The British royal household’s wealth is dwarfed by Asian and Middle Eastern monarchies
The Queen of England is getting more banknotes bearing her face.
The British royal household will receive an 8% bump in its spending allowance, taking its allocated budget to almost $105 million next year, the Times of London reports. The increase in public funding, which can be used for the salaries of household servants, maintenance of the royal palaces and travel, comes due to a rise in the profits of the Crown Estate, which posted profits of $420 million in the most recent fiscal year.
The British monarch is entitled to a quarter of the profit made by the estate, which owns and operates a collection of pricey properties across the United Kingdom, including large swaths of London’s tony West End. But the bump is being criticized by some for being tone deaf—the ruling Conservative Party is engaged in a contentious internal debate about whether to continue austerity policies launched after the great financial crisis. In response, the Keeper of the Privy Purse (AKA Elizabeth’s personal accountant) said that the monarchy represented “excellent value for money” given the goodwill the likes of the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge generate.
Queen gets £82m pay rise to pay for Buckingham Palace works but we need to cut benefits for the poor to save money 🤔https://t.co/gsLXFzSuUV
— Parveen Agnihotri (@Parveen_Comms) June 27, 2017
Public funding aside, the Queen is still one of the richest women in Britain. Last year, Forbes valued her private fortune at an estimated $530 million. That said, her wealth lags behind those of the Russian oligarchs and Indian billionaires that now call London home, as well as several of her blue-blooded counterparts. Here are five royal families with more zeroes behind their name than the House of Windsor.
1. When Vajiralongkorn took over the throne of Thailand last year, he didn’t just succeed his beloved father, who was the world’s longest-reigning monarch at the time of his death. He also became head of a fortune pegged at $40 billion, much of which stems from control over prime real estate in the Southeast Asian kingdom.
2. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei is well-known for his extravagant taste. His palace is reportedly the world’s second largest and he controls the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels via the Brunei Investment Agency—properties in that group include the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Plaza Athénée in Paris. Lucky for him, he has a $20 billion net worth to keep up with his fellow royals.
3. As the emir of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan oversees almost 100 billion barrels of oil reserves. That translates in a net worth of about $19 billion.
4. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud enjoys perks that include a yacht the length of a football field and luxurious residences across the world. When he became Saudi Arabia’s dominant leader after his half-brother Abdullah died in two years ago, he also took over a fortune estimated at around $18 billion.
5. Dubai may have been hit by the fallout from the financial crisis and low oil prices, but that doesn’t mean its ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum is anywhere near the poor house. In 2008, Forbes valued the emir’s fortune at a cool $18 billion.
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