Queen Elizabeth Net Worth: Did Queen Try To Block A Law To Hide Her Wealth?
Queen Elizabeth did not try to block a law that would reveal her wealth. Buckingham Palace issued a denial following suggestions that Her Majesty may have attempted to influence a 1973 legislation that would have forced her to reveal the extent of her private share dealings.
An expose from The Guardian alleged that Matthew Farrer, Her Majesty's lawyer, met with civil servants several times before the bill to conceal the Queen's wealth was made into a law. The Trade and Industry department was drafting a bill that would prevent investors from secretly increasing their wealth in listed companies through shares, front companies or nominated representatives.
The Guardian said that documents from the British National Archives showed how Farrer have intervened and pushed to change the draft. Memos between Farrer and the civil servant stated that the law could potentially embarrass the Queen and open her and her heir, Prince Charles, to controversies. A cabinet minister apparently suggested adding a clause into the legislation that would exempt "heads of state," such as Queen Elizabeth, from this transparency measure.
But under the process of the Parliament, the Queen's consent is usually asked in a situation where civil servants are debating bills that could impact the interests of the Crown. In her nearly 70-year-reign, more than 1,000 of these drafts have been shown to Queen Elizabeth and her heir. The Guardian suggested that the monarch and the Prince of Wales "wielded a kind of influence" in legislations that even the most experienced lobbyist could only dream of.
In a statement to BBC, however, Buckingham Palace reiterated that the Queen's consent was "purely formal" and that she "always granted" the requests from the government. It is also the Parliament who decides whether they need the Queen's consent or not, in matters that include the monarch's personal and private interests.
According to The Washington Post, the modified draft, which did include the clause protecting the head of state, became law in 1976. This exempted the Bank of England nominees, where Her Majesty has shares, from revealing the Queen's wealth until 2011 when her shares were dissolved. It is not known what happened to her investments after this period.
People reported that it's never easy to deduce Queen Elizabeth's personal wealth, especially with her profitable estates in Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk. The Queen also invests in art, stamps and her racehorses. The Times lists her net worth at $480 million in 2020 but her wealth was hit hard by the pandemic crisis, losing about $28 million. (Business Times)