002, Queen Elizabeth ensured that her mother's pictures and works of art should be transferred to the royal collection. The Queen Mother possessed works of art by Monet, Nash, and Carl Fabergé.
These items were then displayed in the "Royal Treasures" collection of the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. As usual, the rest of the will was kept under wraps for the royal family's privacy.
The Queen Mother waves to well-wishers during the celebration of her 90th birthday on August 4, 1990 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Now that Queen Elizabeth II had passed on, the question of her will has come up. The Queen had many treasures she accumulated over the years, claims TMZ, but none were more important to her than her beloved animals.
Queen Elizabeth II had a soft spot for animals, her horses and dogs in particular, and the public is now wondering who would inherit her animals. At the time of her death, TMZ alleged that the Queen had more than 100 horses.
She also had four Corgis when she passed away, which will be bequeathed to a family member. However, the public might never find out who the animals were bequeathed to because of the nature of royal wills.
The Queen with her dogs on the lawn in front of Balmoral Castle, Scotland during the Royal Family's annual summer holiday in September 1971. Part of a series of photographs taken for use during the Silver Wedding Celebrations in 1972 | Source: Getty Images
A judge revealed last year that the Queen's husband, Prince Philip's will would be sealed for 90 years before it would be revealed to the public. TMZ reports that the same will likely happen with Queen Elizabeth's will.
However, the publication reported some items on the will that might be made public knowledge, like when it was revealed that Prince Philip left his carriage to his granddaughter, Louise Windsor.
While the question of the Queen's will is on everybody's lips, the royal family is proceeding with royal protocol as they unite in grief over Queen Elizabeth II.