The fortune of Elizabeth II has always been a great mystery to the British. Last year the list of the richest of ‘The Sunday Times’ awarded the queen a very discreet position 372, with an estimated net worth of about 400 million euros. Now it has transpired that the monarch, always so neutral in political matters, nevertheless pressured the British Government in the seventies to change a bill and thus be able to hide her wealth, according to an investigation by ‘The Guardian’.

The change to the transparency bill came about during Conservative Edward Heath’s 1973 term, though it went into effect three years later, with Labor Harold Wilson as “premier.” The actual exemption lasted until 2011 when there was a legislative change following David Cameron’s arrival in Downing Street. According to ‘The Guardian’, lawyer Matthew Farrer interceded with the Department of Commerce to debate the transparency measures that the Government of Edward Heath intended to promote to prevent investors from secretly accumulating stakes in publicly traded companies.

Farrer warned that “the disclosure of ownership of the crown shares” was “potentially embarrassing, due to the risk of leaks.” Their mediation served to introduce a clause exempting companies “used by heads of state” from transparency measures.
The exemption affected among others a company called Bank Of England Nominees Limited, in which senior officials of the Bank of England participated. The company could be used as a “ghost corporation” to conceal the queen’s investments until at least 2011. The company was dissolved four years ago without having presented public accounts of its activities.

The alleged intervention before the Government of the lawyer Matthew Farrer, looking after the interests of Elizabeth II, has put on the table the parliamentary procedure known as “royal consent”. Unlike “royal assent”, the formality with which the queen stamps her signature on laws passed by Parliament, “consent” requires prior consultation in the case of legislation that affects the private interests of the crown. According to the documents to which ‘The Guardian’ has had access, kept until now in the National Archives, this procedure may have been used for personal benefit by Elizabeth II.

Its mere existence gives the monarch a substantial influence on the drafts of laws that may affect her,” Thomas Adams, Professor of Constitutional Law at Oxford University, told the London daily. It is estimated that the Queen or Prince Charles have previously been able to review and “consent” to a total of 1,062 laws. Some of them could affect them personally or their property, but others included aspects as diverse as social security, pensions, race relations, and food policy.

Last year, without going any further, the Department of Agriculture and Environment (Defra) requested the queen’s “consent” four times, during the post-Brexit agrarian reform process. The queen has big interests as a landowner and last year received a million euro subsidy for the farm next to the royal residence at Sandringham in Norfolk.
Buckingham Palace has not responded directly to reports of alleged pressure from the queen to change a law and prevent her fortune from being made public.

The royal house explains in an internet portal that royal consent is “a convention established for a long time”, considered by experts as part of the pageantry that clings to the monarchy. However, the information has shed new light on the controversial wealth of Elizabeth II, months after the “premier” Boris Johnson decided to shield the royal family from the economic impact of the coronavirus and keep his budget at around 90 million euros.


The British monarchy works with a Sovereign Fund (Sovereign Grant) generated by 25% of the income of the Crown Estate. Much of the money comes from the luxury apartments and shops on Regent Street in central London. Another source of income is the Duchy of Lancaster, an amalgamation of commercial, agricultural and residential spaces dating back to 1265. Apart from Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle in Scotland is also included in his heritage, in addition to jewels, works of treasured art, and collections at Buckingham Palace.

The queen is also the owner of the continental shelf that surrounds the United Kingdom and can obtain in the next decade a rain of more than 10 billion euros – shared with the Treasury Department – in the auctions for the construction of future wind farms in the North Sea and the Irish Sea.The estimate of 400 million euros of her private assets, according to the list of ‘The Sunday Times’, would place her in a very discreet seventeenth place  among the British aristocrats, a far cry from Hugh Richard Governor, Duke of Westminster, who at 30 years it has estimated equity of 11,000 million euros.
Other estimates ensure that the assets of the crown, adding all its properties, could exceed 14,000 million euros. Forbes magazine has gone even further and has estimated the value of the British monarchy at about 75.5 billion euros.