Diana’s death in 1997 rocked the Royal Family but the princess, who was born into an aristocratic family, had ensured she’d penned a will before her untimely passing at age 36. Princess Diana was only 36 when she tragically died in a car crash in Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. Not everyone of her young age would have thought to have penned a will.
But, having come from an aristocratic family and once being married to the heir apparent to the British throne, the mother-of-two had put into writing how she wanted her wealth to be distributed once she passed. Diana was generous in her will, making sure both her sons, Princes William and Harry, were financially looked after but also providing for her godchildren and favourite staff.
Princess Diana’s net worth
The net value of the former Princess of Wales’ estate amounted to more than £21million when Diana died in 1997, according to the appendix to her will. The money came from Diana’s divorce settlement with Prince Charles, as well as shares, jewellery, cash and personal items from the family’s Kensington Palace home. Inheritance taxes ended up taking a heavy chunk out of the stated amount, leaving approximately £13million to her inheritors, reports have suggested.
Who inherited Diana’s fortune?
William and Harry were the main beneficiaries after being left without their mother, who would have turned 61 on July 1 2022 if she was still alive. The princes were not the only people to be handed sums of money, however. Paul Burrell, Diana’s trusted butler, was willed £50,000. Her 17 godchildren were also named as beneficiaries, with sentimental photographs, paintings and china among the items left to them, according to Worthy.com.
A discretionary fund outlined benefits for the princes, their future spouses and family members, and special charities received £100,000, plus Princess Diana’s wardrobe, including her famed wedding dress. Certain charities were permitted to benefit from royalties brought in from continued authorised commercial use of her intellectual property.
How much did William and Harry inherit from Diana?
What was left of the estate, once the above had been dished out, was to be divided between Diana’s two sons William and Harry, who were 15 and 12 respectively when she died. Reports have speculated that their mother left them a fortune of £13million, which reduced to £8.5million after death duties. Years of clever investments by royal advisors meant the fortune swelled to more than £20million by the time it came back to the siblings.
Diana’s will stated that her sons should receive some of their inheritance at 25, then the rest of the money when they turned 30. Both brothers paid inheritance tax when they received their share of the fortune. Prince Harry, in the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that he and Meghan Markle conducted last year, said the couple survived on the inheritance after quitting as senior royals in 2020.
Harry said he was cut off financially by the so-called “Firm” following their decision. He told Oprah: “I have what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this. “It’s like she saw it coming and she’s been with us through this whole process.”