Some wealth just never dies. Like a genetically engineered strand of mutant DNA, certain wealthy families are resilient to the financial calamities that enslave ninety-nine percent of us, and their rich legacies live on to purchase more grand palaces, elite cars and blingy jewelry than the rest of us could throw a Top Ramen packet at.
No rich-as-God family in history has compiled more insurmountable wealth - that has lasted through the desperate convulsions of the ages – than the British Monarchy. The Royal Family has defined our perceptions of regency since they nabbed the monothrone from Scotland, since offering us a mead hall buffet of wealth sprees for our vain viewing pleasure.
Here is what the Queen of England gets to do with her major bounty of royal cash. (Editor’s note: As an American, I get the divine pleasure of not being reverent to her financial power in the least.)
The Queen has so many epic luxury pads that her estates make Never-Never Land look like a pool house. As a reigning sovereign she reigns over all the occupied royal palaces including Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle. Privately she owns palaces in Balmoral and Sandringham. These opulent estates are so grandiose, even their names take up excess syllables.
The Queen’s greatest money-maker is her ownership of the Duchy of Lancaster, an estate made up of more than 19,000 hectares of land, which made a reported £7.3m before tax in 2000-01. What does she do with that money? Well, like any blood pumping human being would do-- she buys a gasp-able assortment of stupid looking fancy hats. (See main photo)
As a hereditary sovereign the queen owns the crown estate, a sprawling 120,000 hectares of land including Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and most of the seabed surrounding the UK. However, these luxuries come with certain provisions. While the Queen can claim ownership of any whales and sturgeon that wash ashore, she has to fork over all tangible profits the estate makes – a staggering £230.9m in 2011 -- to the national treasury aka the poor-as-peasants general public.
The Queen rolls in elite style, cruising in such opulence that Ludacris would cringe at the site of her overtly displayed wealth. Her limousine fleet alone rolls eight deep. Queenie’s limo entourage is made up of two Bentleys, three Rollys-Royces, and three Daimlers. Other vehicles include Volkswagen ‘people carriers’ and her famous Land Rovers that she speeds around her estates in to shoot ducks at her whimsy.
VIDEO: The Queen Driving her Land-Rover
The Royal Monarch invented bling, and called them the Crown Jewels. While the Queen doesn’t technically own the jewels, they belong to the state, thrones, crowns, scepters, orbs, swords, rings, spurs, and robes are all available for the Queen to wear at her leisure, though she rarely does, saving their prestige glamour for ‘coronation ceremonies’ and ‘state functions’. It seems they are a clever ploy – the viewing public needs something to stun them awake during the tedious boredom of such occasions.
In a last swooping statement of how superior and above the general public the Queen is, she employs a private squadron of air vehicles to jet her around the globe called the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Squadran.
For now, us mere peasants can delight in the notion that somebody out there is spending money on something delightfully whimsical, and she didn’t even have to sell a terrible rap record to obtain it.