How does Queen Elizabeth II actually make money?

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Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth!

Castles, land, lavish jewels and everything regal—we all know that being royalty means being really, really rich. Queen Elizabeth II is no exception.

Though much of it is (obviously) inherited, we never really stop to think about just how much money the royals actually make year after year.

More importantly, where does that money come from? There's no set salary for being The Queen of England, though it would be nice if it were that simple.

Being royalty comes with endless obligations and responsibilities, and they're not necessarily compensated directly with money. Fortunately, however, there's a specific set of grants and rules in place that allow The Queen to generate an income every year.

Take a look at all of these celebs meeting The Queen:

Celebs Meet Queen Elizabeth II
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How does Queen Elizabeth II actually make money?
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room on October 10, 2014 at Buckingham Palace, London. Jolie is receiving an honorary damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence. (Photo by Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) meets British actress Dame Helen Mirren (L) as television presenter Sir David Attenborough (3rd R) looks on during a Reception for the Dramatic Arts, at Buckingham Palace in London, on February 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YUI MOK/POOL (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 01: The Queen At The Royal Command Performance At The Victoria Palace Theatre On 1st December 1997 Shaking Hands With Pop Star Victoria Beckham (posh Spice) Of The Pop Band The Spice Girls. (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
British actress Kate Winslet displays her CBE, for services to drama, which was awarded to her by Queen Elizabeth II, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London, Wednesday Nov. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/ John Stillwell/Pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) meets British-born actress Dame Angela Lansbury (R) during a Reception for the Dramatic Arts, at Buckingham Palace in London, on February 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YUI MOK / POOL (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 02: Actor Patrick Stewart arrives to receive a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham PalaceJune 02, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 17: Queen Elizabeth II meets Helena Bonham Carter during the Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on February 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
British actress Kate Winslet poses with her neck badge after being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to drama by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London on November 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOHN STILLWELL (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)
Dame Elizabeth Taylor, right, stands with Dame Julie Andrews, the star of the movies Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, after they both received the honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony held in Buckingham Palace, London, Tuesday, May 16, 2000. (AP Photo/Michael Dunlea/POOL)
Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones, right, and her husband Michael Douglas, with their children Dylan and Carys, arrive at Buckingham Palace in London where Catherine Zeta Jones will be invested with the royal award as a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by the Prince of Wales, Thursday Feb. 24, 2011. The Welsh-born actress who became an Oscar-winning star will receive the honour for services to the film industry and to charity. (AP Photo / Lewis Whyld)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) shakes hands with Dame Helen Mirren (R) during a performing arts reception to celebrate young people, at Buckingham Palace, in central London on May 9, 2011. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Dominic Lipinski (Photo credit should read Dominic Lipinski/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Angela Lansbury displays the insignia of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire that she received from His Royal Highness the Prince Charles at the residence of the British Consul in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 31, 1994. (AP Photo/Lois Bernstein/Pool)
Queen Elizabeth II meets Sir Elton John backstage as British singer Robbie Williams (R) watches during the Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London, on June 4, 20112. A chain of more than 4,200 beacons began to flare across the globe Monday to mark Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, with the last to be lit by the monarch at a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace. AFP PHOTO / Dave Thompson /POOL (Photo credit should read Dave Thompson/AFP/GettyImages)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: (NO PUBLICATION IN UK MEDIA FOR 28 DAYS) Queen Elizabeth II invests Dame Judi Dench with the Insignia of a Companion of Honour at Buckingham Palace (Photo by POOL Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets author J.K. Rowling (Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, meets actor Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, during the world premiere of the latest James Bond movie "Casino Royale" at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006. (AP Photo/Michael Dunlea, Pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, is greeted by England and Manchester United soccer captain David Beckham, right, at a reception prior to the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, Thursday July 25, 2002. Others are unidentified.(AP Photo/Phil Noble/pool)
LONDON - MARCH 16: (NO UK SALES FOR 28 DAYS) Hugh Grant meets Queen Elizabeth II at a banquet to honour the President of the Italian Republic and his wife Signora Ciampi during their state visit to the UK at Italian the Ambassador's Residence on March 16, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by ROTA/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets French actress Catherine Deneuve at a Royal film Performance, 14th March 1966. Also present are (left to right) Christopher Lee, Ursula Andress, Woody Allen and Raquel Welch. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
4th November 1963: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) talking to British pop group The Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. (Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Queen Elizabeth II meets actor Christopher Lee at a reception for the British Film Industry at Windsor Castle on April 4, 2013 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) meets Sir Paul McCartney backstage during the Diamond Jubilee Concert in London, on June 4, 2012. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II made a regal appearance at a star-studded diamond jubilee concert Monday but without her husband Prince Philip at her side after he was hospitalised hours earlier. AFP PHOTO / Dave Thompson/POOL (Photo credit should read Dave Thompson/AFP/GettyImages)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 14: Queen Elizabeth II (L) meets Annie Lennox following the annual Commonwealth Day Observance Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 3: Queen Elizabeth II greets Penny Lancaster (2nd R) and Rod Stewart (R) during a reception for the Royal National Institute for the Blind at St James Palace on June 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
British singer Tom Jones, right, shakes hands with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, after the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium, England, Nov. 24, 1987. Also in the line up are entertainer Kenny Lynch, second right, singer Shirley Bassey, third right, and actor and songwriter Anthony Newley. (AP Photo/John Redman, WPA pool)
Queen Elizabeth II meets Sir Tom Jones backstage at The Diamond Jubilee Concert in London Monday June 4, 2012. Thousands of flag-waving fans gathered to watch British music royalty celebrate Queen Elizabeth II on Monday with a Buckingham Palace concert featuring acts from throughout her 60-year-reign. But the queen's husband, Prince Philip, missed the concert after being hospitalized with a bladder infection. (AP Photo / Dave Thompson, Pool)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: HRH Queen Elizabeth II listens as Bono makes a citation at a special 'Celebration of the Arts' event at the Royal Academy of Arts on May 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 17: Queen Elizabeth II meets Andrew Lloyd-Webber during the Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on February 17, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David Crump - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
FILE--Britain's Queen Elizabeth and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney watch a performance by students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in this June 7 1996 file photo. Paul McCartney is to receive a Knighthood at an Investiture cermony conducted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace later Tuesday March 11 1997.(AP Photos/PA, File) **UNITED KINGDOM OUT**
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II receives the Jubilee Baton from six-year old Kirsty Howard accompanied by British soccer player David Beckham during 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 25 July 2002. Kirsty, who is seriously ill after being born with her heart back to front, is the mascot for the Francis House children's hospice which David and Victoria Beckham sponsor. AFP PHOTO DAMIEN MEYER (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

So bow down and take note—here are the three ways The Queen makes money:

1. Private Income

This includes money from inherited private estates, such as Sandringham and Balmoral Castle, and her personal investment portfolio. The Queen pays income tax on the revenue but her private wealth is not made public.

Don't let her day job fool you. The Queen, much like us commoners, has her own portfolio of financial investments which she profits off of. Another great thing about being royalty is all of that fun stuff you get to inherit when you take the crown, namely private estates.

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This, however, does not include royal heirlooms (like the Crown Jewels) or other royal estates (you know, like that Buckingham Palace place) that are not The Queen's to sell.

It should be noted that though The Queen has paid income taxes since 1993, they remain private.

Translation: though it can be estimated, there's no actual way to find out just how much money she actually has.

We suppose you could ask her, but that might be a bit forward.

2. The Duchy of Lancaster (provides the Privy Purse)

No, we're not speaking a different language.

The Duchy of Lancaster is a compilation of over 18,000 hectares of land, property and other assets in both England and Wales.

It's been around since 1399 and is meant to provide a set income for The Queen, who is also known as the Duke of Lancaster (even though she's a woman).

The Privy Purse is the name of the income that's generated from the Duchy, which is used for the upkeep of The Duchy's land and property, as well as to fund her private and official expenditures.

The Queen receives all of the net profits from The Duchy, which she voluntarily pays income tax on.

The Privy Purse is generally considered to be The Queen's private income, though it's unofficial.

3. Sovereign Grant

This one involves a fun history lesson—we'll make it brief, don't worry.

Back in 1760, King George III had inherited a very large and profitable portfolio of land and property (including most of England's seabed) called the Crown Estate.

Though the land generated a mass amount of revenue, the King was not directly profiting from it because the money was going directly to paying the salaries of the country's judges, ambassadors and civil servants (which was called the Civil List).

Naturally, King George was annoyed so he made a deal with Parliament—he would hand over the revenue generated by the Crown Estate to the treasury if Parliament agreed to pay for the Civil List.

Oh, and he wanted a hefty lump sum, too. Parliament agreed.

So, what does this have to do with the Sovereign Grant?

The Sovereign Grant is a chunk of money that The Queen receives from the Treasury every year, which is 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate.

See, it all makes sense!

Since the profits generated by the Crown Estate vary year over year, so does the amount given to The Queen.

The Sovereign Grant is used to fund upkeep of occupied properties and residences (like Buckingham and Kensington Palaces) as well as royal travel expenditures and garden parties.

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How does Queen Elizabeth II actually make money?

Matthew Berry was a Hollywood screenwriter for 10 years, writing for sitcoms like "Married With Children" and movies like "Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles." For some, that's a dream come true. For him, it was awful.

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In 2005, Berry went after his passion: fantasy sports. Appearances on radio and TV for ESPN and the NBA landed him in a meeting with ESPN vice president John Kosner. Berry persuaded Kosner to let him turn his hobby into a full-time job.

Now, Berry is ESPN's senior fantasy sports analyst and the author of "Fantasy Life," spending his days playing in every type of league imaginable. The dream job has led Berry to tell Sports Business Daily, "I like my salary. But I'd do it for free."

Scott Leonard, founder and CEO of the boutique financial advisory firm Navigoe, spent the past several years traveling the Caribbean and South Pacific in his 50-foot-long catamaran sailboat with his wife, Mandi, and three sons — all while continuing to manage his successful business. 

During the time he was away enjoying quality time and scenic views with his family, his business grew its customer base and revenue. That was thanks to Leonard's careful preparation and occasional flights back home from ports for face-to-face meetings.

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Nigel Franklyn was working as a journalist and model when he attended a conference on spas that launched him on a new path as a spa consultant. Today, he stays at spas around the world for weeks at a time to advise spa managers on how to improve their services for guests, Yahoo reported in 2014.

Traveling 10 months out of the year, Franklyn covers all aspects of spa design. He has worked for the past eight years without a set plan, instead relying on instinct and attentiveness to meet the needs of his clients.

"I am living my dream, not because of the places I see, but because this is my absolute, genuine passion," Franklyn told Business Insider. "The spa industry and well-being and healing are things that fill my soul — the level of luxury and beauty I am blessed to spend my life in is a byproduct of something that is much, much more grounded and rooted at my core."

Swedish gamer Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is YouTube's most popular star. At 26 years old, Kjellberg (also known as "PewDiePie") has made a name for himself by playing various video games and filming his ridiculous and often hilarious reactions.

According to The Guardian, Kjellberg made $7.4 million last year from his "Let's Play" videos on YouTube and other ventures, and a Variety survey last year found him to be the third-most influential figure to American teenagers. He gets all this recognition just for playing video games, something most people pay to do.

Vanessa Selbst is the highest earning female poker player of all time, having amassed $11.6 million in total winnings. But professional poker isn’t her only strong suit. She took a break from poker to graduate from Yale Law School in 2012 and vowed to use her degree “to fight for racial injustice and economic equality.”

When she isn’t traveling and winning in poker, Selbst works with the foundation she established called Venture Justice, which supports racial justice, economic equality, and an end to police misconduct. She also serves on the board of the Urban Justice Center.

Ever since Donald Pettit saw John Glenn go to space, he knew he wanted to be an astronaut. One may think that, after spending more than a decade years as, literally, a rocket scientist, he was a natural choice for NASA's space program. Instead, it took Pettit 13 years and three rejections before he got into the program.

In 2002, Pettit got on his first mission, spending six months in space. The experience was everything he dreamed of and more. 

Pettit brought his boundless creativity to space. As an avid photographer, Pettit took hundreds of thousands of photos of the Earth and interesting cosmic phenomena. 

He also created a series of YouTube videos called "Saturday Morning Science," where he tested experiments in space. His most memorable was probably a demonstration in which he used Angry Bird dolls to demonstrate parabolic force.

Photographer Brandon Stanton was a bond trader in Chicago before he lost his job in 2010. While working as a bond trader, Stanton had bought a camera and started photographing downtown Chicago in his spare time. After leaving finance, he got the idea to pursue photography full-time.

While doing a photo tour of the US, Stanton found New York to be an ideal photographic setting. He began the Facebook profile Humans of New York. Now Stanton runs Humans of New York full-time, having amassed more than 16 million likes on Facebook and sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his "Humans of New York" book. The UN even sent Stanton to the Middle East to document people there.

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Martine Rothblatt is one of the highest-paid female CEOs in America. She heads of United Therapeutics Corp and is worth $390 million, according to Forbes. She's also transgender and a futurist.

Rothblatt transitioned from being a man to a woman halfway through her life with the support of her, wife, Bina, four children, and other professionals who saw her transgender status as proof of a self-made pioneer, New York Magazine reported last year. 

When her youngest child was found to have a fatal disease constricting blood flow between her heart and lungs, Rothblatt founded and ran a pharmaceutical company that got FDA approval for a new pill that saved her daughter's life. Rothblatt is also an attorney and a founder of Sirius Radio. 

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Every insanely luxurious hotel needs a few ridiculous job titles, but Robert Uy's might take the cake. As the luxury bed tester at the Burj Al Arab, Uy's job is to lie in each of the beds to ensure they match guests' specifications.

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"I make sure that the bed is soft on the head, medium on the body and that the legs side is firm — this is to ensure that when guests sleep they won’t feel any back pain," Uy told Arabian Business last year. 

After entering his 30s, Mark Christy left behind a decade of experience as a creative director for commercial productions to lead a nomadic lifestyle with his wife, Nives, a makeup artist in the fashion industry.

The Philadelphia couple quit their day jobs, sold or donated nearly all their possessions, and spent two months building a camper atop an ex-military trailer to call their new home. They set out in the summer of 2014 because they became sick of the daily grind of city work. 

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The pair and their dog typically set up camp for a couple weeks at a single location, surrounded by gorgeous views of nature as they cook and sleep out of their tiny camper. They don't venture too far off the grid, since they've begun making money from their website Camp Trend, where they profile long-term camping enthusiasts, write reviews of camping apparel and gear, and show off original photos of the outdoor lifestyle. To supplement their income, the couple occasionally freelance in their old lines of work.

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He has turned his dream into a business as owner and operator of Bushwhack Alaska Guiding and Outfitting, offering hunts and year-round wilderness adventures for clients.

"Alaska presents real challenges, but Erik is living his dream," writes National Geographic in the channel's profile of Salitan. "A successful day to Erik is a day spent doing his favorite things: walking around, looking at animals, climbing a hill, sitting on the edge of a mountain, and taking in the beautiful scenery."


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