Considering that even just a few of the late Queen Elizabeth II's favorite things — Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels (including the 530-carat Cullinan I, the world's largest clear-cut diamond), the art in the Royal Collection and more — are together worth about $21 billion, you'd think Elizabeth II's fortune was right up there with the likes of a Gates, a Zuckerberg... a Kardashian.
But you'd be wrong. Because the queen never owned those incredible treasures — her kingdom did and still does under King Charles III's reign. Sure, her impressive personal portfolio included everything from fine art and jewelry to horse and fruit farms to castles and country manors, as well as the stamps in the Royal Philatelic Collection and blue chip British stocks.
Yet all told, her fortune was estimated at just $520 million — enough to have made her one of the world's richest women but nowhere near the billion-dollar mark.
Which of Great Britain's assets belonged to Her Majesty, and which didn't? Let's find out.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE VALUE: $5 BILLION.
The queen's 828,820-square-foot, 775-room London home has been the main royal residence since her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria settled there in 1837.
There are 52 principal bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms and 19 staterooms. It also has a post office, cinema, swimming pool, doctor's office and jeweler's workshop. But with that in mind, it was never ERII's favorite residence.
Was the queen the owner of the property? No.
BALMORAL CASTLE VALUE: $140 MILLION.
Elizabeth's beloved holiday home, this private residence in the Scottish Highlands was bought by Prince Albert in 1852 and covers some 50,000 acres, including grouse moors, forests, and farmland. A working estate with managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies, it's open to the public several months a year.
This is where Elizabeth passed away on September 8, 2022, with Prince Charles and Anne, Princess Royal, by her side.
Did Her Majesty have the deed? Indeed!
ROYAL COLLECTION VALUE: $13 BILLION.
Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences across Britain, this is the largest private art collection in the world, with more than one million objects, including 7,000 paintings and 30,000 watercolors and drawings, as well as manuscripts, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, cars and carriages.
Some pieces, including a $13 million Monet painting, belonged to the queen, but most of the artwork is held in trust for the nation.
WINDSOR CASTLE VALUE: $236 MILLION.
The largest and longest-occupied palace in Europe — it's been used by the reigning British monarch since the time of Henry I, in the 12th century, and was the queen's favorite weekend retreat since her 1952 coronation.
Inside the castle walls is St. George's Chapel, the 15th-century Gothic church where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchanged vows, and where Her late Majesty and Prince Philip are interred. Repairs after a devastating fire in 1992 fire cost $48 million — which wasn't covered by insurance.
But since Elizabeth never own the property, she didn't have to foot the bill!
SANDRINGHAM ESTATE VALUE: $65 MILLION.
Another home away from home, Sandringham House, about 11 miles north of London, in Norfolk, has been the private residence of four generations of British monarchs, including Elizabeth's father, King George VI. Since her accession to the throne after his death in 1952, she marked the anniversary of all 70 years of her reign with her family at the grand house, which sits in the heart of a verdant 20,000-acre estate.
In 1957, the young queen made her first-ever Christmas broadcast to the nation from Sandringham — which, yes, was part of Her Majesty's private portfolio.
HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE VALUE: $65 MILLION.
The queen opened the doors of this 18th-century Georgian mansion, which was her official Northern Ireland residence, to President George W. Bush during his 2003 visit.
But though she entertained there, she wasn't the landlady.
THE CROWN JEWELS VALUE: $3 BILLION.
Dating back some 400 years, this jaw-dropping collection, which is kept under guard in the Jewel House at the Tower of London, consists of 140 ceremonial treasures that have been worn by British kings and queens at their coronations. The most important piece is St. Edward's Crown, which was made for King Charles II in 1661.
The solid-gold, nearly five-pound headpiece is used only at the moment of coronation, which means Elizabeth wore it just once, and Charles III's May 6, crowning marked his only encounter with the crown. (A second, lighter crown, the Imperial State Crown, was placed on her head at the end of the ritual, and she wore it at the opening of Parliament every year.)
All in all, the collection contains 23,578 precious and semiprecious stones, including the aforementioned Cullinan I, which is set in the Sovereign's Scepter with the Cross and it all belongs to the nation.
HOLYROODHOUSE PALACE VALUE: $100 MILLION.
The queen spent a week at the start of every summer at Holyroodhouse, her official 10-acre residence in Edinburgh, which was built in the 1670s. The naked ghost of a midwife, healer, and purported witch Agnes "Bald Agnes" Sampson, who was stripped and tortured there in 1592, is said to wander the corridors.
Was it the queen's personally owned haunt? Not on your life!