NPR Story
2:30 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Royal Baby Could Inherit $1 Billion

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 6:40 pm

Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, are at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Officials at Buckingham Palace say Kate is in labor.

The new arrival — the couple’s first child — will be third in line for the British throne, after Prince Charles and William.

So while the world waits, Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal does some number crunching. He writes today that the royal baby could inherit $1 billion.

Guest

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Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

So, Jeremy, a lot of news. Washington, the weather, those drivers trapped by flash floods in Arizona, important. But it was hard to find any of these on the television news this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS BROADCASTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We can report finally that the long wait - it's not over, but it's beginning to end.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This place is a hive of activity this morning, and I think it's safe to say that the great Kate wait is over.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: She could be out in a day. If there are some problems, it might be in a few days. But first, we'll know about her having had a child is when someone comes out on the doorstep with a little notice, which they'll take to the Buckingham Palace to make the formal announcement.

YOUNG: Now, everyone, everyone loves a newborn.

(LAUGHTER)

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

Gosh.

YOUNG: But really? You know, we know the new arrival is going to be third in line for the British throne after Prince Charles and William and will inherit the family's legacy. But as Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal reminds us, the child inherits much more. Jason, a billion dollars?

JASON BELLINI: That's right. A group called Wealth-X, they do due diligence on very high net worth individuals, and they took a close look at the entire royal family. Now, this baby, boy or a girl, is going to be third in line at throne. That means he or she will inherit the family's wealth, and it is, like you said, a billion dollars and most of it is coming from Queen Elizabeth. She's got $600 million, most of that is in stocks and in property and other holdings. Then his grandpa, Prince Charles, he got $370 million. And he's actually the one who's going to be paying the bills for all the staff that's going to raise this royal child.

HOBSON: But, Jason, we always hear that the royal family is cash-strapped, that they have to cut the wages of their maids and who knows what else. I mean, is this money coming from the family or the state or a mix of both or what?

BELLINI: Well, it's a delicate balancing act for them because they are state-funded in their royal expenses; their security, their travel expenses. And that, of course, comes under close scrutiny from the British public, but they are highly wealthy independently. And, in fact, as I said, Prince Charles, he's the one who pays most of the bills for the staff of - that work for his son and his daughter-in-law and both his sons actually. But, yes, they're - they - if they were to be cut-off completely from - by the British public, they would be totally fine for many centuries to come with the wealth that they have.

(LAUGHTER)

YOUNG: Well - and yet, we notice the women never carry purses. Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal on the royal baby's inheritance, an interesting angle. Jason, thanks so much.

BELLINI: Thank you.

YOUNG: And, of course, we wish everyone well. Back in a bit. HERE AND NOW.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.