Her Majesty The Queen is in possession of many diverse and varied items from the country’s swans, to thousands of acres of property around the world. Oh yes, and a McDonalds franchise!
Technically, as the franchise is located 80 miles outside London in Banbury Gateway Shopping Park in Oxfordshire, the land is the official property of The Crown Estate. Therefore, The Queen doesn’t profit personally from the burgers, fries, milkshakes, and happy meals sold there. The Treasury, however, does.
Business Insider confirmed The Queen does indeed own this particular Mcdonalds. They even went and scoped out the place, having a right English breakfast consisting of tea, hash browns and a bacon sandwich.
This McDonalds is very modern according to the website. It has digital menu boards, Samsung tablets, free Wi-Fi, charging ports, and even table service.
The Crown Estate not only owns the McDonalds, but the entire property of Banbury Gateway Shopping Park. It funded the park’s development in 2015. Other businesses at the park include Marks & Spencer and Primark.
The Crown Estate also owns horses, Ascot Racecourse, the Royal Art Collection, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Regent Street.
In 2016, the crown estate brought in a record £328.8.1 million profit. The massive portfolio of assets are the “Sovereign’s public estate” neither ran by the government nor The Queen. The Crown Estate was formed to benefit the British people. This semi-independent corporation must provide an annual report to Parlament and to the ruling monarch.
The crown owns assets and property in Central London with the whole of Regent Street and St James; regional assets consist of retail properties, industrial and office space.
The Crown Estate was founded in 1961 to manage property and land on behalf of the Queen. It is now one of the United Kingdom’s largest property owners with a portfolio of about 8.1 billion pounds. Yet The Crown Estate, just like the Crown Jewels, is not the private property of the Monarch. While they are passed down with the accession of the throne, the reigning monarch cannot sell, collect revenues, or debts, from the estate. That power lies with the de facto authority of Parliament.
Similarly, The Crown Estate is not tasked with generating income for The Royal Family. Their remit is to generate returns for HM Treasury, of which all annual profit is returned to. From this, the Sovereign Grant is paid to The Queen.