For centuries, vast wealth has been synonymous with the great royal families of the world.

From the stupendous riches of the Oriental and Asian dynasties, to the opulence and splendour of Europe’s royalty, the wealth of monarchs and their families have long captured the imagination of ordained people around the world. 

In a realm with so much fortune and so many wealthy sovereigns, there’s one question that has also fascinated the rest of the global population: 

Who is the richest royal in the world? 

While it’s often impossible to determine a precise figure of wealth and net worth, especially when it comes to the private finances of powerful rulers, here are some insights into the hierarchy of riches within the world’s royal circles. 

Who Is The Richest Royal In The World? 

Current estimates suggest that the richest royal in the world is not in fact one single king or queen, but an entire royal family

The House of Saud, the reigning family of Saudi Arabia, is believed to be the richest royal family in the world. 

The immense fortunes of the royals in the Middle Eastern kingdoms are renowned throughout the world. Yet the House of Saud is regarded as the epitome of this wealthy realm, for a number of reasons. 

One reason is geographical – the rich natural resources, particularly oil, have allowed the rulers of these lands to accumulate vast riches. A second reason is the astute and ambitious approach to business and commerce within the Saud family. So on top of inherited wealth, this enterprising family have greatly increased their fortunes through business deals and commercial endeavours. 

A third reason the House of Saud is so wealthy is that it is comprised of so many rich individuals, who collectively make up the great fortune attributed to the reigning sovereign and his large family. 

While the House of Saud may be regarded as the richest royals in the world, many of their Middle Eastern neighbours are not too far behind them. The royal families of Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi also rank highly on the world’s Rich List, with billions of dollars of wealth and fortune between them. 

Who Are The Richest Royals In Europe? 

While the Middle East may hold the top spot for the wealthiest royals in the world, there is still a great number of royal fortunes within Europe. 

Ranking among the wealthiest royal families on the European continent are the sovereigns and rulers of Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Spain. Some of these regal families can boast a fortune of many millions, while others are in the realm of billions. 

And who is the richest royal in Europe? 

The top spot of European royal wealth is currently held by Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, with a reported fortune of approximately $5 billion. The combined wealth of the royal family of Liechtenstein is estimated to be almost $8 billion. 

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein
Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein – GuentherZ, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once again, these vast royal fortunes are a combination of inherited wealth with hugely successful business enterprises. For example, the royal family of Liechtenstein possesses a significant portfolio of investments, property businesses and even a private bank. The prince also owns a valuable collection of art – a classic asset within royal families that also contributes to their net worth and personal fortune given the tendency of priceless works of art to increase in value reliably over time.  

Who Is The Richest Royal In England? 

Beyond the European continent, there’s another famous royal family that is also regarded as one of the wealthiest of modern sovereigns. 

During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II was often thought to be vastly wealthy, though in comparison to some of her fellow sovereigns across the English Channel, her net worth was perhaps not as extensive as many people around the world would have believed. 

After the death of the queen, her personal fortune was inherited by her son and heir to the throne, the new King Charles III. This private collection of properties, assets such as art, and various other investments is believed to be worth around $600 million. 

While many people perceive the British Royal Family to be vastly wealthy, much of their apparent wealth is not a personal fortune, but rather a collection of assets owned by the Crown. 

For example, many of the English royal palaces do not belong to the individual monarch as a private asset, but in the great tradition of royalty and imperial wealth, the reigning monarch is just a steward of these inherited properties and regal possessions. In this way, they do not own them outright, even though they enjoy personal use and access during their lifetime. 

Royal Riches In The Modern World

For hundreds of years, the kings and queens of the ages have been associated with lifestyles of unimaginable luxury, wealth and opulence. 

For many centuries, it was deemed vital for a royal family to display their wealth, in order to establish their supremacy in the eyes of their subjects, and to present an image of power to neighbouring empires. 

In modern times, the sensibilities around great displays of vast wealth have shifted considerably, which is perhaps why many of today’s royal families are more conservative in their public displays of opulence and vast riches. 

It’s undoubtedly a difficult balance to strike to suit the minds of the modern public. On the one hand, many people still love the pomp and tradition of glittering golden carriages and awe-inspiring palaces. On the other hand, ordinary people have questions about the use of tax-payers money to fund the lavish and luxurious lifestyles of those born into royalty.  

The last few decades have seen many encouraging signs that modern royals are increasingly sensitive to the challenges of their subjects and the appropriateness of lavish spending or ostentatious displays of wealth. 

It’s likely the most successful royal families of the future will strike this delicate balance between inspiring displays of royal living and an acute devotion to the best interests of their people.