Thanks to the smash global success of hit Netflix show The Crown, lots of us have had reason to think about the secretive and lavish lives of blue – blooded members of society around the world – even Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has apparently watched the show. Which brings the inevitable question: which royals are the wealthies on Earth?
As it turns out, Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn secures the No.1 spot this year, with the Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah coming in second. That’s right – both are far richer than Queen Elizabeth, despite not being nearly as iconic in global pop culture.
Blow is out list of the world’s five richest monarch today. We break down their net worth as of January 2021, where they derive their wealth from – and of course, how they like to spend it all.
Maha Vajiralongkorn, King Of Thailand
King Vajiralongkorn, or Rama X, ascended to the throne shortly after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in 2016, as the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty. His assets are currently valued at up to $43 billion as of January 2021.
According to Fortune, much of King Vajiralongkorn’s wealth comes from his 23 per cent stake in Siam Commercial Bank, one of the country’s biggest lenders, and Siam Cement Group, the country’s largest industrial conglomerate). His portfolio also includes around 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) of prime land and over 40,000 rental leases with developers.
As for how he spends his money, word has it that the king loves his flying toys – something he presumably shares with his royal consort Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, who is a qualified pilor. To date, the royal family has reportedly amassed a fleet of 38 jet planes and helicopters.
Hassan Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei
We might never have imaginated the day when Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah was no longer the richest royal on Earth, but slipping to second place is surely no headache for the leader of Brunei as his estimated net worth – of up to $28 billion – remains unchanged this year. He earns most of his wealth from the country’s huge and globally significant oil reserves.
Much of that wealth go towards maintaining his 1,788 – room palace, his fleet of 5,000 vehicles (including hundreds of Rolls – Royces), and his reported regular $20,000 haircuts.
Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King Of Saudi Arabia
King Salman of Saudi Arabia is reportedly worth a staggering $18 billion, making him the third – richest royal in the world. He derives his wealth from his portion of the royal family’s estimated $1.4 trillion portfolio, which included natural gas and petroleum behemoth Saudi Aramco.
Much like other sovereigns, King Salman seems to enjoy opulence, apparently sharing a love of ultra – expensive yachts and paintings with his 36 – year – old son and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, commonly known as MBS.
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President Of The UAE
Sheikh Khalifa’s position as the hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ richest emirate, had made him the fourth – richest monarch on the planet. Worth an estimated $15 billion, the king currently runs a sovereign wealth fund with assets reportedly valued at $830 billion. Much of his riches come from the UAE’s reserves.
Based on information gleaned from the Panama Papers, he reportedly owns many luxurious properties in London apparently worth more than $1.7 billion.
Mohammed VI, King Of Morocco
With a net worth estimated at between anywhere $2 billion and $8 billion, Morocco’s reigning King Mohammed VI takes his place as the world’s fifth – richest monarch.
His wealth increased when he inherited a 35% per cent stake in holding company Societe Nationale d’Investissement (SNI) from his late father, King Hassan. His portfolio also includes shares in Morocco’s largest bank Attijariwafa, mining company Group Managem, sugar – producing company Cosumar, and dairy company Centrale Danone.
Not much is known about how this descendant of the Alouite dynasty spends his money. But according to Forbes, in 2014, the year he was recognised as the richest king in Africa, his palace’s daily operating budgest was $960,000.