WASHINGTON — It was a royal uproar in England this week as Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle announced they would step back from their royal roles. But what is the role of a royal in the United Kingdom?
The Royal Family is mostly symbolic. Queen Elizabeth II acts as the figured head of the UK. Stepping back means Harry and Meghan will be distancing themselves from the symbolic duties of the British monarchy and some of the royal money.
The UK has a constitutional Monarchy, as the Parliament runs the country and the royal family is symbolic.
For example, a Parliament bill isn’t passed until the Queen gives what is called the “Royal Assent.”
That is her approval. But it is pretty much a rubber stamp of approval. A monarch hasn’t refused to sign a bill since 1708.
The true role for the Royal family is that they act as goodwill ambassadors for the government of the United Kingdom at home and abroad.
Technically, the Royal family does receive funds from the UK treasury. The Royals own a gigantic Real Estate portfolio called the “Crown’s Estate.” IT generates millions of dollars each year for the UK.
Then 25 percent of that comes back to the Royal family in what is called the “Sovereign Grant.”
By stepping back Harry and Meghan will have smaller roles in the public eye and will no longer accept money from the “Sovereign Grant.”
But they’re probably not going to be strapped for cash. Harry’s estimated net worth is currently around $40 million. Meghan Markle made quite a bit of income from her time as an actress.
She pulled in about $50,000k an episode for 100 episodes.