Even though we don’t have Royals in America, many of us are fascinated by them and how they live elsewhere. The British Royal Family is always a popular topic of conversation in the media. Who could forget William and Kate’s Royal Wedding after all of that news coverage? And who doesn’t adore the royal couple’s rosy, chubby-cheeked baby George?
We would like to introduce you to some of the wealthiest people on Earth that also happen to be royals in their native countries. Surprisingly, Queen Elizabeth II of England didn’t make this list because a $450 million net worth doesn’t make her rich enough. The Middle East is a hotbed for wealth and has made the royals in the region massively rich. While some royals like to spend their money on frivolous things left and right, others use their wealth for the good of their countrymen.
So which royals in the world are the richest? How did they become so wealthy and what are they doing with all of that money now? We found the answers to these question and more. 9 of the 10 royals on our list are billionaires, and the least wealthiest still has $800 million to his name. Without further ado, here they are.
#10 – Karim al-Hussayni, Aga Khan IV ($800 Million)
The current Imam of Nizari Ismailism assumed the position in July of 1957 when he was just 20 years old. Even though Karim is a royal, he does not have rule over any specific territory in the world. He currently lives in France, but was born in Sweden.
Karim is a successful businessman in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. In this country, he has been able to pad his wallet by breeding hundreds of race horses and owning exclusive clubs for the wealthy. Karim was once a billionaire, but the recession forced him to cut back on his hotels, which dipped his net worth down to $800 million. That’s still a ton of money and just enough to make this list.
#9 – Albert II, Prince Of Monaco ($1 Billion)
Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world with less than 40,000 people making up the population, but it has been known to be one of the wealthiest per capita.
With a GDP of over $5 billion, Albert II owns nearly 20 percent of Monaco. That being said, Albert II and his family own much of the real estate in the country, as well as some property in France. Casino operations have heavily funded this royal family’s wealth. The palace is not included in Albert II’s net worth, or else it would be even higher.
In 2005, Albert II took over as the Prince Of Monaco when Rainier III passed away. Albert II has been the subject of many different controversial topics, including a succession controversy thanks to his children out of wedlock. His face is plastered everywhere in the country. Albert II is even on the five Euro piece, since every Prime Minister gets to be on currency.
#8 – Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Former Emir Of Qatar ($2.4 Billion)
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became the Prime Minister and Emir of Qatar in June of 1995. While his reign as Prime Minister lasted for just over a year, he was the Emir until June of 2013.
A coup d’etat took place in that year (with thankfully nobody dying), so his power was relinquished. However, Hamad is still a royal in the country and has helped Qatar become one of the wealthiest with a per capita of over $86,000 per year.
Qatar and Hamad have become very rich over the past two decades thanks to the natural gas market in the country.
Those that work at the top in the oil industry make enough to raise the average income to the highest in the world, despite the fact that many of the oil workers are paid next to nothing. Hamad’s son Tamim is now the Emir of Qatar, but before he left power, Hamad was able to ‘convince’ FIFA to host the World Cup in his country in 2022, despite massive criticism.
#7 – Mohammed VI, King Of Morocco ($2.5 Billion)
Mohammed VI is the top banker in the small country of Morocco, and one of the most notable in all of Europe. Since the royal family of Morocco is in charge of a lot of the money in the country, Mohammed VI was set up for success before he even assumed the role as king.
Pretty much every profitable company in Morocco is run by Mohammed VI and his family, which has given them a large net worth collectively.
Mohammed VI took on the role of king in 1999 after his father passed away. Each year to commemorate his late father’s birthday, nobody has to go to work, which is pretty nice of the king. Mohammed VI is 51, which actually makes him one of the youngest on this list, and he has two children. There has been some controversy, including pardoning nearly 50 people that were jailed for rough crimes, but other than that, it’s been pretty smooth sailing for Mohammed VI.
#6 – Hans Adam II, Prince Of Liechtenstein ($3.5 Billion)
After both his mother and father passed away in 1989, Hans Adam II assumed the position of Prince, which actually has a broad amount of power in the small (but wealthy) country of Liechtenstein.
As prince, Hans has been in charge of the LGT banking group. This venture earned him $4 billion on his own while he inherited the rest. The old money is spread across the family, otherwise Hans would be higher up on this list. Even though Hans is still the prince of the country, he has given most of his power away to his son to begin a smooth transition into the next generation. The family’s powers were almost stripped by the people, but now it appears that they will continue to be very wealthy for years and years to come.
#5 – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emir Sheikh Of Dubai ($4.5 Billion)
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has assumed the position of Vice President and Prime Minister of Dubai, while Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the President of the United Arab Emirates (whom we will talk more about next on this list.) The two men are cousins, so it was a natural choice to have Mohammed as the Vice President of the thriving country.
Mohammed has been working closely with building the UAE into what it is today, including constructing new buildings and establishing a media presence.
The tallest structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa, was launched by Mohammed himself in Dubai. Mohammed is also the mastermind behind many of the other tourist destinations in the country, which have seen a huge boost over the last decade. Thanks to his great ideas, Mohammed and his countrymen have become quite wealthy and have more influence than ever.
#4 – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi ($15 Billion)
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan wears three different hats when it comes to his positions as royalty.
Khalifa’s main focus is as the president of the rising United Arab Emirates, as well as the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and he is also in charge of the Union Defence Force.
Khalifa’s father had a substantial amount of wealth, and he only received part of it after his father passed away. While the family as a whole is worth around $150 billion, Khalifa has 10 percent of that wealth to himself. The tallest structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa, was named after Khalifa to honor him for all he has done for his country. Khalifa has donated nearly half a billion of his fortune to charity, but has been described by people as uncharismatic. You don’t have to be too charismatic when you inherit a fortune like that.
#3 – Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King Of Saudi Arabia ($18 Billion)
Before his death on the 22nd of January 2015, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud had been able to climb to number three on this list, despite the fact that he was the King of Saudi Arabia for less than a decade.
Abdullah had many different roles in politics in the middle eastern country for years until he was finally named King after his brother passed away in 2005. Saudi Arabia has been known to have strong economic ties to large countries such as the United States, which has allowed Abdullah to become very rich, especially in the oil market.
Abdullah has been very generous with his money since ascending to the throne. Some of his philanthropic work has included the donation of $500 million to help those that go without food, and he’s paid off outstanding loans for more than 3,000 deceased Saudi Arabians. While he may be a bit controversial, it can be said that Abdullah has done his share of good for the world.
#2 – Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan Of Brunei ($20 Billion)
had to use the shortened version of the name for this royal because his full name is sixteen words long. Hassanal Bolkiah is the current Sultan of Brunei and the first ever Prime Minister of the country.
The throne became Hassanal’s after his father was abdicated in the late 1960’s. He was not even 20 years old when he took over.In 1997, Hassanal was the richest person in the world (that one year that it wasn’t Bill Gates.) This sultan’s work in the banking sector has padded his net worth nicely, and he’s making sure that his blood line will be wealthy for generations to come. Hassanal better hope so because he has a dozen children with three different spouses.
#1 – Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Of Thailand ($30 Billion)
It was a weird start for Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had to sit in the throne much earlier than expected after his brother (the king at the time) was shot.
At just 19 years old, Adulyadej became the king of Thailand. Now at 87 years old, Adulyadej is the longest reigning head of state in the entire world.
Some argue that the ruling body of Thailand itself owns Adulyadej’s fortune, but’s hard to ignore the amount of money he has earned on his own.
Adulyadej’s wealth comes from a lot of real estate investing in Thailand and across the globe, as well as a few banks and hotels. Although Adulyadej still would have been wealthy if he was never King, being in that position has made him the richest royal in the world.