Queen Elizabeth II is the longest serving monarch in British history. She acceded to the throne on February 6th 1952, meaning that Queen Victoria’s record of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes has already been broken. This milestone has already begun to reignite debates about the Monarchy’s future and whether it is an asset or a drain on the British economy. Brand Finance found out that the Monarchy’s value is at that point to be in excess of £44 billion (US$67bn). Brand Finance’s latest update to that figure suggests that as the Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning sovereign, the institution that she leads is more valuable than ever. It is now worth just under £57 billion (US$87bn) and will make a net contribution to the economy this year of £1.155bn (US$1.767bn). But how are are monarchy and wealth related, really?

Monarchy as a Firm

Brand Finance has estimated the value of the Monarchy, often known colloquially as ‘The Firm’, as if it were a business. First, the annual contribution to the UK economy has been estimated. Costs such as the Sovereign Grant, security and maintenance of palaces have been netted off against sources of income including the uplift to tourism, the price premium commanded by brands with Royal Warrants, the surplus generated by the Crown Estate. This net annual contribution amounts to £1.155 (US$1.767bn) in 2015.When this contribution is projected into perpetuity, it has a net present value of £36.7 billion (US$56bn).  To this are added The Firm’s tangible assets (the Crown Estate, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster and the Crown Jewels) to reach a total of £56.7 billion (US$86.7bn): “A Royal Warrant can confer a significant premium to brands in certain industries such as luxury, food, sporting goods and fashion, yet are currently awarded at no cost to the holder. The introduction of royalties could provide a significant new revenue stream.

Austerity for everyone, as well the kings and queens

The unofficial endorsement of Charlotte, George and Kate in particular has a profound financial effect running into millions annually. The demand for authentic connection to or emulation of key members of the royal family is by no means fulfilled. This too presents a major opportunity. Though the ‘monetization’ of the Monarchy may sound beyond the pale to some, in straightened times of continuing austerity in Britain, the Royal Family may come under increasing pressure to pay its way in more ways than it does now.

Brand Finance’s Valuation of the Monarchy

 

Income and Costs
Economic Benefits Notes 2015 Value (£m) Net Present Value (£m)
Leisure, Tourism and Accommodation Tourism revenue connected to the monarchy and its heritage 535 17114
Royal Warrants Total value of premiums commanded by Royal Warrant holding brands 134 4235
Coat of Arms Total value of premium derived from Coat of Arms by eligible brands 13 423
Kate Effect Uplift to fashion and other brands worn, used or otherwise endorsed 152 4795
Charlotte Effect Uplift to fashion and other brands worn, used or otherwise endorsed 101 3197
George Effect Uplift to fashion and other brands worn, used or otherwise endorsed 76 2398
Estimated value of PR Advertising value equivalent of special event and other coverage 114 3597
Crown Estate Operating surplus generated by Crown Estate for nation’s benefit 288 9115
Total benefits 1412 44874
Costs Notes 2015 Value (£m) Net Present Value (£m)
Sovereign Grant Set at 15% of Crown Estate revenues as per Sovereign Grant Act 2011 -40 -1338
Annuity for Duke of Edinburgh -0.4 -13
State buildings used by royal family -6 -192
Royal Collection net surplus -7 -217
Royal Household pension scheme -2 -70
Costs met by Government and Crown Estate -4 -121
Cost of Lord Lieutenants The Queen’s representatives in each county of the UK -2 -67
Duchy of Cornwall (lost revenue income) -18 -557
Duchy of Cornwall (lost capital income) -37 -1165
Duchy of Lancaster (lost income) -15 -460
Duchy of Lancaster (lost income) -1 -19
Legal costs to maintain royal secrecy -0.2 -6
Security -104 -3293
Cost to local councils -22 -687
Total costs -257 -8206
Net Economic Contribution 1155 36668
Tangible Assets
Asset Notes Net Present Value (£m)
Crown Estate (Urban) 6372
Crown Estate (Rural and coastal) 1559
Crown Estate (Energy and Infrastructure) 759
Duchy of Cornwall 871
Duchy of Lancaster 472
Royal Collection Including the Crown Jewels 10000
Total Tangible Assets 20033
Total Value of the Monarchy 56700