Elizabeth: world’s 12th richest royal

Queen Elizabeth is the 12th richest royal in the world.

Despite having an estimated fortune of £349 million, the monarch has slipped one place in the list of super-rich royalty, which was compiled by Forbes magazine.

The queen’s wealth was calculated by considering her various private properties – including Balmoral castle in Scotland and the Sandringham Estate in England – fine art, jewellery and her grandfather George V’s stamp collection.

She also receives an annual income of around £12.5 million from the Duchy of Lancaster.

Many of her assets are not personal possessions – Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Crown Jewels and the Royal Collection are held in trust for the nation.

The Crown Estate – land which has belonged to the royal family since 1066 – generates £110 million a year. The British government is given £40 million of this to cover the monarchy’s costs.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace has insisted: “The queen’s personal wealth has always been vastly exaggerated.”

A new royal has topped the list this year. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej – the world’s longest reigning monarch – has finished first with a staggering estimated fortune of £18.79 billion. It has been claimed his wealth has increased significantly because of the transparency of his holdings.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates was in second place with £12.35 billion, while Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia finished third with £11.27 billion.

Last year’s richest royal, the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah – who is worth an impressive £10.74 billion – was one of only two royals to record a dip in their fortune.

Forbes have warned the fourth-placed monarch’s fortune could continue to decline as Brunei’s oilfields dry up.

Forbes said: “The sultan, who inherited the riches of an unbroken 600-year-old Muslim dynasty, has had to cut back on his country’s oil production because of depleting reserves.

“But overall the world’s 15 richest royals have increased their wealth from last year.”

Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum rounded off the top five with an estimated net worth of £9.66 billion.

Forbes magazine’s 15 richest royals 2008:
1. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – £18.79 billion
2. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates – £12.35 billion
3. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia – £11.27 billion
4. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei – £10.74 billion
5. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai – £9.66 billion
6. Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein of Liechtenstein – £2.68 billion
7. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar – £1.07 billion
8. King Mohammed IV of Morocco – £805.4 million
9. Prince Albert II of Monaco – £751.7 million
10. Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said of Oman – £590.1 million
11. Prince Karim Aga Khan – £536.9 million
12. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom – £349 million
13. Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait – £268 million
14. Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of the Netherlands – £161 million
15. King Mswati III of Swaziland – £107.4 million