Britain hasn't held a coronation for 70 years. This once-in-a-lifetime event will draw thousands of tourists to the capital. It's hoped they'll provide an injection of cash into the UK economy.
"I think the monarchy does generate tourism income. There is a lot of interest from all over the world, the queen was one of the best known women across all of the world. There's a fascination with Diana, fascination with William and Kate, fascination with Harry and Meghan. The British royals are famous in a way that really, I think, hardly any other royal family can be said to be the same," said Kate Williams, a royal historian.
The royal family has several sources of income. The sovereign owns a vast property portfolio called the Crown Estate. Its profits are handed over to the government in exchange for an annual payment.
SEE MORE: Prince Harry to attend coronation, Meghan and kids won't
Last year, the annual payment was about $107 million. Polls suggest attitudes to this arrangement are changing. As time goes on, fewer people in the UK see the monarchy as good value for the money. The younger generation is far more skeptical about whether the public should be funding the institution from the taxpayers' purse.
The monarchy also holds huge private wealth in the form of land and property. Their estates are run like companies, but they don't pay tax in the same way.
There are expected to be campaigners protesting at the coronation who want to reform royal taxation.
"Last year when the queen died, it's estimated that Charles inherited £650m or thereabouts, and he didn't pay a single penny tax. Which would be normally 40% over the threshold. Charles now as monarch will pay income tax voluntarily at the rate of his choosing. We have no idea whether that's the actual rate that everybody else pays or whether that's £1 or 1%. This is an affront to Democratic values," said Graham Smith, CEO of Republic.
King Charles reportedly wants to make the royal family more self-sufficient. While it's difficult to put a figure on the monarchy, royalists say it's not about the numbers.
They argue the institution is about values rather than value.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com