Here is the most accurate comprehensive list of the richest heads of modern royal families, all billionaires who topped the money charts in 2008. The list includes oil and gas royalty, British queen royalty, king royalty from Asia as well as other types of billionaire family royalty.
No. 1: The numero position in the list of royalty is taken by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand aged 80 years. He has a net worth of $35 billion. The world's longest-reigning crown royalty monarch is revered as a deity. His Crown Property Bureau, through which he holds wealth, offered public access that showed granted vast landholdings, including 3,493 acres of prime property in Bangkok. This king royalty also owns stakes in the publicly listed Siam Cement and Siam Commercial Bank. He recently increased investment in Deves Insurance in order to take it private. While the crown monarchy remains technically separate from state, the king royalty exerts enormous influence in Thailand.
No. 2: Coming a close second in the list of royalty with the most money is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates aged 60 years. This king royalty has a net worth of $23 billion. He is president of the UAE and hereditary ruler of its capital emirate, Abu Dhabi. As UAE is home to one-tenth of world's oil reserves, petrodollars are the oil and gas royalty family's original source of wealth. His real estate also is more valuable, as property prices rose 100% from 2005 to 2007. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority recently was top news when it invested $7.5 billion in Citibank and purchased New York's Chrysler Building for $800 million.
No. 3: King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia is third in the list of royalty billionaires. This king royalty is aged 84 years and has a net worth of $21 billion. Ascended to the oil and gas royalty throne in August 2005; soon after, construction began on a $26 billion city named in his honor, which the government hopes will become the new economic epicenter of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is now earning approximately $1 billion a day from oil exports, helping boost the oil royalty family's fortune. This modern royalty king is an avid horseman and breeds Arabian horses. The king royalty also founded the Equestrian Club in Riyadh.
No. 4: At the number four position in the list of richest royalty families is Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei aged 62 years. This modern royalty king has a net worth of $20 billion. Crowned 40 years ago after his royalty monarchy father's voluntary abdication, the 29th sultan of Brunei is heir to an unbroken 600-year-old Muslim family royalty dynasty. This oil and gas royalty rules concurrently as its prime minister, defense minister, finance minister and head of religion. The sultan's oil royalty wealth is based on oil and gas reserves. He is currently battling with family royalty Brother Prince Jefri over allegedly misappropriated assets. An arrest warrant was issued for Prince Jefri of this oil royalty family when he reportedly failed to appear in a U.K. court to address charges.
No. 5: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid stands at number five on the list of royalty families with the most cash. This king royalty is based in the city of Al Maktoum, Dubai and is aged 58 years. He has a net worth of $18 billion. Ruler of Dubai, an emirate of the UAE, prince royalty Sheikh Mohammed is a majority shareholder of Dubai Holding. He also has a major stakes in HSBC Holdings and Sony, as well as real estate holdings, including New York's Essex House Hotel. A formidable king royalty monarchy figure in horse racing, he owns a 3,800-acre farm in Kentucky and bought Australia's Ingham stud farm for reported $460 million.
No. 6: The first European on the list of billionaire royalty families is Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein of Liechtenstein. This prince royalty is aged 63 years and has a net worth of $5 billion. He heads the tiny Alpine principality of Liechetenstein. His family royalties bank, LGT, its most valuable asset, is the focus of a tax scandal for allegedly helping wealthy clients hide their money. A U.S. Senate investigation claims that his prince royalty brother Prince Philipp met with suspected tax dodgers in his role as LGT chairman. Other holdings of this prince royalty monarchy include an estimated 20,000 hectares of land in Austria; several 17th-century palaces in central Vienna; RiceTec, a producer of genetically engineered rice in the U.S.; and a 400-year-old art collection.
No. 7: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, from an oil and gas royalty family in Qatar is number 7 on the list. This king royalty is aged 56 years and has a networth of $2 billion. He became ruler of Qatar after deposing his family royalty father in a bloodless coup in 1995. Sheikh Hamad spearheaded the development of Qatar's vast oil and natural gas reserves. This oil royalty family head is currently making money from LNG commissions, with contracts with Korea, Belgium and Taiwan. The country now has the highest per-capita income in the world. A graduate of Britain's Sandhurst Military Academy, Sheikh Hamad is crown royalty that also oversaw the modernization of Qatar's armed forces and provided key start-up capital for Al Jazeera and its English sister news channel.
No. 8: King Mohammed VI of Morocco is number eight in the list of royalty billionaires. He is only 46 years old and has a net worth of $1.5 billion. This king royalty ascended to the throne in 1999. He derives his wealth from phosphate mining, agriculture and stake in Morocco's largest public company ONA. Recently, Morocco's economic growth has slowed to 2% in the face of a serious drought, putting a serious dent in the royalty monarchy families fortune. Still, the king royalty families palaces reported to have an operating budget of almost $1 million a day. The modern royalty king is currently making an effort to alleviate poverty and improve human rights. Last April, he pardoned eight Moroccan activists imprisoned for chanting anti-royalty monarchy slogans.
No. 9: Prince Albert II of Monaco is the second person from European royalty making up the list of royalty billionaires. This prince royalty member is 50 years of age and has a net worth of $1.4 billion. He took over the 700-year crown monarchy Grimaldi-family reign of Monaco in 2005. This modern royalty prince has inherited a fortune that includes real estate, art, antique cars, stamps and a stake in Monte Carlo's casino, Société des Bains de Mer. An environmentalist, the billionaire bachelor Prince Albert drives a hybrid car and has pushed for CO-2 reduction. However, a controversial expansion of Monaco, by this royalty family prince's plans to build a new district on the sea (apparently to be erected on giant pillars), has created fears of the formation of an underwater desert.
No. 10: Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman round up the top 10 on the list of royalty billionaires. This petroleum royalty king is 67 years and has a net worth of $1.1 billion. He assumed the throne in 1970 after overthrowing his royalty family father, who had kept the prince under house arrest for six years. His fortune has grown this year, thanks to an oil surplus. This oil and gas royalty prince is investing part of the surplus in tourism. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said is divorced and has donated millions to restore Oman's mosques. This oil royalty is said to be a classical music fan and he reportedly owns a 500-foot yacht.
No. 11: 71 year old Prince Karim Al Hussein of Pakistan is number 11 on the list. This modern royalty family head has a net worth of $1 billion. He is known as the Aga Khan and is the spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims. This prince royalty also chairs the Aga Khan Development Network that promotes investment in Asia and Africa. Prince Karim Al Hussein of Pakistan owns 900 thoroughbreds and has a stake in one of Britain's largest horse-auction houses. This family royalty prince is currently undergoing divorce settlement proceedings from his second wife, Inaara Aga Khan.
No. 12: The first woman on the list of rich royalty family heads is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Though not a billionaire, this European monarchy head has a sizable net worth of $650 million. The queen royalty is aged 82 years and is the oldest living monarch in British royalty history. Elizabeth II ascended the royalty throne at age 25 and plans to keep ruling until she's physically unable, spoiling the hopes of her son, Charles, to be king royalty sooner. The queen royalties personal fortune is based on property in England and Scotland, fine art, gems and a stamp collection built by her royalty family grandfather. Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels do not figure in, as they are state-owned treasures.
No. 13: Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait is another person on the list of really rich royalty family members. This king royalty is aged 79 years and has a net worth of $500 million. The country's longtime foreign minister was not originally in line to the royalty throne. However, fortune favoured this modern royalty in 2006, when he was appointed by the National Assembly after the original royalty crown prince was considered too sick to rule. Unlike royals in many Gulf States, Sheikh Sabah's wealth is based on a stipend and not on oil and natural gas royalty income. He called for new elections after the resignation of Kuwaiti cabinet in March and is promoting economic reform in the petroleum rich country.