One of the largest property groups in Europe is directly tied to Queen Elizabeth II. Strictly speaking, the 95-year-old monarch doesn't own it. But neither does the government, making it complex legally.
Regent Street is one of London's best-known thoroughfares. The 1.3-kilometer (0.8-mile) stretch intersects the districts of Soho and Mayfair in the heart of the city's famous West End. It is lined with well-known shops, bars and restaurants.
As commercial real estate goes, it is about as prime as it gets. Remarkably, practically every square inch of the street is owned by a single company: The Crown Estate.
This is clearly not just any old enterprise. As well as vast tracts of central London, The Crown Estate owns property all across the UK, from castles and cottages to agricultural land and forests plus retail parks and shopping centers. It owns more than half the UK's entire seashore, giving it hugely valuable auction rights for offshore commercial activity, such as wind farms.
Administering real estate worth at least £14.1 billion (€16.4 billion, $17.8 billion), it is one of Europe's largest property groups. The question of who exactly owns the real estate empire is not a straightforward one, though.