Who Is Queen Elizabeth II?
Queen Elizabeth II became queen on February 6, 1952, and was crowned on June 2, 1953. She is the mother of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, as well as the grandmother of Princes William and Harry. As the longest-serving monarch in British history, she has tried to make her reign more modern and sensitive to a changing public while maintaining traditions associated with the crown.
Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later known as King George VI), and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
At the time of her birth, most people did not realize Elizabeth would someday become the queen of Great Britain. Elizabeth, nicknamed Lilibet, got to enjoy the first decade of her life with all the privileges of being a royal without the pressures of being the heir apparent.
Elizabeth’s father and mother divided their time between a home in London and Royal Lodge, the family’s home on the grounds of Windsor Great Park. Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret were educated at home by tutors. Academic courses included French, mathematics and history, along with dancing, singing and art lessons.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Elizabeth and her sister largely stayed out of London, having been relocated to Windsor Castle. From there she made the first of her famous radio broadcasts in 1940, with this particular speech reassuring the children of Britain who had been evacuated from their homes and families. The 14-year-old princess, showing her calm and firm personality, told them “that in the end, all will be well; for God will care for us and give us victory and peace.”
Elizabeth soon started taking on other public duties. Appointed colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards by her father, Elizabeth made her first public appearance inspecting the troops in 1942. She also began to accompany her parents on official visits within Britain.
In 1945, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help in the war effort. She trained side-by-side with other British women to be an expert driver and mechanic. While her volunteer work only lasted a few months, it offered Elizabeth a glimpse into a different, non-royal world. She had another vivid experience outside of the monarchy when she and Margaret were allowed to mingle anonymously among the citizenry on Victory in Europe Day.
How much money does the Queen have?
In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II is estimated to be personally worth £365 million. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, this figure is up £15 million from her 2020 earnings and includes the Sovereign Grant and her personal income.
Over the years the royal figurehead has dropped up to 30 places on the paper’s annual Rich List. In 2020, she came in 372nd place and this is a drop of 30 places since 2018.
Personal wealth and inheritance
The Queen also has her own personal income that’s based on inheritance and money from her privately-owned properties. For example, Her Majesty owns the Balmoral and Sandringham Estates, which were both inherited from her father. Then there’s the £10 million estate of Prince Philip. This was left to her following his death in April last year.
The Times report that part of Prince Philip’s inheritance includes “a large collection of paintings by Edward Seago and 3,000 books”. And no doubt these will be worth a pretty penny too.
The Queen Mother additionally left her daughter an estimated £70m fortune when she passed in 2002. This also included some significant art works, though the BBC report(opens in new tab) that Her Majesty donated the most important pieces to the Royal Collection. This was so they could be “held in trust for the nation.”
On top of this is the Royal Philatelic Collection(opens in new tab) – aka the Queen’s UK and Commonwealth stamp collection. It was established in 1869 and is valued at around £100 million. It’s reportedly a hobby of joy for Her Majesty who is said to show it to visiting heads of state.
What is Prince Charles’ annual salary?
Prince Charles receives an income from the Duchy of Cornwall each year which is estimated to be around £21 million. Much like the Duchy of Lancaster, this is a private estate of around 52,789 land hectares based in and around Cornwall. And the annual profits go to Charles.
The Duchy of Cornwall was first established by King Edward III in 1337. And it was set up to give his son and heir an independent salary. This means that when Charles becomes King(opens in new tab), the Duchy and Duke of Cornwall title will be passed down to Prince William.