How the Wealthiest Royal Family Members Spend Their Fortunes

By Jake SchroederLast Updated Apr 18, 2020 9:57:32 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

Most royal families around the world have substantial family fortunes — sometimes at levels that are almost obscene. When it comes to the wealthiest royals on the planet, it’s safe to assume they never want for anything and have some creative ways to spend their money.

For some, their simple daily wardrobes may cost much more than an average citizen pays for a home. (We won’t even discuss "special event" clothes.) They throw the most lavish parties and own the most luxurious transportation, even if they don’t drive themselves. Let’s take a closer look at how some of the richest royals spend their family fortunes.

30. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, U.K. - $5 Million

Meghan Markle's wedding cost about $43 million. The wedding dress for the ceremony cost a whopping $265,000, while the dress for the reception came in at a mere $157,000. Like her sister-in-law, she has sometimes worn five-figure outfits, including her engagement photo dress, which cost a whopping $75,000.

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Photo Courtesy: Northern Ireland Office/Wikipedia

Last year, about $3 million of royal money was spent on the Frogmore Cottage estate, where she lives with her husband and son. Of course, now she and Prince Harry will be paying that money back, which is likely to curb Markle’s wardrobe spending.

29. Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, U.K. - $10 Million

The dress that Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day cost a shocking $332,000. As for her other royal outfits, she generally spares no expense. Just Google some of her outfits to quickly see that many of her public wardrobe choices cost in the tens of thousands of dollars each.

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Photo Courtesy: tsaiproject/Wikipedia

On the positive side, Princess Kate has at least garnered some approval for wearing her outfits in public more than once. The same can’t be said for that pricey wedding dress. Of course. About $1.7 million of royal funds were used to refurbish Kensington Palace last year for the Prince and Princess.

28. Princess Madeleine, Sweden - $10 Million

When Princess Madeleine married American businessman Christopher O’Neill, they spent a total of $500,000 on the wedding ceremony and festivities. The Valentino Garavani wedding dress that Madeleine wore cost an estimated $100,000. These prices don’t even make a dent in the net worth of the princess.

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Photo Courtesy: Bengt Nyman/Wikipedia

She has also occupied very prestigious homes throughout her life. A while ago, the couple sold their Palm Beach home for $3.6 million. They now live in a lavish residence in a gated community in Miami, Florida.

27. King Felipe VI, Spain - $20 Million

Former members of the Spanish royal family developed some bad spending habits that concerned their subjects, so King Felipe VI only receives 80% of what his predecessor — his father, King Juan Carlos I — was earning. This decision was made by the government in an attempt to rein in royal spending and improve their image.

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Photo Courtesy: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

King Felipe loves sports and was even a member of the Olympic Sailing Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He was Spain's flag bearer during the opening ceremony, and he came in sixth place and received an Olympic diploma award for his performance.

26. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, U.K. - $30 Million

Prince Philip is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, they currently have the longest marriage in royal history. He is the father of Prince Charles, the grandfather of William and Harry, and the great-grandfather of George, Charlotte, Louis and Archie.

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Photo Courtesy: Carfax2/Wikipedia

Throughout his life, he played polo, competed in boat racing and even piloted airplanes. He was the first royal to fly out of Buckingham Palace’s garden in a helicopter. An avid art lover, Prince Philip is retired from his royal duties, but he still makes appearances at weddings and family events.

25. King Harald V, Norway - $30 Million

Harald V has been King of Norway since 1991, when he inherited the throne from his father. He has older sisters, but as the only son, he became the Crown Prince when his father became king. The law was changed to include daughters in the line of succession the year before Harald actually became king, but the law only applied to those born after it was put into effect. His duties as a monarch are mostly symbolic.

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Photo Courtesy: Aeltegop/Wikipedia

King Harald spends his money on athletics and yachting as well as hunting and fishing. He is also on the committees for the Olympics and various world championship events.

24. Queen Margrethe II, Denmark - $40 Million

As she was born a week after German soldiers took over Denmark, Queen Margrethe represented hope for the country in the darkest of times. After a 1953 amendment to Denmark’s constitution to include daughters in the line of succession, she became eligible for the crown.

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Photo Courtesy: Johannes Jansson/

In 2018, the Queen bought her own coffin for $5 million. It’s made of glass and silver, and the sculptor who designed it spent a whopping 15 years constructing it.

23. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, U.K. - $40 Million

Prince William previously owned a 1954 Aston Martin Lagonda Drophead Coupe — one of the rarest cars in the world — with a value around $640,000. Since then, he has purchased other cars for transportation. Being a father, he also has to pay school fees for the elite private schools that his kids will attend.

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Photo Courtesy: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The ring he gave to Kate Middleton when he proposed may have not cost him anything — it was his mother’s ring — but it’s worth about $500,000 today. His hobbies, such as polo, skiing and rowing, don’t come cheap either.

22. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, U.K. - $40 Million

Even though he is sixth in line to the British throne, Prince Harry has definitely had a rough past with partying and showing off his wild side. In fact, his lifestyle landed him in the British tabloids on more than a few occasions.

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Photo Courtesy: E. J. Hersom/Wikipedia

These days, Prince Harry is all grown up with a wife and a child. The ring he designed and gave to Meghan Markle for their engagement has an estimated worth of $300,000. Even before he was engaged to his bride, he loved giving her spectacular expensive gifts like cars and jewelry.

21. King Carl XVI Gustaf, Sweden - $70 Million

King Gustaf became Crown Prince when he was 4 years old after his grandfather took the throne. His father had tragically died in a plane crash, leaving him next in the line of succession. In 1975, due to reformation of the Swedish government, he was relieved of almost all his duties as a leader of the country. For the first time, the "King of Sweden" title became a symbolic moniker.

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Photo Courtesy: Bengt Nyman/Wikipedia

The family is no stranger to family drama. Recently, the King removed some of his grandchildren from "royal" status to eliminate their requirement to complete royal duties and their right to receive taxpayer funds. They retain some titles but no longer have "Royal Highness" titles.

20. King Mswati III, Swaziland - $100 Million

King Mswati III owns an Airbus A340-300, a plane large enough for him to travel with all his wives at once — all 15 of them! Apparently, this king is all about feeling extra rich in his love life. He has a $61 million annual budget to spend, and he owns a $500,000 Daimler Chrysler Flagship Maybach 62 luxury car.

Photo Courtesy: Amada44/Wikipedia

This royal family has even held birthday parties underwater. When it comes to celebrating in style, it’s just not enough to throw a fancy party on land like the rest of us.

19. Queen Beatrix, Netherlands - $200 Million

She may have retired and abdicated the throne, but Queen Beatrix is still seriously loaded with money. It may be only half of what the Queen of England has, but it still puts her in the top five wealthiest royals in Europe, and she has a lot to show for her status.

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Photo Courtesy: Frank van Beek/Wikipedia

Despite her mass fortune, the Dutch royal family is shockingly down to earth for the amount of money they possess. For example, the monarch’s crown has fake jewels in it, and it’s made of gold-plated silver instead of solid gold — very down to earth, indeed!


18. King Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, Nigeria - $300 Million

King Fredrick, the second richest king in Africa, is the ruler of the Ugbo Kingdom in Nigeria. He owns the same custom-built Rolls Royce as Queen Elizabeth II, and he previously owned a 2014 Bentley luxury car.

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Photo Courtesy: William Krause/Unsplash

Need to know the time? Ask the King of Nigeria. He’s known for owning and wearing several watches that cost more than $1 million each. Unfortunately, many of the details of this very private royal’s life aren’t easy to access for the public record.


17. Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait - $350 Million

The entire family of the Emir of Kuwait is worth about $90 billion in total. The family members are known to throw fancy parties, and they also have the luxury of owning some of the highest-rated speed boats and yachts in the world.

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Photo Courtesy: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In addition to living like kings, the family also does some good for the world with their wealth. For example, they were congratulated by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for their work with disaster relief and public health issues.


16. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, U.K. - $420 Million

Being next in line to the throne is probably both thrilling and intimidating, but as the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles doesn’t have to wait until he succeeds to the throne one day to have a fortune at his disposal. He already earns almost $5,000 per week from the Duchy of Cornwall. The money comes from the huge amount of properties that the Duchy owns.

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Photo Courtesy: New Zealand Defence Force/Wikipedia

The Prince also does a lot of good work by investing in environmentalist companies. His foundation has put about $1 million toward many causes that are so important to our world today.


15. Queen Elizabeth II - $450 Million

Probably the most well-known royal to the general public, Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne upon the death of her father in 1952. She owns six homes, including famous well-known properties like Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Altogether, the properties are worth about $150 million.

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Photo Courtesy: Queensland State Archives/Wikipedia

She also owns expensive collections of jewels, horses and art. The crown jewels, in particular, are especially prized by the royal family and are worth $110 million. Her real weakness may very well be handbags, as she owns 200 styles created by luxury designer Launer. She has a private ATM in the palace in case she needs cash — but why would she?


14. Qaboos bin Said al-Said, Sultan of Oman - $700 Million

Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said had eight palaces with several helicopters to go with it, and he owned five yachts and three private jets. Despite his lavish lifestyle, the Sultan did a lot of good for his country before his death in January 2020. In fact, he is credited with modernizing Oman and guiding it to prosperity. He also used his own money to restore mosques all over the land.

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Photo Courtesy: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The world wondered what would happen when the Sultan passed away. He had no children, no wife and no siblings. In the end, he designated his cousin, Haitham bin Tariq, as his heir.


13. King Abdullah II, Jordan - $750 Million

In 2012, King Abdullah II made every nerd envious when he became the main investor in a Star Trek theme park in his country. The theme park is now a part of the Red Sea Astrarium resort project, which has an estimated cost of $1.55 billion.

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Photo Courtesy: World Economic Forum/Wikipedia

The King even appeared as an extra in a 1996 Star Trek: Voyager episode. At the time, he threw a big party for everyone involved and gave them a standing invitation to visit him in his country. One cast member — Ethan Phillips, who played Neelix — took him up on the offer and visited the King in Jordan between the show’s second and third seasons.


12. Imam Aga Khan IV, Nizari Ismaili - $800 Million

Imam Aga Khan IV is not actually a ruler of any land. His family has royal ancestry from the 18th century, which is why they count as royalty, but they "reign" over the religion of Ismaili Muslims. They believe Aga Khan IV represents the living form of God on Earth.

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Photo Courtesy: DFID/Wikipedia

The Imam once purchased a 164-foot yacht for $200 million and named it after his favorite racehorse. The boat was supposed to be able to travel at 60 knots but was actually only capable of traveling at 30 knots at top speed. That’s a pricey hobby and a costly mistake, so he might want to do a little test drive (sail?) before purchasing next time.


11. Prince Albert II, Monaco - $1 Billion

A whopping 32% percent of the population of Monaco are millionaires, but the Prince is among the richest, of course. You might recognize him as the son of late American actress Grace Kelly. Albert was named Prince — the nation is a principality, not a kingdom — when his father died in 2005.

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Photo Courtesy: Michel Ravassard/Wikipedia

Living in Monaco, he regularly attends fancy galas and events for the elite, including the famous Grand Prix of Monaco. The Prince also owns a fancy cruise ship, and his wedding cost a shocking $70 million. However, the Prince also does some good with his money. He started the Prince Albert Foundation, which helps protect the environment.


10. Prince Albert, 12th Prince of Thurn und Taxis - $1.6 Billion

Prince Albert has amazingly been a billionaire since he was only 8 years old! His father, Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn und Taxis, became famous as a flâneur. After his father’s death in 1990, Prince Albert inherited a $3 billion fortune.

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Photo Courtesy: Oliver Pohlmann/Wikipedia

Although he is royalty, he doesn’t actually rule a country, so he doesn’t have many responsibilities to take up his time. To fill up some of that endless free time, he drives a race car professionally. Heads up, ladies! Rumor has it he's looking for a wife.


9. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar - $2.1 Billion

This Qatari royal succeeded to the throne after his father abdicated. Since then, his focus has been on improving the country’s national relations by bringing sporting events to the country. He has been successful in some ways, including winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

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Photo Courtesy: Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Wikipedia

However, not everyone is as excited about hosting the World Cup event as the Emir. Rumors indicate that the committee voters were bribed into voting for Qatar. There are also issues with the workers who are building the stadium for the tournament. The investigations are ongoing at this point.


8. Prince Hans-Adam II, Liechtenstein - $3.5 Billion

As the 15th ruler of Liechtenstein, Prince Hans-Adam II is the wealthiest monarch in Europe. His wealth comes not only from his royal title and inheritance but from his life as a businessman. He owns the LGT banking group, which may be locally based, but the company has clients all over the world.

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Photo Courtesy: GuentherZ/Wikipedia

He also owns a giant collection with hundreds of pieces of valuable art. A lot of it is generously displayed in the Liechtenstein Museum for the public to enjoy. He has now named his eldest son as his successor to the throne.


7. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai, UAE - $4 Billion

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been the ruler of Dubai and the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates since 2006 when his older brother passed away. Back in the mid-90s, when he was crowned Prince of Dubai, he worked at developing desert land into luxurious hotels and resorts.

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Photo Courtesy: World Economic Forum/Wikipedia

Since he came into power, he has continued to work to promote the country. He says that his main priorities are the health and prosperity of his nation. He has been a part of many philanthropic missions — as well as many controversies.


6. Grand Duke Henri, Luxembourg - $4 Billion

Grand Duke Henri has been the ruler of Luxembourg for 19 years since his father abdicated the throne. He and his family live in a beautiful, luxurious castle known as Berg Castle. Despite the family’s personal wealth, they still receive funds from the country for their royal duties. The Grand Duke also owns a vacation home in the south of France.

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Photo Courtesy: א (Aleph)/Wikipedia

For someone so wealthy, he never seems to be touched by drama or scandal. In general, he seems to handle his wealth well and is a good leader.

5. King Mohammed VI, Morocco - $5.8 Billion

The King of Morocco gets almost $3.5 million annually to spend on whatever his heart desires. He owns a total of 12 palaces, although he only uses four of them. Regardless, he insists that all of them be stocked and ready for occupancy, which costs his country — and therefore his subjects — about $1.2 million per day.

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Photo Courtesy: UN Climate Change/Wikipedia

He also somehow spends another $1.2 million just on pet food! (What is he feeding them?) Of course, he doesn’t go without himself, considering his wardrobe budget comes in around double the amount of his pet food budget.

4. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi, UAE - $15 Billion

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been president of the UAE since 2004, when he became Emir of Abu Dhabi and was named president by the UAE Federal Council. The tallest building in the world was renamed to honor. That’s right — the Burj Khalifa was originally called the Burj Dubai!

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Photo Courtesy: United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Wikipedia

Keeping with the extravagant theme, he also owns the largest private yacht in the world. It cost about $400 million to build and was apparently completed in record-breaking time to please the Emir.

3. Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia - $17 Billion

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and is all set to become King after his father — who is in his 80s — passes away. Altogether, the royal family is worth a mere $1.4 trillion. The whole family is known for their crazy spending habits, and the Prince is no exception to the rule.

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Photo Courtesy: Palácio do Planalto/Wikipedia

One of his personal luxuries is a giant yacht that cost about $500 million. He also bought a French chateau for $300 million and a Leonardo Da Vinci painting for $450 million. He owns other luxury residences in Switzerland, London, France and Morocco. Let’s just say he has about everything you could imagine — and more!

2. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Brunei - $20 Billion

If you love cars, this royal could be your new best friend. He owns 500 Rolls-Royces and about $4 million worth of cars in total! He won’t ever have to worry about running out of space for all those vehicles, because the $600 million palace he lives in has a garage that can house 800 cars. Impressed yet?

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Photo Courtesy: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A golf lover, the Sultan hired the most successful golfer ever, Jack Nicklaus, to design a golf course for him. He owns a $400 million plane and has been known to spend $20,000 on a single haircut.

1. King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand - $30 Billion

The coronation ceremony in 2016 was a good indicator of how much money this ruler of Thailand likes to spend. The entire event cost the government $31 million! Since then, the King has been given an annual budget of $123 million.

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Photo Courtesy: The Public Relations Department/Wikipedia

As for other extravagances, he owns the largest faceted diamond in the entire world, which is worth about $12 million. He also flies his own Boeing 737 plane, and he once threw a four-day proper Buddhist funeral for his pet poodle.