The Incredible Lives Of The World's Richest Royals

sheikh mohammed

Photo: Godolphin

Power and money — the world’s wealthiest royals truly have them both.For the most part, those with the greatest fortunes come from Asia and the Middle East, though a few European monarchs made it onto Forbes’ 2010 list.

As a group, the richest royals’ fortune was down around 9 per cent, or $10 billion, from the previous year, according to Forbes. The drop was due primarily to financial problems in the United Arab Emirates.

Even so, the royals managed to live large.

Here’s a look at the incredible spending habits and lavish lifestyles of some of the royals whose fortunes amounted to $1 billion or more in 2010.

Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, has a net worth of $30 billion and is the world's wealthiest royal

In addition to being the world's wealthiest royal, Adulyadej is also the world's longest-serving head of state, having reigned since 1946.

His wealth decreased from around $35 million in 2008, largely due to declines in stocks and real estate.

Adulyadej's wealth derives largely from Thailand's Crown Property Bureau, of which he is trustee, according to Forbes.

He owns around 3,500 acres of land in Bangkok and a fleet of three aircraft

Adulyadej, through the Crown Property Bureau, owns 3,493 acres of land in Bangkok, and recently spearheaded a plan to turn one of the city's shopping districts into the 'Champs-Élysées of Asia.'

The royal family also has a fleet of three aircraft, including a Boeing 737-800 and an Airbus A319. Adulyadej also owns two custom-made limousines.

And is the owner of the world's largest faceted diamond

The Golden Jubilee Diamond, weighing in at 545.67 carats, was given to Adulyadej by Henry Ho in honour of the 50th anniversary of his coronation.

It was blessed by the Pope and is currently located in the Royal Thai Palace as part of the royal family's collection of crown jewels.

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is worth around $20 billion

Bolkiah, who has held office since 1984, is worth around $20 billion.

His wealth comes largely from oil and gas assets.

The Sultan may lead a lavish life, but it pales in comparison to that of his brother Jefri, who famously blew through nearly $15 billion.

His home has 1,788 rooms

Bolkiah's residence, the Istana Nurul Iman, has 1,788 rooms and 257 bathrooms, and is considered to be the world's second largest palace after Beijing's Forbidden City.

The palace has a 110-car garage, an air-conditioned stable for the Sultan's 200 polo ponies, and five swimming pools, according to Wikipedia.

And he's got around 5,000 cars in his auto collection

Bolkiah is famously known for collecting cars, and his massive collection numbers in the thousands.

His holdings include 350 Rolls-Royces, eight McLaren's F1, six Dauer 962 LMs, the only right-hand-drive Mercedes CLK-GTR in existence, a Lamborghini Diablo Jota, two Jaguar XJR-15, numerous Ferraris, Mercedes, Jaguars, Porsche and Bentleys, according to Jalopnik.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, is worth around $15 billion

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's considerable wealth comes primarily from his investments with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

He became president in 2004, after the death of his father.

The world's tallest building is named after him

The Burj Dubai was renamed the Burj Khalifa in the Sheikh's honour in 2010 after Sheikh Khalifa stepped in to help bootstrapped Dubai pay for the massive project.

The Sunday Times called the move a 'humiliating announcement' for Dubai.

And he is building a controversial 7-story mansion in Seychelles

Sheikh Khalifa is building a gigantic mountaintop mansion in the archipelago that has locals and environmentalists up in arms.

Residents say the construction has done irreparable damage to the water supply and demanding he compensate them around $10 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sheikh Khalifa owns around 66 acres on Seychelles' main island, Mahe, where the home is being built.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and monarch of Dubai, is worth $4.5 billion

Sheikh Mohammed's wealth comes from his share of Dubai Holding and investments from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

His fortune dropped a whopping $7.5 billion in 2010 due to losses on his investments, according to Forbes. And he lost around $6 billion the previous year.

He is a HUGE horse racing aficionado

Sheikh Mohammed is passionate about horse racing.

He owns the prestigious Godolphin stables outside of Dubai, as well as the Darley Stud thoroughbred breeding operation.

He also recently spent hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase Australia's largest racing empire.

And he has a thing for big boats

Sheikh Mohammad is the owner of the Dubai, a 531.5 foot yacht which, at the time it was built, was the largest yacht ever.

After learning that Roman Abramovich's yacht the Eclipse would be a few inches longer, Sheikh Mohammed reportedly had the yacht designers extend the length of his own boat by several feet.

Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, is worth around $3.5 billion

Lichtenstein's Prince Hans-Adam II is Europe's wealthiest monarch.

He has been Lichtenstein's head of state since 1989, though he turned day-to-day government decision-making responsibilities over to his son Prince Alois in 2004.

He is an avid collector of art and spends millions on his collection annually

In 2004, the royal family of Lichtenstein spent around $28 million revamping a Viennese palace in which to display their incredible art collection.

Forbes called the collection 'the world's second greatest private art collection;' many of the pieces had been hidden since the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938.

The collection contains masterpieces by Hals, Raphael, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, and includes around 1,600 paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.

The prince reportedly spends around $18 million on art annually, according to a 2004 Forbes article.

His official residence is a hilltop castle

Vaduz Castle, a palace built in the 12th century, has been the official residence of Lichtenstein's prince and his family since 1938. It overlooks Vaduz, the capital of Lichtenstein.

The stone palace underwent a major renovation between 1905 and 1920, and was expanded in the 1930s.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI is worth $2.5 billion

King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been in power since 1999 and is crediting with promoting democracy in the country.

His royal assets include a majority stake in OCP Group, the country's only phosphate miner, as well as significant property holdings, according to Forbes.

He once flew an Aston Martin from Morocco to Britain for repairs

King Mohammed reportedly spares no expense on his luxury auto collection.

In 2009, he chartered an air force transporter to carry a 10-year-old Aston Martin, one of many in his fleet, from Rabat to Britain for repairs, the Sun reported at the time.

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, is worth $2.5 billion

The Emir was crowned in 2000, several years after deposing his father in a coup.

He is an active dealmaker, having bought London department store Harrods, and was the driving force behind Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

He owns Al Mirqab, one of the world's largest yachts

The Emir is the owner of Al Mirqab, a diesel-electric powered superyacht that measures 436 feet, according to Superyachts.

In 2009, he reportedly spent time on the yacht in Mustique, where he was considering buying an estate, according to the NY Post.

And is helping Qatar acquire one of the world's most impressive art collections

The Emir is a passionate art collector who has spared no expense in amassing an incredible art collection.

In 2007, he famously spent $72.8 million on the 'Rothko Rockefeller' and in 2010, openly discussed his interest in buying Christie's, one of the world's largest auction houses, according to Art Info.

Under his rule, Qatar has become the world's biggest modern art buyer.

Albert II, Prince of Monaco, is worth around $1 billion

Albert II's fortune includes vast tracts of land in Monaco and France, as well as the Prince's Palace in Monaco.

The Prince, a former member of Morocco's bobsled team, was once considered a 'playboy prince' but recently married.

He lives in an incredible palace that's hundreds of years old

Albert II and his family live in the Prince's Palace of Monaco, which was originally built in 1191.

The palace was home to Grace Kelly while she was married to Prince Rainier. It has an impressive collection of state rooms that were modelled after Versailles.

The Eagles performed at his wedding this summer

It was the second-most talked about royal wedding this summer; Albert married former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock in a two-day bash in early July.

The Eagles performed a special show in honour of the event, and the newlyweds were carried through a procession in an opentop electric Lexus, according to The Guardian.

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