Top 7 Richest Royal Families

Now after the Price William and Kate Middleton wedding a couple of weeks ago, it made curious to verify which are the Top 7 Richest Royal Families in the World. One thing is for sure: Williams grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is the richest woman among them, but she didn’t make the cut into the Top 7 List:

1. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Country: Thailand

Fortune: $30 billion (unchanged)

Age: 82

World’s longest-reigning monarch battled personal health crisis, political unrest. Highly revered King was hospitalized last year with reported lung infection. Meanwhile political protests and government backlash became violent, disrupting the stock market (its stock exchange building suffered fire damage amid rioting) and scaring off both investors and tourists. U.S.-born, Swiss-educated ruler has not stepped into this fray. Monarch’s assets, held under the Crown Property Bureau and composed mainly of public investments and real estate, held up thanks to prior year’s upswing. But continuing turmoil may eventually take its toll.

2. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

Country: Brunei

Fortune: $20 billion (unchanged)

Age: 63

Sultan is divorcing his third wife; remains married to first wife and mother of eventual successor, Prince Al-Muhtadee Bilah Bolkiah. He and Brunei weathered global recession with conservative economic policies and currency pegged to Singapore’s. But oil production is slowing; reserves are expected to last only 25 years. Trying to diversify economy. Sultan continues to spend lavishly: reportedly purchased 48 handbags, 24 “duck” umbrellas from Lederer de Paris shop in New York recently. Case against brother Prince Jefri, accused of pilfering $15 billion from sultanate, remains in courts.

3. King Abdullah bin Abul Aziz

Country: Saudi Arabia

Fortune: $18 billion (up)

Age: 86

Managed to steer Saudi Arabia through the global recession with government spending and high oil production; the country is projected to record 4% growth this year. King’s fortune up as a result. This year hosted the 12th annual Gulf Cooperation Council attended by fellow royals from Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai. Known for trying to lighten up his Kingdom’s strict religious laws; recently fired a cleric for criticizing a new co-ed university that is set to open in Saudi Arabia.

4. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan

Country:  United Arab Emirates

Fortune: $15 billion (down)

Age: 62

Re-elected president of the UAE for a second five-year term in November by the emirates’ Federal Supreme Council. The hereditary ruler of the tiny emirate of Abu Dhabi provided $10 billion bailout package to debt-burdened brother state of Dubai in December. Did not escape downturn; fortune down $3 billion as result of last year’s 40% decline in oil export earnings, coupled with double-digit declines in real estate and stock markets. Continuing to promote his Abu Dhabi 2030 plan to reinvent it as a tourism and cultural hub.

5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Country: Dubai

Fortune: $4.5 billion (down)

Age: 60

Fortune tumbled due to emirate’s heavy debt load of $109 billion racked up by state-owned companies in heady days; $15.5 billion of debt due this year. His own Dubai Holding owes banks $12 billion, majority through investment companies Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital, which own stakes in Sony’s and Airbus’ parent. Last December sold stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes at a 60% discount to purchase two years ago. Recently stated that the UAE economy is doing fine and that the worst for Dubai is over. Renowned horseman has valuable equine assets.

6. Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein

Country: Liechtenstein

Fortune: $3.5 billion (unchanged)

Age: 65

Head of a nearly 900-year-old family, prince celebrating his 65th birthday with display at Vienna’s Liechtenstein Museum of roughly 140 artworks acquired during his reign, including works by Rembrandt and Rubens; also promoting his new book The State in the Third Millennium. Meanwhile, country trying to cut government expenditures to plug budget gap of 15%. Profits at his privately owned LGT bank down 35% last year. Liechtenstein taken off of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development’s “uncooperative tax haven” list May 2009, a year after tax evasion scandals brought investigations and calls for more transparency in the country’s banking sector.

7. King Mohammed IV

Country: Morocco

Fortune: $2.5 billion (unchanged)

Age: 46

Ascended throne after father’s death in 1999; focused on alleviating poverty and improving on father’s human rights record. Royal assets include a majority stake in OCP Group, the country’s sole phosphate miner, as well as significant property holdings. Phosphate prices on the rise after a dip last year. King’s ambitious goal of attracting 10 million annual tourists to Morocco by 2010 close to being achieved with some help from Hollywood: comely country served as backdrop to recent star vehicles Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia.

Source: Fortune

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