Royals & Nobles and Wealth, Costs and Finances

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I've always thought that the Saudi family is the richest of the royals... I forgot about the royals of Brunei & Thailand

I just checked out the Forbes Richest Royals List. The King of Thailand is the richest. Then are the Saudi royals, Brunei royals, and lastly the European monarchs.

The monarchs in Europe aren't the richest in the world. I thought that I was correct.
Id have thought the Sultan of Brunei was wealthier than the King of Thailand
I think it swtiches between the two.
King of Thailand is the richest
Wedmonds is correct
id heard that but cant belive based on what little I know
Believe it.
The King of Thailand through the Crown Property Bureau owns swathes of Bangkok real estate (CPB Property division) and has controlling stakes in some Thai blue-chip companies (CPB Equity division). The Thai Royal Family is self-funding.
I'm not sure of it, but it seems to me that Forbes has also a list of the richest royals.
Among the European royals, the richest are indeed Liechtenstein (about 3.2 billion Euros), Monaco and Lucxembourg.

I don't think Luxembourg even made the list.
Don't forget the Royal Family of Dubai! They're filthy rich too - right behind the Saudi royals, I think.
The article you quoted was posted 6 years ago, it will be a bit old. :)

I thought it could be interesting to update this information and post how much money the different royal houses receive from the State, which are the uses of this money and compare it to the country budget.
Here is the information of the Spanish Royal Household, if anyone has information on any other house, I would be very interested!:flowers:

The highlighted text is copy/paste from the Royal Household of the King of Spain webpage (

"Allocation Household of H.M. the King (thousands of €) in 2010 (it was the same in 2009, I heard somewhere they have asked that the parliament reduce it for 2011, but I could be wrong) 8896.92 (that is, 8.896 millions)"

"According to the Constitution, H.M. the King may freely determine the distribution of this sum, intended to fund the staff and functioning costs directly payable by the Household of H.M. the King, as well the maintenance of the Royal Family. By means of this annual sum, the Household of H.M. the King responds to its most direct financial obligations that are not the responsibility of other State bodies. Such obligations include: (1) salaries, contributions and social provisions for executive management, management and non-career personnel for which the Royal Household is responsible; day to day operative costs, such as office materials; certain supplies; protocol and representation expenses (e.g., luncheons, dinners and receptions); transport and board and accommodation expenses; the acquisition of miscellaneous materials for the functioning of different offices within the Royal Household, etc. "
(1)Expenses pertaining to Official Trips and Visits are covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

In the same way, the Household of H.M. the King is no exception from other Constitutional bodies and Ministries in that its security expenses are met by the Interior Ministry, while those concerning official vehicles and their drivers correspond to the State Transport Service, funded by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The Zarzuela Palace and other Royal Sites are the property of the State. Their maintenance and upkeep correspond, by law, to the autonomous body Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage).

In addition, the King and Queen, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the Infantas and their spouses, are obliged to pay all due taxes, for which purpose they annually present income tax returns and meet their fiscal obligations"

So basically the King recieves 8.9 millions of € destined to pay their staff, official receptions, dinners, transport and board(if it isn't a foreign official trip) and he distributes the money as he likes between family members.
The security, official cars and official foreign trips are paid between different ministries. The palaces belong to the State, and is responsable for their maintenance.

In 2010, the national budget for non-financial expenses(which includes the State, Social Security, public organizations, governmental agencies etc) was 330,471.13 millions of euros. (This budget for non-financial expenses is an 85.5% of the total budget.)
Budget information:

In conlusion, in 2010 the royal household money was roughly 19 cents of euro per spaniard (8.896 millions/spanish population) and a 0.003% of the budget for non financial expenses. Nevertheless, some of their expenses(such as security and foreign official visits) are not paid with this money.
I found an article in Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

"The Netherlands' royal family is one of the costliest in Europe, according to Belgian political scientist Herman Matthijs, who calculated that the Orange family costs the Dutch state 39.6 million euros per year. Only the British royals require more: the UK spends 46.6 million euros on Queen Elizabeth II and her family.

Mr Matthijs, quoted in Belgian daily De Morgen, said that he did not include extraneous costs like security, state visits and maintenance of palaces. If he had, the Dutch royal family would require more than 100 million euros a year.
Other European countries with a hereditary head of state pay less. Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Norway are spending between 8.8 and 28 million annually. The cheapest monarch is found in Luxembourg: Grand Duke Henry and his family are budgeted at 8.7 million euros per year"

Cost of Dutch royals among highest | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

So the Dutchs don't pay for security, state visits and maintenance of palaces, like the Spanish family. Does anyone one what things each family pay with the money the state provides for them and which are paid by other goverment bodies?
I didn't know the Dutch RF is the owner of Shell.
Wikipedia reports 200 million dollars as the net worth of this House; is it possible that this datum is incorrect? I ask because some time ago I read somewhere (but I can't recall where exactly) that the wealth of the Dutch RF is about 4.5 billion dollars; can someone help me to clarify?

The Dutch RF are just stockholders of Shell. They don't own the whole company. I don't think they even have majority shares.

Boy? I find that very condessending.

Did Belgium seriously consider abolishing the royal family? I remember reading sometime back that one of the Royal Princes was involved in a financial scandal of some kind. Who in the Belgian royal family is funded by taxpayers? Thanks

Yes and no, things got a little exciting in 1990 when the king Baodouin I refused to sign a bill legalising abortion...something about being catholic. The solution? Give the king the heave-ho for a couple of hours, temporarily become a republic, promulgate bill, reinstate king and job’s oxo. Abolition probably wasn't on the cards, but I'd love to get the number of the lawyers who fixed this whole wheeze up!
I don't think Belgium was a republic for the brief span of Baodouin's hiatus. If I understand correctly, Baodouin asked the government to invoke the constitutional provisions related to the incapacity of the king in which case the government as a whole acts as head of state. So each minisiter signed the abortion bill (as a collective head of state). The next day he was declared competent again.
Question: If you compare the assets controlled by each monarchy ie, the palaces, the crown jewels, the land, the art collection etc, which family would be worth the most?
Question: If you compare the assets controlled by each monarchy ie, the palaces, the crown jewels, the land, the art collection etc, which family would be worth the most?

That's very very hard to tell because the personal wealth of each royal I don't think has ever been really announced. But on the scale of things I could imagine it being the British.
Question: If you compare the assets controlled by each monarchy ie, the palaces, the crown jewels, the land, the art collection etc, which family would be worth the most?

the Saudi royal family is the wealthiest in the world if you add up all their assets
Aramco the state owned oil company they own is worth 781 billion dollars its the largest privately owned company in the world plus all their other assets combined with Aramco is most likely close to a trillion dollars
This is taken from the UK's Daily Mail, the article is about the UK Royals finances but there is a small table with the official costs from other European countries. The figures come from research from somewhere else though i think.

UK £41.5million
Holland £33.8million
Norway £23.9million
Belgium £11.7million
Denmark £10.5million
Sweden £10.2million
Spain £7.4million
Luxembourg £7.2million
Forbes 15 Richest Royals list

While were doing lists, here is the latest "Forbes' 15 Richest Royals"
Values are in US dollars.

1. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s richest royal with his Crown Property Bureau reported to be worth $30bn.

2. The Sultan of Brunei, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, is the 2nd richest with a fortune of $20bn.

3. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abul Aziz saw his fortune rise modestly last year to $18bn.

4. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE, has a wealth totalling $15bn.

5. Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum saw his wealth drop $7.5 billion in the aftermath of the Dubai World debt announcement. But his fortune of $4.5bn is still secures him 5th place.

6. HSH Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein, the Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, is reported to be worth $3.5bn.

7. King Mohammed IV of Morocco is one of the youngest monarchs on the list aged 46 and is said to be worth $2.5bn.

8. Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is estimated to be worth $2.4bn.

9. 52 year-old HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has a fortune estimated at $1bn.

10. Prince Karim, HH The Aga Khan IV, has an estimated wealth of $800m.

11. The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said, has a fortune of $700m.

12. Queen Elizabeth II is estimated to have a personal wealth of $450m.

13. Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah is said to be worth $350m.

14. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is reported to be worth $200m.

15. King Mswati III of Swaziland is worth around $100m and at 42 is the youngest royal on the list.
The BRF isn't even the most expensive royal family in Europe. That honour goes to the Dutch.

Dutch royal family 'overtake Britain's as most expensive in Europe' - Telegraph

That article is based on an annual report by a Belgian professor. What the article forgets to mention is that the professor himself says that his research isn't complete! Since a few years ALL costs of the Dutch RF are transparent and listed under 'royal house' on the budget. In f.e. Spain, the costs of the 'royal house' is much lower, but this is an artificial difference. Lots of costs are listed under different ministeries, f.e. the travels of the members of the RF are listed under the ministery of traffic, the security costs under the ministery of interior affairs, upkeep of palaces under the ministery of housing etc. That way the costs of 'royal house' is artificially low.

I do not believe that the Dutch monarchy is the cheapest one in Europe, but it is absolutely impossible that it is the most expensive one. Just the security costs for the Spanish and British RFs should be MUCH higher.
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It is often mentioned in the press that, considering private wealth only (i.e. excluding state/Crown-owned assets and other sources of public financing), the richest reigning families in Europe are from the smaller countries of Liechtenstein, Monaco and Luxembourg, followed then by the British and Dutch royal families. There has been some reporting also on the private wealth of the Swedish RF, but almost no reporting at all on the Danish, Belgian, Spanish and Norwegian royal houses.

I suppose that the British RF is collectively worth more than their Dutch counterparts, but not by a very large margin. Among the other European royal families (excluding the principalities and Luxembourg), I really have no idea of how they rank relatively to each other. Does anybody know ?
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Germany has a castle, several, etc. etc. but Thailand is the richest according to wiki, on Crown property, Brunei from oil and gas, Saudi Arabia on oil, Arab Emirates because of Investment in Abu Dhabi, in order mind you, Liechtenstein holdings in foundation, Qatar various empires, Monaco including casinos various enterprises, France various enterprises, Oman various enterprises, UK various assets, Kuwait various enterprises,Netherlands holding in oil and gas, a specific listed, Swaziland various enterprises. Top 15 on wiki. It has names, but why disclose?

Anyway Prince Charles got and paid back a twenty million dollar personal loan to rebuild a castle, open now, I think, to the public in Scotland, with benefactor help, so, really that stands out as a personal wealth no everyday regular person is going to achieve. Yet he didn't just do it for himself. People can also get married at the thing, do lunch and I think there is a bed and breakfast. See so these top 15, we are most likely all benefiting from oceans away in one way or another. That's what really counts, that royal wealth is a benefit to civilization in society, know what I mean. I couldn't fathom a twenty mil personal loan. lol. It'd take me like three lifetimes to pay back 2 mil.
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A recent report from Standard & Poor’s shows that 40 percent of global sovereign debt belongs to monarchies. However, only 39 out of the 129 countries have a king or queen as head of state, estimated the agency.
The most indebted monarchy is Japan, led by Emperor Akihito. Tokyo owes more than $11 trillion, over 25 percent of the total debt.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the head of state of more than a dozen nations within the Commonwealth, has the second-highest debt.

Is having a monarchy better for your economy?

I hope that Japan will turn its economic situation around.
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Japan is an unique case. Almost all of the debt is owed to Japanese investors, that means: in Yens. That means that in principle the Japanese central bank can order the presses switched on and print billions of Yens to pay the debts. This in contrary to Greece, which has all of his debts in Euros or Dollars, to foreign creditors.

Japan was almost destroyed after WWII, has been hit by earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and floodings. Especially the last one, with the nuclear diasaster aroud Fukushima has taken an enormous toll on the Japanese economy, to the extent that the Greek drama is just a little side-note in comparison with the enormous challenges.

The State Debt alone is not enough, you need the whole picture. In the Netherlands the pension funds alone have a capital of 1.100 billion Euro in cash which is more than the National Debt (800 billion). Add to this 450 billion Euro of savings on the Dutch bank accounts, then the Dutch National Debt is double covered by Dutch liquid cash savings. The image then becomes becomes more balanced and that is why the Netherlands have an AAA-rating, like Germany, Austria, Finland, etc.

Look at a normal private person: he has a debt of 200.000 Euro on his house (mortgage). At the same time the house is valued for 300.000 Euro. So looking to the debt alone is not enough. That counts for states also. France has an equally enormous debt like the United Kingdom. But where the United Kingdom has sold all the table silver, the state of France still owns enormous holdings in France Télécom, SNCF (railways), Air France, EDF (Electricity), Peugeot, Airbus, Gaz de France, etc. That is a major difference with the United Kingdom, which really has sold e-ve-ry-thing to foreign investors, even the energy companies, public transport firms or the car industry are foreign owned. Germany has the same policy as France. It has an enormous National Debt but also owns the most (in terms of capital worth) out of any European country in state owned assets, for an example it owns 20% of VW Group, Europe's biggest car manufacturer. And... the Bundesländer (the states of Germany, like Bavaria, Hannover, etc.) on their turn own major assets as well.
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On September 9 Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest serving monarch in British history.

This milestone has already begun to reignite debates about the Monarchy's future and whether it is an asset or a drain on the British economy.

Now specialist brand and business valuation agency Brand Finance have sought to put a figure on the Monarchy's value to Britain's economy.

The firm found that the British Monarchy is worth about £57 billion and will make a net contribution to the economy this year of £1.16bn.
Read more: British Monarchy to contribute £1.16bn to UK's economy | Western Morning News
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