King Charles earns $34M from rising rents as UK's housing costs soar

The income received by the royal family from their real estate portfolio is completely separate from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant.
King Charles III and Camilla.
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 19, 2023

As housing costs soar in the United Kingdom, a new report shows King Charles III's personal empire earned a record income from rental properties.

Rents across the U.K. recently hit a 5% increase over the previous year, after maintaining increases below 1% for the past decade, thanks to the Bank of England’s attempt to bring down inflation, according to theAssociated Press.

On Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics said that inflation fell to 7.9%, which is lower than the 8.7% from last month but still far higher than the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%.

As a result, the King's private estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, that spans 44,748 acres in England and Wales, saw a 3% rent increase across the estate, which helped contribute to Charles receiving about $34.3 million (£26.2m) from 2022 up to March of this year, according to the Duchy of Lancaster annual earnings report.

"Agricultural and residential rents also increased by 3% over the course of the year, due to the sustainable refurbishment and restoration of many of our residential properties," the Duchy of Lancaster report stated. "Whilst the Duchy has been successful in growing revenue, we remain acutely aware that many businesses and individuals are dealing with the lasting consequences of the pandemic, high inflation, and increased energy costs."

Britain's King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

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However, the report also stated that the bulk of this income came from industrial and commercial properties, which saw an 11% increase, equivalent to around $25 million (£19.5m). 

The income received by the royal family from the Duchy of Lancaster is completely separate from the roughly $112 million (£86.3m)  taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant, which is what pays for most of the royal expenses. While the Duchies are the royal family's main source of private income, they represent a mere fraction of the family’s wealth, which is estimated at $28 billion, according to the New York Times.

In June, the BBCreported that the Royal Household's spending increased by 5% last year to around $138 million (£107.5m), while taxpayer funding remained around $112 million. According to the report, officials attributed the $27 million (£21m) of extra spending to the "continuing renovation of Buckingham Palace, extra expenses for the queen's funeral, the King's accession, and the rising inflation."