10 world’s richest royal families control wealth of over US$2.4 tri

By Justin Baltrusaitis


ROYAL families are among the richest institutions globally based on the value of fortunes they control. The wealth has grown over the years to hit new levels as of 2020.

Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that the top ten wealthiest royal families globally control a fortune of US$2.45 tri as of 3Q 2020.

The Saudi Arabia Royal Family, commonly known as The House of Saud, holds the pole position with US$1.4 tri in wealth. The royal family of the U.K lies in the fifth spot with a fortune of US$88 bil.

The research also ranked the world wealthiest royal family members. Cumulatively, the top ten members control a fortune of US$114.4 bil. The King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn ranks top with US$30 bil in wealth. Juan Carlos I, the former King of Spain, ranks tenth with wealth worth US$2.3 bil.


Source: Buy Shares
Source: Buy Shares


How royals amass their fortune

The highlighted royal families mint their wealth from different sources. For the Saudi royal family, they own oil companies, Saudi Aramco, which is among the world’s most valuable and profitable companies.

The companies constitute the backbone of the sprawling royal family’s fortune. Notably, the ruling monarchy draws most of its income from vast oil reserves that were founded 75 years ago. The wealth is believed to be spread over 15,000 royal family members.

For other families, the wealth is mostly in assets, estates, and assets held in trust. The family’s wealth has managed to grow thanks to tax exemptions due to acts of parliaments in their respective jurisdictions.

Most royal families like the Saudi and British, are known to be private about their fortune. But their lifestyles are filled with big spending, private jets, luxury yachts, a palatial estate, among others.

For the richest royal family members, their wealth mostly comes from inheritance. King Maha Vajiralongkorn has made most of his money from investments derived from the Crown Property Bureau.

The bureau manages the property of the crown of the Kingdom of Thailand. Furthermore, he is the proprietor of the 545-carat Golden Jubilee Diamond, one of the world’s largest cut and faceted diamonds.

Critics of the monarch sources of wealth and spending

Apart from an inheritance, other royals get their money from sources like strategic investments. Additionally, others are funded through taxpayer money. For example, the British monarch is funded by the taxpayers through a sovereign grant issued by the treasury.

With most royals growing in wealth, there have been calls to abolish the monarch due to inequality reasons. Critics argue that the existence of the monarch is unfair. Some believe that the institution is outdated in the wake of a huge financial gap with the rest of the citizens.

For example, in the UK, critics argue that the royal family has seen their wealth spike while the rest of the country is attempting to find a way out of the different financial crises.

In Saudi Arabia, the head of the monarch has however taken steps to introduce austerity measures to keep up with the rest of the country’s spending.

In a nutshell, various royal families globally come with privileges, class, and status but critics are finding it hard to defend the institution. However, no country has taken the bold step to abolish the monarch. – Nov 14, 2020


Justin Baltrusaitis is an editor, writer, and a downhill fan. He spent many years writing about banking, finances, blockchain, and digital assets-related news. He strives to serve the untold stories for the readers.

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