Princess Diana's Net Worth: A Breakdown of the People's Princess's Wealth

Princess Diana's Net Worth: A Breakdown of the People's Princess's Wealth
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When we think of the royals, we automatically think of wealth. Being royal comes with a lot of perks -- some of the biggest being the riches -- the glamour, and the lavish lifestyle. While Princess Diana was best known as an individual for her philanthropy and service to the underprivileged and underrepresented, she was still a member of the British royal family, which in 2020 has an estimated worth of  $88 billion. It's safe to say that at the time of her death, Diana certainly had at least a small fortune of her own -- much of which of course has since been inherited by her sons, Prince Harry and Prince William.

While Diana wasn't born royalty, she came from nobility. (Her father became the Eighth Earl Spencer in 1975.) Although, the exact numbers are not public information, Diana did receive a family inheritance of her own once she was of age. She definitely did not enter into her marriage to Prince Charles as a pauper. However, she would have had little reason to spend her own personal funds after becoming a princess -- considering the royals receive grant money for various expenses, and that Charles' fortune would have covered many, if not all, of her needs.

Still, it wasn't until she divorced the future king that her own personal assets skyrocketed and her wealth reached even higher heights posthumously. According to various reports, Princess Diana was worth around $31.5 million at the time of her death in 1997, though some say she may have been worth as much as $55 million. Here's how it breaks down.

  • Never Wanting for Anything

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    Princess Diana as a child
    Fox Photos/Getty Images

    Diana grew up as Lady Diana Spencer, and her family was considered among the elite in the UK. She went to the best schools as a child, and lived a life of relative leisure, receiving an inheritance of an undisclosed amount at age 18. Her brother, Charles, who is the Ninth Earl Spencer, is currently worth roughly $100 million, and while some of that surely came from assets he inherited after Princess Diana's passing as well, the family has been wealthy for generations.

  • Working Girl

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    lady diana spencer
    Central Press/Getty Images

    After moving to London at age 18, and before marrying Prince Charles, Diana worked as a nanny and kindergarten teacher for a short time. The pay probably wasn't much, but her parents had already paid for her London flat, so her personal expenses would have been quite low. We wouldn't be surprised if most of her salary went into savings.

  • Marrying Charles Was Life-Changing

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    princess diana
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    Being a member of the aristocracy still doesn't compare to being the wife of a future king. Diana's worth would surely have increased significantly. A number of lawyers and accountants likely handled her finances, but Prince Charles definitely already had a massive fortune by the time they were married. In 2020, he is worth as much as $400 million, and isn't even king yet.

  • The Duchy of Cornwall

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    Prince Charles
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    The bulk of Charles' fortune comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, a medieval estate that he inherited at the age of 21 -- which includes real estate and agricultural holdings. Charles uses earnings from the estate to support members of his immediate family, which would have including Diana during their 15-year marriage. In fact, both Prince William, Prince Harry, and their families are still supported by the Duchy of Cornwall.

  • Divorce

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    british royals
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    Not that the People's Princess didn't deserve it, but after a nearly two-year divorce battle, Diana received a hefty payment when a settlement was finally reached. According to The New York Times, she received about $22.5 million in cash, and was to be allotted about $600,000 per year for business expenses. (She was also allowed to keep her apartments in Kensington Palace.) Of course, she was still raising the boys at the time, so Prince Charles undoubtedly would not have removed them from their home.

  • Let's Backtrack

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    princess diana driving
    Flynetpictures.com/Splash News

    OK, so if Princess Diana got a $22.5 million lump sum in the divorce, and her estimated worth at the time of her death was $31.5 million. She died only one year after her divorce was finalized -- perhaps receiving just a single payout of the yearly $600,000 -- she had to have had at least a few million dollars of her own money before she wed Prince Charles. 

  • Additional Assets

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    princess diana 1990s
    Flynetpictures.com/Splash News

    After her death, Diana left behind a number of valuable assets -- including jewelry, tiaras, home movies, photographs, letters, photos and other personal possessions, including her wedding gown. According to her will, these items were left to her brother, Charles Spencer, until her youngest son, Prince Harry, turned 30.

  • Althorp House 

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    My favourite side of @althorphouse - north facing

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    A collection of 150 items that belonged to Princess Di were on display at Althorp House, one of her childhood homes, every summer between 1998 and 2013. The exhibit was planned and organized by her brother Charles, and according to the BBC brought in a total of £1.2 million that was donated to charities helping disadvantaged people all over the world.

  • Her Will

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    Princess Diana and her mother Frances Shand Kydd
    Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

    Princess Diana's mother and sister were named the executors of her will, and while she was specific about who she wanted to have what, they did make some modifications. Diana left assets to her children, her godchildren, and her butler. The changes made by her mother and grandmother were only relative to the children. (They left the butler alone.)

  • Cut Out Her Godchildren

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    princess diana godchildren
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    Diana had 17 godchildren at the time of her passing, and 25% of her jewelry and possessions were supposed to go them. However, her mom and sister put the kibosh on that. They went to court and obtained a "variation order," allowing them to only give one item to each of the godchildren. It's unclear whether any items leftover went to William and Harry, or ended up elsewhere.

  • The Royal Sons Getting Their Share

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    Prince William and Prince Harry
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    The executors of Diana's will made changes to Prince William and Prince Harry's inheritances as well. Although the princes did receive their full share, according to Diana's wishes, she originally intended for them to receive their inheritances after their 25th birthdays -- and her mother and sister had it changed, so they didn't receive them until their 30th birthdays.

  • Prince William Got Millions 

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    When Diana's eldest son (and the future king of England) turned 30 in 2012, he got access to half of his mother's estate trust. At the time, that estimated to about $12.5 million -- counted towards his current approximate $40 million net worth -- which makes him one of the top five wealthiest members of the British royal family.

  • Harry Got His Couple of Years Later

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    Prince Harry turned 30 in 2014, and at that time, he received his portion of the estate trust. (Diana's personal belongings that had been on display at Althorp House were turned over to the brothers.) Since Harry got his money later, depending on how it was being held, it's possible that it accrued more interest or additional value, but it's safe to say that it was also approximately $12.5 million.

  • All in the Family

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    Prince William and Prince Harry
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    Will and Harry may have control of much of their mother's estate and personal possessions now, but they aren't hogging them. Just recently, Kensington Palace was re-opened for the first time in four months and one of Diana's most iconic gowns -- known as the "John Travolta dress," valued at $260,000 -- was put on display.

  • For the Duchesses

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    Kate Middleton engagement ring
    Bridger/Zed - FameFlynet.uk.com/Splash News

    Harry and William have also gifted a number of Diana's belongings to their own wives. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, received Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring, valued at $370,000, when Prince William proposed to her, and her Lover's Knot tiara on her wedding day, among other items. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex has also been spotted wearing Diana's jewelry, most notably a pair of butterfly earrings that she seems to favor.

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