Monday, October 27, 2008

The richest living monarchs today

1. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah: Sultan of Brunei

Age: 61

Going at $22 billion

He became the 29th Sultan of Brunei 40 years ago as the heir of an unbroken 600-year-old Muslim dynasty. He rules the oil-rich land concurrently as prime minister, defense minister, finance minister and head of religion. His hobbies include collecting fine jewels and polo.

2. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right): President of the United Arab Emirates

Going at $21 billion

Age: 59

He is the hereditary ruler of the tiny emirate Abu Dhabi , which holds one-tenth of the world's oil reserves. His endeavour is to reinvent the emirate as a 'cultural hub' of the Middle East .

3. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz: Ruler of Saudi Arabia

Age: 83

Going at $19 billion

He became the king in August 2005. Shortly after he took the crown, he began the construction of a $26-billion city named in his honour. He is more cautious about spending money, however, than his half-brother, the late King Fahd.

Abdullah breeds Arabian horses as a hobby. His accomplishments also include the setting up of two libraries in Saudi Arabia and Morocco .

4. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum: Ruler of Dubai

Age: 57

Going at $16 billion

The 'CEO of Dubai Inc.' shares his fortunes with his two brothers. In 2007, government-holding companies of Dubai bought big stakes in HSBC and Deutsche Bank and also bid for US retailer Barneys.

5. King Bhumibol Adulyadej: King of Thailand

Age: 79

Going at $5 billion

Adulyadej, who is the world's longest-reigning monarch, is US-born, Swiss-educated and revered as a deity in Thailand . As an environmentalist, he has a royal car that runs on palm oil.

6. Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein (left): Prince of Liechtenstein, a self-named country.

Age: 62

Going at $4.5 billion

His family, whose fortune goes back 900 years, has been collecting art for four centuries. He owns a private LGT bank, real estate and Rice Tec, a US producer of genetically engineered rice.

7. King Mohammed IV (right): King of Morocco

Age: 44

Going at $2 billion

He is nicknamed the 'king of the poor' on account of his efforts to alleviate poverty and improve human rights. His palace's reported operating budget exceeds $9,60,000 a day,much of which is spent on clothes and car repairs.

8. Prince Albert II: Prince of Monaco

Age: 49

Going at 1.2 billion

This eligible bachelor inherited the tiny principality of Monaco after his father's death in 2005 (his father, you might remember, married legendary US actress Grace Kelly). He also inherited a fortune in real estate, art and a stake in Monte Carlo 's casinos. This year, he hosted functions to pay tribute to his mother, Grace Kelly, who died 25 years ago.

9. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani: Emir of Qatar

Age: 55

Going at $1 billion

He overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995. He is a sports enthusiast and is responsible for bringing events like the Asian Games to the tiny state. He funds the Al Jazeera and its English sister station.

10. Prince Karim Al Husseini: Aga Khan

Age: 70

Going at $1 billion

Only this year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary as leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims. He is a suave businessman, operating businesses from France and Switzerland . He also owns large horse farms.

Husseini is currently in the process of divorcing his second wife. His first ex-wife received a reported $20 million after they parted ways.

11. Queen Elizabeth II: Queen of the United Kingdom

Age: 81

Going at $600 million

The queen, who has been holding on to her throne for quite some time now, keeps an active travel schedule. She has real estate holdings in England and Scotland which are appreciating, and also owns a valuable stamp collection. She is also an amateur photographer and is passionate about Welsh Corgis (a cute, small dog) and horses.

12. Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah: Emir of Kuwait

Age: 78

Going at $500 million

He took over as emir in 2006 after the crown prince was deemed too ill to ascend the throne following the death of former emir Sheikh Jaber. Soon after he took the throne, however, he voted for a significant raise in the royal family stipend.

13. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said: Sultan of Oman

Age: 66

Going at $500 million

After six years of living under house arrest, this sultan overthrew his father in 1970. He then began an active modernisation programme after opening up his country to the outside world. His fortune today is tied up in oil. He has funded the restoration of over a dozen mosques.

14. Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard: Queen of the Netherlands

Age: 69

Going at $300 million

This dynamic woman wields more power than most of Europe 's reigning monarchs: She appoints the country's prime minister and deputies and also signs Bills into laws. Her family fortune includes real estate, equity investments and antiques, which she reportedly actively manages.

15. King Mswati II: King of Swaziland

Age: 39

Going at $200 million

He is Africa 's last absolute monarch, assuming the throne when he was 18 years. His gets his wealth from investments and real estate. He reportedly loves to spend his money, starting with building palaces for each of his 13 wives. He recently held a reported million dollar-plus birthday bash for himself, which critics denounced given the country's poverty and high AIDS rate.


  © .

Back to TOP