Ever wonder what royal life is like? It is worth a look at the those surviving royal families that still command significant resources and/or power. Unlike entrepreneurs, these are individuals who owe their wealth to circumstances of birth and the privileges of their position, not to actual talent or effort. Nevertheless, many of them command resources that cannot be ignored.
The world of the royal elite is beyond comprehension for most. The opulence, wealth and decadence have been passed down for generations. Here is a look at the palaces and wealth of the world’s richest royal families:
Prince Albert II of Monaco
Prince Albert II, aged 50, is the current ruler of the Principality of Monaco. His net worth is 1.4 billion US$. He is the first head of state to have visited the North Pole. He is also the Global Advisor to Orphans International. His palace remains open to the public during the summer. The palace hosts many functions ranging from open-air concerts to children’s Christmas parties. It has an Italian-styled gallery and lot of awesome salons. The palace has several attractions. Among them the Throne Room, which is filled with memoirs of the Renaissance period, and the Sainte-Marie Tower are notable.
King Mohammad VI of Morroco
The 46-year-old Moroccan king has asset strength of 1.5 billion US$. The king is reputed for his drive to modernize the society and inject a culture of accountability. He has tried to eradicate poverty from Moroccan society. The Royal Palace in Rabat is open to the public. The king has a personal mosque within the palatial complex. The palace is famous for its lush green gardens and the entrance gates are truly majestic.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid of Dubai
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid of Dubai has a net worth of $4.5 billion. Sheik Mohammed‘s own dreams for Dubai go well beyond making it into a world financial capital. He says he wants to lead an Arab renaissance that would transform the region. His model is not Las Vegas — as some visitors may think — but 10th century Cordoba, the Arab-ruled city that was then Europe’s most enlightened.
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein
The 63-year-old prince is the 15th in succession to the throne of Liechtenstein. His net worth is $5 billion. Castle Schloss Vaduz is his official residence. The palace overlooks the town of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. The main alter has a late-gothic architecture. The original entrance of the spectacular palace has a height of 11 m.
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan of UAE
President of the UAE and hereditar ruler of its capital emirate, Abu Dhabi. UAE is home to one-tenth of world’s oil reserves; petrodollars-dollars are the president’s family’s original source of wealth. With a total net worth of $15 billion, his real estate also is becoming more valuable, as property values rose 100% from 2005 to 2007. Sheikh Khalifa spent more than $1 billion- including $200 million on a Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim museum-on branding Abu Dhabi as a cultural center. Abu Dhabi investment Authority recently made headlines by investing $7.5 billion in Citibank and buying New York’s Chrysler Building for $800 million.
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei
The 62-year Sultan of Brunei, the 29th heir to the throne of an unbroken 600-year-old Muslim dynasty, has a net asset worth of $20 billion. The Sultan has anything between 3000 to 6000 cars in his collection. The Istana Nurul Iman palace, the Sultan’s official residence, provides visitors a spectacular sight. It is the biggest palace in the world, much bigger than the Vatican palace. US$ 350 million was spent in erecting the palace. It has 1788 rooms, 257 bathrooms and the total floor area is 2,152,782 sq. feet.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
The 84-year-old king of Saudi Arabia is worth over US$ 21 billion. King Abdullah is known for his benevolence. He bore the entire expenditure of operation of Polish conjoined twins. He was reciprocated with “honorary citizenship” of the Polish town where the twins were born. The King’s palace in Riyadh is more than 1 sq. mile in area. The palace has polished stone walkways and serene water bodies. The pink palatial buildings are true architectural marvels.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
King Bhumibol, the 80-year-old king of Thailand, is worth US$ 35 billion. He is the longest serving monarch in Thai history. He has benevolently used his royal wealth in over 3,000 rural development projects in the country. He has a world record in having the highest number of honorary university degrees (136). The royal palace in Bangkok was built in 1782.
The palace consists of an aggregate of buildings on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The total area is 218,400 sq. m. The palace has a sacred Buddha temple. You have to follow a strict dress code to enter the royal palace (this is applicable for both men and women).