October 1, 2022

Britain Royal Family

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After more than 70 years of reigning over the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland on September 8, 2022.

Everything — the monarchy, the royal estate, and the private estate of Queen Elizabeth II — will now go to her first son, King Charles III. But what exactly does that consist of?

Here’s what the British sovereign actually owns. Whenever possible, we’ve also broken down how much money an asset is worth; some things have been owned by the royal family so long that they haven’t been priced by modern standards, or are worth so much money (as in the case with jewels) that experts have a hard time estimating a value. 

The Crown Estate

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The Crown Estate — also referred to as Monarchy PLC — is the corporation that controls all of the lands and holdings of the British monarch, whoever it may be. Believe it or not, the royal family themselves only have a limited amount of control over the Crown Estate. Most of it is run by an independent council on behalf of the monarchy.

However, technically, all of the lands of Wales, Northern Ireland, and England belong to the Crown Estate. (Scotland created its own estate in 2016, the Crown Estate Scotland, which is run as a public corporation on behalf of the Scottish government.)

The entirety of the Crown Estate is worth $34.3 billion in assets.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

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The most famous palace for the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace, is also its most recognizable. It was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King George III in 1761 and has remained in the royal family ever since.

This is where the family tends to greet visitors and crowds, and serves as the administrative offices of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The property is valued at $4.9 billion.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond

Crown Koh-i-noor Diamond

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This crown was the crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who was Elizabeth II’s mother. On the side, slightly to the right, the headpiece contains the Koh-i-Noor diamond.  It is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.

The exact origins are unclear, but it was first recorded as being part of the Peacock Chair in the Mughal Empire of India in the 1740s. After Queen Victoria annexed India in the 1840s, she obtained the Koh-i-Noor diamond for herself. 

The governments of Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan have all made claims to the diamond and demanded its return since India declared independence in 1947, but the British government claims it has the legal right to own the diamond under a 176-year-old treaty.

Balmoral Castle

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Balmoral Castle is a privately owned residence located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was purchased by Elizabeth II and will now be passed down to Charles III. According to Forbes, the property is worth $140 million.

This castle is where Queen Elizabeth II was staying when she died at 96 in September 2022.

Princess Diana’s engagement ring

Lady Diana Pre-marriage

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Before she married then-Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer picked an engagement ring that was a bit controversial at the time, as it was from a jeweler’s catalog rather than the family holdings. 

However, the public loved her large sapphire ring, which was quite unique at the time, and it is now a cherished piece of the royal family. When Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton, he used his mother’s engagement ring to do so.

Experts in 2014 pegged the value of the ring at around $500,000.

Duchy of Cornwall

William And Charles

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A duchy is a large swath of lands managed by a member of the royal family to generate profit for the crown. 

The Duchy of Cornwall is around 135,000 acres, and was established in 1337 by Edward III for his son, Edward Prince of Wales. By tradition, the Duchy of Cornwall has been managed by the Prince of Wales.

Charles III made the Duchy of Cornwall particularly profitable, and it generated $26 million in 2021. The entire property is valued at $1.3 billion. 

Though the duchy is technically exempt from taxes, Charles began voluntarily making tax payments starting in 1993 after Parliament began considering further taxes on the royal family. 

The duchy is now managed by Prince William.

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress

''A Century of Queens Wedding Dresses'' Exhibition , London.

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Some royal outfits are on display at properties all over the United Kingdom, but this one, Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, is of particular importance. She was one of the first royals to wear a white dress on her wedding day, and it became a trend that continues to this day. The dress was made of heavy satin silk and Honniton lace.

It’s pictured here on display at Kensington Palace as part of its “A Century of Queens” wedding dress exhibition.

Windsor Castle

St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

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The original Windsor Castle, located in Berkshire outside of London, was built by William the Conqueror. It has been occupied by the British monarch since 1100, when William’s son Henry I took over and made this his primary residence. This makes Windsor Castle the longest-occupied castle in Europe.

Windsor Castle was the primary residence of Elizabeth II, and served as a place of refuge for the royal family during World War II. It’s estimated to be worth around $574 million.

Coronation necklace and earrings

A Royal Welcome Exhibition Opens At Buckingham Palace

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This necklace and these earrings (pictured here with Queen Mary’s Dorset Bow Broach) were designed for Queen Victoria during her reign, containing diamonds from the Koh-i-Noor diamond and the Lahare diamond. 

They were worn again by Elizabeth II at her coronation. She continued to wear them frequently throughout her life. They’re worth around $345,000.

Painting by Claude Monet

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The royal family is known for its extensive art collection as well. 

This is “Study of Rocks; Creuse: ‘Le Bloc'” by Claude Monet. In 1949, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother purchased it for $2300, and by the time of her death in 2002, it was worth about $17,000. 

The Monet painting hung in her main residence at Clarence House for several years, but is now on display at Buckingham Palace as part of the Royal Collection Trust.

Palace of Westminster

Big Ben, Houses Of Parliament and River Thames

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You might recognize this as the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, a.k.a. the striking clock that houses Big Ben. (Technically, Big Ben is the name of the bell, not the whole tower.)  

But technically, the entire building is owned by the Crown, on loan to the British parliamentary government. But it’s one of the most important London institutions and has been home to the House of Lords and the House of Commons for centuries.

Rembrandt painting

Press View Of The Royal Collection In Queen Elizabeth II's Gallery

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An exhibition coordinator shows off this Rembrandt painting, entitled “Agartha Bas,” at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. It made its way into the royal family as a gift to George IV from one of his lords.

It is unknown how much this particular painting is worth, but original Rembrandt pieces typically go for tens of millions of dollars at auctions.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

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In addition to royal properties, the Crown Estate also owns and manages many parks, much like the US National Park Service. One of these open spaces is Hyde Park, which was taken from the Westminster Abbey by Henry VIII and turned into a hunting ground. 

London’s Hyde Park is one of its best known, and its famous Speakers’ Corner is an open-air area where public demonstrations, discussions, speeches, and debates are allowed. The entire park is worth about $22 million.

Bentley State Limousines

Royalty - Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee

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This Bentley State Limousines (there are two!) were designed by Bentley for Queen Elizabeth II for her Golden Jubilee in 2002. They are worth around $11 million each. 

The cars are armored, the tires are reinforced with Kevlar, the cabin can be sealed airtight in gas attacks, and it’s even blast-resistant. There are opaque glass panels which can be installed for privacy, but they’re removable in case the monarch wants to wave at crowds.

Fabergé eggs

Faberge exhibition

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This Fabergé egg was originally commissioned by Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II by Peter Carl Fabergé himself. It made its way to Queen Mary in 1933, and is now on display at Buckingham Palace.

The Royal Collection owns at least four of the 57 Fabergé eggs that were created and still survive: The Basket of Flowers egg, the Colonnade egg, the Twelve Panel egg, and the Mosaic egg, pictured here. 

Original Fabergé eggs are worth millions of dollars. 

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park And Docklands Views Views

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Greenwich Park is located in London, and is a former hunting park that overlooks the River Thames and the Isle of Dogs. It’s also the location of the Prime Meridian, which is the reference point for Greenwich Mean Time — which determines time zones for the entire world.

The park is currently being renovated and restored to preserve its historicity and increase its biodiversity.

Honiton christening gown

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Queen Victoria originally commissioned this Honiton lace christening gown for her own daughter, Princess Victoria. It was worn by all royal babies (direct children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the monarch) until 2004, when it was retired after Elizabeth II deemed it too fragile for further wear. She commissioned an exact replica.  

It was last used in November 2021 for the birth of August Brooksbank, the son of Princess Eugenie. Catherine, Princess of Wales, is seen here holding Princess Charlotte as she wears the christening gown in 2015.

Greville Chandelier Earrings

Queen Elizabeth II

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In 1942, an heiress named Dame Margaret Greville donated her extensive jewelry collection to her friend, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. One of those included was a pair of chandelier earrings, pictured here, which were given to Elizabeth II on her wedding day in 1947.

The queen actually didn’t have her ears pierced at the time, but got them pierced so that she could wear the earrings, which were one of her favorite pairs. She wore them repeatedly throughout her life.

Waitrose Duchy Organic

Duchy Originals announce partnership with Waitrose

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It’s not all just estates and jewelry and property owned by the family.

King Charles III has been interested in organic food since the ’80s, and in 1990 he began a company called Duchy Originals as an outlet for organic food grown in the Duchy of Cornwall, which he managed until stepping down in 2021 in preparation for the throne.

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. The management of this company will likely now go to Prince William.

In 2009, Duchy Originals formed a deal with Waitrose to create Waitrose Duchy Organics and increase profitability. All of the profits are donated back to the Charitable Fund in turn, so technically, the royal family doesn’t make any money from it. 

In 2021, Waitrose Duchy Organics reported a profit of $4.1 million. They have donated $35 million in charity since 2009, and with increasing interest in organic food, sales have risen in the past few years.

Royal Philatelic Collection

Penny Black Stamps

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Postage stamps have been in use in the United Kingdom since 1840, and by 1864, members of the royal family were collecting them. So much so, in fact, that they compiled all their collected postage stamps into an official Royal Philatelic Collection. 

This stamp collection has almost all major postage stamps throughout U.K. history, and individual pieces are each worth in the thousands. 

Adelaide Cottage

Prince George, Princess Charlotte And Prince Louis Start Lambrook School

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The four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage, located half a mile from Windsor Castle, was the residence of choice for Prince William and his family of five. They moved into it in the summer of 2022 to be closer to their children’s school. It features, among other accents, a marble fireplace.

Since the passing of Elizabeth II, the family plans to move back to Windsor Castle. William and Kate intend to delay their move for a time to maintain a sense of stability for their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Coronation ceremony regalia

Coronation ceremony regalia at the time of the coronation of King George V 1910.

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This was the ceremony regalia present at the coronation of George V in 1910, all of which is on display at the Tower of London when not in use. Some of these objects were expected to appear again at coronation of Charles III.

Objects included are the Imperial Crown, the Crown of St. Edward, the Royal Sceptre, the Orb, the Ampulla which contains the Oil of Anointing, the Sword of Mercy, the Sword of State, the Sword of Offering, the Sword of Temporal Justice, the Sword of Spiritual Justice, St. Edward’s Staff, three different scepters, and the maces of the Sergeants-at-Arms. 

It’s impossible to estimate what these rare, historic, jewel-filled coronation items would be worth altogether.

Tower of London

Tower of London

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It’s not a working palace any more, but it used to be. And the property is still owned as part of the Crown Estate. 

The Tower of London, officially called His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, now functions as a museum and is a protected World Heritage Site due to its extensive history.

It’s also the single most valuable piece of property in the United Kingdom, estimated to be worth about $81 billion.

The Black Prince’s Ruby

The Imperial State Crown

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The red cabochon red spinel seen here on the Imperial State Crown is called the Black Prince’s Ruby, as it was given to Edward of Woodstock, known as the Black Prince, in the 14th century. 

It’s referred to as a “ruby” because rubies and spinels were not known to be distinct gems until the 18th century. It is unknown how much the jewel is worth, but it is the largest uncut spinel in the world.

Duchy of Lancaster

The Prince Of Wales Visits Morecambe

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The Duchy of Cornwall isn’t the only duchy owned by the Crown — there’s also a Duchy of Lancaster, which consists of 45,550 acres of British land. 

It’s not as profitable as the Duchy of Cornwall and is technically managed by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is Nadhim Zahawi — the second-highest ranking minister after the Prime Minister. The income generated goes directly to the sovereign.

The land is estimated to be worth $748 million, and its net income in 2021 was about $25 million. 

Here, Charles III visits Morecambe, a town in Lancashire, England.

Royal costumes

Christmas at Windsor

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The Royal Collection Trust, owned and operated by the Crown Estate in honor of the sovereign monarch, is home to hundreds of costumes worn by members of the royal family.

Here, Royal Collection Trust deputy surveyor and curator Caroline de Guitaut sets out a costume display for Christmas decorations at Windsor Castle. 

These costumes were part of then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’s family tradition to entertain themselves at Christmas by staging pantomime shows, especially as they bunkered down at Windsor Castle during World War II.

The Diamond Diadem

The State Opening Of Parliament

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This Diamond Diadem was made in 1820 for George IV. It was regularly worn by regularly by Queen Victoria after it was reset with jewels from the royal collection. 

Queen Elizabeth II wore this diadem in the procession to her coronation in 1953, and then wore it yearly at the annual State Opening of Parliament, which occurs every time the British Parliament starts a new session.

The jewelry experts at Steven Stone estimated it to be worth around $6.9 million. 

Bellangé furniture

The Queen Shows The Royal Collection

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Pierre-Antoine Bellangé was a French furniture maker who created elaborate Gothic and Empire styles of furniture for ultra-wealthy people throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Many pieces can be found in Buckingham Palace.

The Story of Abraham tapestries

Royal Palaces in London

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This is the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace, but look at the tapestries on the walls. Those are famous Flemish works that that depict the life and stories of the biblical prophet Abraham.

“The Story of Abraham” set was commissioned by Henry VIII and delivered to him in 1543. In 1643 they were priced at £8,260 — which would be $1.54 million today in U.S. currency.

The Church of England

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While you can’t really “own” a religious denomination, the British monarchy has been head of the Church of England since Henry VIII separated England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. 

It’s one of the wealthiest religious organizations in the world and is valued at $11.97 billion. While Charles III is the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the principal religious leader.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of t

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The official residence of the British monarch in Scotland is the Palace of Holyroodhouse. 

The site is also home to the historic 16th century apartments owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, which are open to the public unless the royal family is in residence. Holyrood Palace is estimated to be worth around $63 million.

Michelangelo drawings

The Resurrection

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The Royal Collection has at least 20 drawings from the famed artist Michelangelo, including this one, “The Resurrection,” drawn circa 1532.

Michelangelo drawings often fetch tens of millions of dollars at auctions.

Sandringham House

Queen Elizabeth II death

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One of the other private residences owned by Queen Elizabeth II included Sandringham House in Norfolk, England. Local residents placed floral tributes at the gates of the house following the death of the queen on September 8, 2022.

According to Forbes, Sandringham House is estimated to be worth $65 million.

Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

An aerial view of London showing Regents Park and Primrose

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Primrose Hill is located just north of Regent’s Park in London, so they are both managed by The Royal Parks.

Regent’s Park is known for its sporting activities, and was even set to be the site of a few competitions in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but was changed at the last minute.

The Cullinan Diamond

Queen Tuvalu South Pacific

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The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality uncut diamond ever found, discovered in South Africa in 1905. Eventually, it was gifted to Edward VII, who had it cut into nine major stones, 90 minor stones, and 19.5 carats’ worth of unpolished fragments.

Two of the major stones are part of the Crown Jewels, while the other seven were privately owned by Elizabeth II. The largest stone, Cullinan I, is estimated to be worth between $400 million or more. The late queen is pictured here wearing the Cullinan V Heart Brooch.

The Stuart Sapphire

The State Opening Of Parliament

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The Stuart Sapphire, seen here on the back of Queen Elizabeth’s Imperial State Crown, was actually originally on the front of the crown. The origin of the sapphire is obscure, but it eventually passed into the Stuart family.

Edward VII moved the 104-carat sapphire to the back after he obtained the Cullinan II diamond, which now sits at the front.

The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross

The Head Of The Sceptre With The Cross

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The Sovereign’s Sceptre was commissioned in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II and is now an important part of the Crown Jewel collection, and is always included in coronation ceremonies. It was redesigned in 1910 to include Cullinan I, referred to as the Great Star of Africa.

It is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. 

Kensington Palace

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Kensington Palace is located in Kensington Gardens, a neighborhood of London, and has been in use by the residency since the 17th century. The huge location is often the residence of several members of the royal family. It’s estimated to be worth $630 million.

The State Rooms in Kensington Palace are managed by a nonprofit organization called Historic Royal Palaces, which does not receive public funding. Those are open to the public. The administrative and resident areas, however, are funded by the Royal Household, with no public access allowed. 

Leonardo da Vinci drawings

Study Of Muscles By Leonardo

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Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous artists and polymaths ever, and of course the British monarchs own a whopping 600 drawings made by him. It’s considered the best collection of da Vinci drawings in the world.

One of the sketches includes this anatomical drawing of the muscles of the shoulder, arms, and bones of the foot. It was drawn in ink circa 1510-11 and can be seen at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace.

A single, small da Vinci sketch sold for $12.2 million in July 2021 — so imagine what 600 drawings would be worth.

No inheritance tax

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 2022 - Platinum Pageant

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In the United Kingdom, anyone who has an estate worth more than $375 million must pay a 40% inheritance tax. But that doesn’t go for the monarchy.

Leaving aside anything owned by the monarchy itself, Queen Elizabeth II was estimated to be worth around $500 million as a private citizen — all of which now passes to Charles III.

Hillsborough Castle

Regional Proclamations Of King Charles III Accession Take Place

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Hillsborough Castle is the official and only royal residence of Northern Ireland. It was built in the 18th century for an Irish marquess. Whenever issues in Northern Ireland arise, peace talks usually take place at this residence. 

The castle is estimated to be worth around $92 million. 

APL Anglesey and CE Strathearn

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Belize, Jamaica And The Bahamas - Day Eight

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It can be difficult to maintain image rights if you’re a member of the royal family — perhaps the most notable public figures in the world — but that hasn’t stopped Prince William and Princess Catherine. 

Prince William established a firm called APL Anglesey. Princess Catherine established a similar one called CE Strathearn.

This will enable the two to sell official merchandise, but it will also give them power to legally stop people from selling items that could harm their image. 

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery

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The Brompton Cemetery of London, one of the better-known garden cemeteries in the world, is managed by The Royal Parks. It was established in 1839 as an Act of Parliament. 

There are more than 205,000 graves and 35,00 monuments located on 40 acres of land. 

Sèvres porcelain collection

Sèvres Manufactory

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With more than 500 pieces in the Royal Collection, the royal family owns the world’s largest collection of Sèvres porcelain, such as the vase featured here. 

Historic pieces of Sèvres porcelain usually sell for $4,000 to $8,000, but exceptional pieces can go for much higher.

Frogmore Cottage

General Views Of Frogmore Cottage

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Frogmore Cottage was originally named Double Garden Cottage when it was built for Queen Charlotte in 1801. The name changed to Frogmore in 1875 after Queen Victoria ate there and commented on the “immense number of little frogs.”

In 2019, the cottage was converted to a four-bedroom home to be the primary residence of Duke Harry and Duchess Meghan.

Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, took up residence at the cottage in November 2020 with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August.

“The Miraculous Draught of Fishes” by Raphael

Cartoon for The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Raphael and studio

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“The Miraculous Draught of Fishes” is a tapestry by Raphael circa 1515, referring to the two Biblical miracles.

The painting is owned by the Royal Collection, and can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. These Raphaels are worth millions.

St James’s Palace

View of St James's Palace

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St. James’s Palace was commissioned by Henry VIII. He used the palace as a secondary residence to escape daily court life. To this day, it is still technically considered the formal location of the Royal Court.

The palace complex includes the York House, where Charles III lived with his sons William and Harry in the 1990s, and the Clarence House, the former home of the Queen Mother and where Charles and Camilla resided until their ascension to the throne in September 2022. It’s supposedly worth $690 million.

Richmond Park

Cyclists on a windy road at sunrise in a London Park

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Richmond Park is the biggest of the Royal Parks. It was established by Charles I in the 17th century, and is today one of the most important nature reserves in England. 

It’s particularly known for its deer population, alongside ancient trees, beetles, and fungi. There’s also a large population of ring-necked parakeets, thanks to birds who escaped from captivity. It’s more than 2,500 acres.

The Stuart and Cumberland Papers

Celebration Of The Marriage Of James VI Of Scotland And Anne Of Denmark 1589 (circa 1610-1625)

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The Royal Collection isn’t just art, furniture, gems, and costumes — it also buys and displays historic writings and papers as part of the Royal Archives. 

The Stuart family took over the crown after Elizabeth I died without heirs. Much of their rule, however, was marked by Catholic-Protestant tensions. The last Catholic British monarch, James II of England, was deposed in 1689.

Members of the Stuart family were then exiled, and correspondence was sent about failed attempts to regain the throne. These papers are priceless to historians.

The Royal Lodge

Britain Prince Andrew

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The Royal Lodge, located in Berkshire, England near Windsor Castle, is the primary location of embattled royal Prince Andrew, pictured here in front of the residence. 

He has lived there since its renovation in 2004 and resides with his ex-wife, Duchess Sarah. It was built originally in 1662, but has been demolished and rebuilt several times since then.

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