Why The Queen Pays Taxes When She Doesn't Have To

It's no secret that the British royal family is quite wealthy. According to Forbes, The Firm has about $28 billion in assets, and Queen Elizabeth has another $500 million of her own money tied up in "personal assets." According the royal family's official website, the queen has a "personal income," that is "derived from her personal investment portfolio and private estates, is used to meet her private expenses." She also owns a some pretty pricey pieces of property, including Balmoral and Sandringham Estates. Oh, and Buckingham Palace, of course.

And while you might think that the queen must contribute her fair share to taxes each year, the truth of the matter is that she is exempt. "The Monarch is not legally liable to pay income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax because the relevant enactments do not apply to the Crown," the UK's official government website states. However, the queen has actually voluntarily contributed to taxes for several years. Her husband, Prince Philip, also voluntarily paid taxes before his death in 2021. Keep reading to find out the reason.

Queen Elizabeth decided to pay taxes back in 1992

According to the royal family's official website, the queen has paid taxes since 1992. At that time, she volunteered to pay both income tax and capital gains tax. Starting in 1993, she began paying taxes on her personal income as well. The decision came after there was a fire at Windsor Castle that caused upwards of $90 million in damage, according to The New York Times. The Times reported that the queen received some push back from commoners and politicians urging her to help pay for the repairs, rather than simply relying on taxpayers' money. 

After the arguments were made, the queen acknowledged them by offering to contribute taxes — and her husband, Prince Philip, and her son, Charles, Prince of Wales, would do the same. While the move may have been stunning — and unexpected — to some, it is not the first time that this happened within a monarchy. That is to say, other monarchs have also voluntarily paid taxes, according to The New York Times. In fact, the queen's father, King George VI, voluntarily paid taxes. The other monarch to remit taxes was Queen Victoria.