King Charles won’t pay inheritance taxes on queen’s estate

In 1993, Queen Elizabeth II agreed to pay the highest income tax in exchange for the royal family being exempt from paying inheritance tax.

It has been estimated that Queen Elizabeth II personally owned approximately $500 million in real estate, investments, jewelry and other assets. King Charles III not only inherits the throne from his mother, but also the monarch’s vast fortune.

After she died at her Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, on September 8, some people said King Charles III. does not have to pay inheritance tax on her assets, although others in the UK are obliged to do so.

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Is King Charles III. exempt from paying inheritance tax?



This is true.

Yes, King Charles III. is exempt from paying inheritance tax.


When a person dies in the UK and their survivors inherit their wealth, they normally pay inheritance tax at 40% on wealth above a certain threshold. According to the UK Government, inheritance tax is a tax on the estate – the wealth, money and possessions – of the deceased.

The only time someone will not have to pay this tax in the UK is when:

  • the value of the estate is below the £325,000 threshold
  • If the deceased left anything above the £325,000 threshold to their spouse, domestic partner, charity or local amateur sports club

(Note: as of September 15, one euro equals one US dollar)

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Since the Queen’s estate is worth much more, the King should have paid the 40 percent tax on it, but that’s not the case due to a deal the Queen made in 1993.

According to news reports from the period, the monarch agreed to pay income tax for the first time since the 1930s after the government criticized the Crown for giving it special tax treatment due to its tax-exempt status.

Parliament was reportedly a shock when then-Prime Minister John Major announced the Queen had agreed to pay taxes. According to a 1993 Parliament transcript, Major said the Queen had agreed to voluntarily pay the country’s highest income tax bracket on her personal income and capital gains taxes annually. In 1993 it was 40%; In 2021 it rose to 45%.

But because of the “unique circumstances of a hereditary monarchy, special rules are required for inheritance tax,” Major said in 1993. Therefore, the monarchy would be exempt from paying inheritance tax.

While the royal family does not pay inheritance tax under the Queen’s agreement, others have. When Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, known as the ‘Queen Mother’, died in 2002, members of her staff had to pay inheritance tax on items left to them in her will.

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