The royal family is in mourning. On April 9, Buckingham Palace announced in a press release the death of one of the emblematic figures of its history: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The 99-year-old husband of Elizabeth II had been Prince Consort of the United Kingdom since her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952. And if he married the Queen of England penniless, Seventy years of reign have allowed him to amass a real small fortune. According to an article from the British site iNEWS, the heritage of Prince Philip would amount to more than 10 million pounds, or about 11.5 million euros. “It could be over 10 million pounds, but no one really knows how much,” said David McClure, author of a book on the monarch’s finances. “Some say it could be 20 or 30 million pounds, which I find excessive.”
The sovereign’s heritage is said to consist in particular of gifts accumulated over the years, including collections of more than 3,000 books and works of art, including paintings by the painter Edward Seago as well as several pieces of Aboriginal art. Several hundred thousand pounds of financial assets would be added to this already colossal capital.
Elizabeth II direct heir?
But who will this fortune go to? For the royal family, the easiest way would be for all of Prince Philip’s heritage to be bequeathed to Elizabeth II. Signed in 1993 by Conservative Prime Minister John Mayor, a clause would exempt royals from inheritance tax in the event of a bequest from sovereign to sovereign. Already in 2002, the queen mother had taken advantage of this clause to bequeath to her daughter Elizabeth II a fortune estimated at 70 million pounds. Another way to evade taxes would be for the royal family to bequeath Philip’s estate to charity. Nonetheless, the Prince Consort sponsored more than 800 charitable organizations during his lifetime. The distribution of his inheritance among all these works is therefore akin to an impossible task for David McClure: “He sponsored so many charities, where to start and where to stop?” Asks the writer.
Finally, the prince consort could bequeath part of his property to other members of the royal family. In this case, the monarchy will have to pay up to 40% inheritance tax, which could discourage some. Anyway, not sure that the end of the story will eventually be revealed, Queen Elizabeth II has always been very discreet about her finances and that of the rest of the monarchy …
The British Royal Family © Action Press