Friday, June 1, 2012

World's Richest Royals


Each year, when Forbes magazine released the top ten list of World's richest people, everyone is surprised why the famous royals in the world--who are perceived to be extremely wealthy-- are not included in the list. The reason for this is, most often than not, the wealth and fortune of world's royalty are tied with their position as heads of state therefore should not be credited to their names alone.

What made them different from the world's richest people is that royalty's wealth and fortune are usually part of their inheritance and tied with their with birthright, the world's richest people are usually self-made billionaires.

Here, I am going to present the richest royals in the world based on the survey conducted by Forbes magazine in 2011. Who is the world's richest royal? Don't be surprised and raised eyebrows but it's the monarch of Thailand who is the richest!

Gosh, would you believe it?To think that no citizens of Thailand made it to the top 20 listing of Forbes magazine's richest people in the world, this result comes a huge surprise, and wait, Thailand is a third world country!

This means that the world's most famous royals -- the European royalty -- are relatively poorer compared to the royalty in Asia.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world's richest royal and the longest reigning monarch in the world in modern times

TOP TEN RICHEST ROYALS IN THE WORLD:

1. King Bhumibol - Thailand
Net worth: $ 30 billion
Age: 84
Status: Married
Position: King of Thailand

King Bhumibol of Thailand is surprisingly the richest royal in the world with a net worth asset of $30 billion. His sudden rise to wealth came as a surprise because few years ago when the Sultan of Brunei was the world's richest royal, the 84 year-old King of Thailand was no where in the list.

The Thai King is also the world's longest reigning monarch in modern times, longer than Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain who just celebrated her 60th year on the throne. He ascended the Thai throne in 1946. Much of his wealth was built through investments in Thailand.

2. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - Brunei
Net worth: $ 20 billion
Age: 65
Status: Married
Position: Sultan of Brunei

The sultan of Brunei started his long reign in 1968 when the sultanate of Brunei was still an absolute monarchy and in 2006, the sultan was reportedly amended its constitution allowing different reforms to take place in the state but he has still full executive authority. He now reigns not only as Sultan but also the Prime Minister, Commander-in-Chief of its Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Finance.

In Brunei, Social Services are well provided. Education and Medical services are free and the people are free from taxes. The sultan derived its wealth from the oil and gas industry in Brunei with various investments.

3. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud - Saudi Arabia
Net worth: $ 18 billion
Age: 87
Status: Married
Position: King of Saudi Arabia

He is the current ruler of Saudi Arabia. He came to the throne in 2005 on the death of his brother, King Fahd, who had no living sons. In Saudi Arabia, Salic Law is maintained prohibiting a woman nor descendants through a woman from ascending the throne.

The King is now 87 years old and has 13 wives and 25 children. Most of his fortune is derived from oil and gas industry.

4. President Khalifa bin Zayedal Nahyan - UAE
Net worth: $ 15 billion
Age: 64
Status: Married
Position: President of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Emir is synonymous to the title "Prince". The UAE President is also the high ranking official or the sovereign prince of Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. His fortune is derived mostly from the investments in the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority where he is the current chairman.

5. PM Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - UAE
Net worth: $ 4 billion
Age: 62
Status: Married
Position: Prime Minister of UAE

He is the current Prime Minister of UAE and the constitutional monarch of Dubai. His fortune is derived from his majority share in Dubai Holdings and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Just like other conservative male royals in the middle east who believed that royals should only marry fellow royalty, Maktoum married into royalty and his most known wife is Princess Haya of Jordan, daughter of the late King Hussein.

6. Prince Hans Adam II - Liechtenstein
Net worth: $ 4 billion
Age: 66
Status: Married
Position: Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein

Prince Hans Adam II is the richest crown head of Europe. His source of fortune is LGT Banking Group, Europe's largest investment and asset company. The Sovereign prince descended from the Hapsburg line of the former Imperial Austria.

Liechtenstein is a small country located between Austria and Switzerland and its capital city is Vaduz. The Prince of Liechtenstein is the country's head of state.

7. King Mohammed VI - Morocco
Net worth: $ 2.5 billion
Age: 48
Status: Married
Position: King of Morocco

The King of Morocco derived his fortune through  investments in Siger Holdings.

8. Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Net worth: $ 2.5 billion
Position: Emir of Qatar

9. Prince Albert II - Monaco
Net worth: $ 1 billion
Age: 54
Status: Married
Position: Sovereign Prince of Monaco

Prince Albert II is the second richest crown head of Europe and richer than Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. He ruled Monaco, a tiny principality southwest of France, since 2005 on the death of his father, Prince Rainier III.

The Prince, whose personal life was the subject of intense media speculations in the past decades, just got married in 2011 at the age of 52 to a South African born Olympian, Charlene Wittstock. The couple still has no children, in the event that his wife could not provide a legitimate heir, Albert's successor is his older sister, Princess Caroline who married secondly to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's cousin, Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover, in 1999. 

10. Prince Aga Khan IV - Imam of Nizari (Iran)
Net worth: $ 800 million
Age: 75
Status: Married
Position: Imam of Nizari

He is an international businessman and a racehorse owner and breeder. He now lives in France with his family. Imam of Nizari is an ancient title of Persian royalty.

Two other European monarchs are included in the top 15 list. Queen Elizabeth II of Britain placed 12th with a net worth assets of $450 million while Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is 14th with a net worth assets of $200 million.

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