Queen Elizabeth and the royal family are understandably thought to be some of the richest people in the world. Although their net worth is in the value of millions, the Queen’s wealth is valued at roughly around $500 million, according to Forbes in May this year, placing her below the 2,153 billionaires on its list. It comes to question: where does her wealth come from, and what does she spend her half a billion dollar fortune on?

Her royal duties as Queen grant her a majority of the riches she currently has. According to CNN Money, the Queen’s wealth comes from three sources: the Sovereign Grant, the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster and her own personal property and investments. 

The Sovereign Grant is the amount of money that the Queen obtains from the government, which stems from the British citizens’ taxes. This pool of money is for the expenses incurred for royal duties that the position comes with. The amount is never the same each year. In the year 2016–2017, she received $54 million, while in 2017–2018, she received $58 million.

The title of Duke of Lancaster presents a vast sum for her coffers as well, as the Duchy is a residential, agricultural and commercial estate. The Duchy is a portfolio of 45,550 acres of land consisting of rural estates, farmland, urban developments, historical buildings and commercial properties throughout England and Wales. Last year, she received $27 million from the title.

Of course her personal estates and assets are there to supplement the cash flow from her title. Part of these is her famed stamp collection and her estates in Scotland and Norfolk.

Her vast wealth does not sit idly by as, understandably, her position warrants some spending to keep working. Apart from the costs incurred for royal projects and events, a certain portion of her wealth goes to paying her children for the royal duties that they perform on behalf of the royal family. Apart from this, she has to give salary to her palace staff, whom she needs for the maintenance of the Palace and her assets.

With her position comes a taste for luxury too as the Queen has to look the part as well. Apart from her taste for clothing and jewelry, her passion for Launer bags has already reached an estimated $569,000 collection. She has also been known to be an avid fan of drinking 1990 Chateau Rothschild-Lafite, a red wine that sells for an average of $1,778 a bottle.

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II marks the centenary of GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters) at Watergate House on February 14, 2019, in London, England. Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images