The strategically linked group of organizations called “The Firm” first came in public knowledge in the year of 1936. As the then King of Britain Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David) was abdicated in December of 1936, the same year he became the King.
He was succeeded by his elder brother and the father of Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George). Reportedly once during a speech, King George VI stated that “We are not a family, we are a Firm” meaning he and all the members of the British Royal Family were more like a firm and not just a family. Since then this nickname stayed popular.
“The Firm” is also known as by many other names such as “The Firm of Eight” or “Monarchy PLC” or “The Institution” even sometimes just “The Brand”.
The Firm of Eight, is an inner circle of the Royals including The Queen Elizabeth II, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie Rhys-Jones.
These are the key eight people in the elite inner circle of the British royal family, they are the ones who make primary decisions and also represent the family in the eyes of the world.
The British Royal Family is worth around $88 Billion which is approximately £64 Billion. The British Monarchy gets its money mainly from public taxes and private assets. The public money comes in form of the Sovereign Grant and the Private money comes from the Private earnings called Privy Purse, Owned Assets which include Castles, Stamps and Stocks.
WHAT IS THE SOVEREIGN GRANT?
The Sovereign Grant comes directly from the treasury and is funded by the tax money.The Agreement of the Sovereign Grant is that the Queen or King of Britain will surrender entire profits which are made through the Crown Estate to the Government. All the properties owned by the British Royal Family are called collectively The Crown Estate.
Every Year The British Royal Family gives all the profits made through the Crown Estate to the British Government. In Return, as per the agreement, The Queen or King of the United Kingdom is given 25% of this money.
The British Royal Family uses this Sovereign Grant for official level expenses including payroll of the entire staff, security expenses, travelling expenses, housekeeping costs, maintenance and management costs and other official expenses.
For example, in the year 2020 was £85.9 Million GBP (Approximately $119.1 Million USD) , which is 25% of the £343.5 Million GBP (Approximately $476.2 Million USD) of total profits made by the Crown Estate.
WHAT IS THE PRIVY PURSE?
Privy Purse is the actual private income of the British Sovereign. Mainly The Privy Purse gets its money through the Duchy of Lancaster.
The Duchy of Lancaster is the collective portfolio of properties owned by the trust of the sovereign and it is managed as separate from The Crown Estate properties. In total the Duchy of Lancaster is 45,550 acres of land and properties that include farmlands, Rural Estates, Urban estates and buildings, historical buildings and structures and Commercial Buildings.
It contains approximately 600 Million worth of assets and earns more than 20 Million to the Royal Family every year. This money is used to pay for the expenses of other members of the British Royal Family.
England has a total of two duchies which are The Duchy of Lancaster and The Duchy of Cornwall.
Multiple premium estates, Farmhouses, Castles, Stamps and stocks are among what assets the Sovereign and The British Royal Family owns as private assets.
These assets also include a vast valuable art collection, Possessions of the previous monarchs and members of the Royal family, and many other valuable assets.
It is estimated that the contribution of the British Royal Family and the so-called “The Firm” to British media, news companies and tabloids is some $70-80 Million.
This is yet not confirmed information as it is quite a hypothesis. Recently in an Interview with Oprah Winfrey, former Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle first mentioned about this “Invisible Contract” however proofs are statements are yet to be discovered.
It is considered that these contracts are symbiotic in nature and therefore help both the Firm and the Media corporations.
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THE FIRM, The Firm Of Eight, Monarchy PLC or The Brand
1. QUEEN ELIZABETH II
2. PRINCE CHARLES [The Next King of Britain]
3. PRINCE WILLIAM [Third in queue for Monarchy]
4. DUCHESS KATE
5. DUCHESS CAMILLA
6. PRINCESS ANNE
7. PRINCE EDWARD
8. COUNTESS SOPHIE
Previously Prince Philip was also a senior member of the so-called “The Firm” or “The Institution” but he has officially stepped down from his position.
Prince Philip was famous for using this nickname and calling the British Royal Family as “The Firm” often.
Prince Philip also has many other nicknames for members of the royal family like he sometimes call Queen Elizabeth II as “Cabbage” , Princess Anne as “Sweetie”.
Prince Philip is famous for using these nicknames but “The Firm” just stuck since long as even the former King George VI referred to the family by same.