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Rowling Outearns Madonna and the Queen

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Who knew? There’s more money in writing than there is in being queen.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s 2002 earnings of $77 million was six times greater than the salary of Queen Elizabeth, according to an annual list of England’s top-earning women, published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Madonna, 44, came in second to Rowling, 37: the Material Mom (who’s married to a Brit, Guy Ritchie, and has a home there, which explains her qualification) generated an estimated income of $43 million this year, with half of that reportedly coming from a deal with Microsoft, which used one of her songs to promote its Windows XP software.

Among other names familiar to Americans, Welsh-born “Chicago” star Catherine Zeta-Jones, 33, was No. 5 with $17 million, followed by author Jackie Collins ($16 million), Sharon Osbourne ($15.7 million) and “Frasier” costar Jane Leeves ($12.6 million).

Singer Kylie Minogue, 34, notching up $13 million, also placed ahead of Queen Elizabeth, 76, whose 2002 income is estimated at $12.3 million (or 7.7 million pounds).

But this figure, representing the queen’s private income, did not include the annual $12.7 million in taxpayers’ money that she also receives.