800 years of the Crown Corporation.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the wealthiest crone in the world, who gives new meaning to the phrase, ``stinking rich.'' Her total wealth is divided into two parts. One is a Venetian-style fondo (trust), that is, it is inalienable and must be passed on to her heir, free from inheritance tax. The second part of her wealth consists of her private collection of castles, jewelry, and art, and a portfolio of blue chip stocks and bonds and real estate investments around the world. Her investment portfolio is estimated to be worth £3 billion.
One of the secrets to her disposable wealth is that she amassed it tax free until 1992--the Annus Horribilis, which started with the separation of Charles and Diana and ended with the fire at Windsor Castle--when she entered a memorandum of understanding to pay taxes on income, capital gains, and inheritance on this portfolio; although, the Queen can break this agreement at any time she desires.
A second, most important secret is that the Queen is the world's ultimate ``insider trader.'' She not only gets tips from British financiers, but also has access to all the state secrets, through the ``boxes.'' Thus, if the Queen learns from among all public and private British Empire intelligence and economic warfare entities reporting to her, for example, that Nigeria is about to be destabilized, she can immediately call her broker. Under the secrecy laws of the British Empire, it would be unthinkable for anyone to consider pressing charges of insider trading and conflict of interest against the sovereign: In fact, only a handful of trusted advisers would ever know.
The Queen thus follows the Venetian system of being Doge of a financier-oligarchy. One key point in this shift of the sovereign as the largest landholder, to the sovereign as a financier, took place under George III, who turned over most of the Crown Lands to Parliament in exchange for a Civil List of payments to fund the monarchy and its retainers, which has expanded ever since (when all the perquisites are taken into account). The Civil List, especially since the reign of Queen Victoria's heir, Edward VII, represented a vast pool for financial speculation.