Let’s take the most famous and one of the most public — the British monarchy. The queen’s fortune is currently estimated at £ 370 million. Elizabeth II has personal property, as well as part of the profits from the family estates. However, the queen receives her main income from the budget. It is calculated as a percentage of the money that the so-called «crown property» brings to the state (like the crown itself, this property does not officially belong to the queen). Last year, payments to the Queen amounted to £ 76.1 million. The royal «salary» may be increased, as happened recently. Buckingham Palace needed repairs, the government considered that the queen was already old, it was harmful for her to live with a leaking roof, and approved an increase.
Most of the other monarchs in Europe are on a similar budgetary allowance. Their «salaries» are several times more modest than those of Elizabeth II, but still the richest monarch in Europe is not the British queen at all, but the Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, who two years ago was included in the list of the 500 richest people in the world according to Bloomberg. His fortune was then estimated at $ 4.4 billion. The main profit for the prince comes from his LGT Group — a private bank that serves very wealthy clients.
But all this «old money» is childish compared to the income of the monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Topping the chart of the richest monarchies of Saudi, the descendants of King Abdul-Aziz. The combined wealth of the entire family is estimated to exceed one trillion dollars. The princes are the main beneficiaries of the oil monopoly Aramco, which Bloomberg recently called «the most profitable company on the planet.»
Another monarchy of the Persian Gulf, Qatar, is also investing in oil and gas money on a grand scale. The British media at one time was full of headlines in the spirit of «Qatar is buying London». Among other things, the family of Qatari sheikhs actually owns the Harrods department store, the Olympic Village and the tallest skyscraper on the island — The Shard. By the way, Qatar also has shares in the company that owns the Empire State Building in New York. Painfully, oil prices are unstable — you have to invest in real estate. The Sultan of Brunei has a similar approach. True, what suits the sultans and princes,
The king of Thailand is fabulously wealthy. State base —
The neighbor of the king of Thailand — the king of Cambodia — on the contrary, is one of the most humble monarchs in the world. His property is hardly worth more than a few hundred thousand dollars. The father of the current king declared his possessions in 2004, showing two accounts — for $ 57 thousand and for $ 131 thousand. And also a house that he does not use (it is occupied by the embassy). Since then, the royal family has hardly been enriched. There are practically no sources of income, and the current king lives almost like a prisoner in his residence under the supervision of Prime Minister Hun Sen — a true monarch who has ruled the country for more than 30 years (and, by the way, very rich).
Perhaps most of the monarchies remained on the African continent. And there the scale of the fortune of kings varies incredibly: from the Moroccan king-billionaire to the King Ashanti from Ghana with a relatively modest $ 10 million. Of these, a considerable part is jewelry and precious stones. Just like the good old days. There are also very insignificant kings, whose welfare is ensured by fellow tribesmen, among whom it is customary to give the monarch money, jewelry and cars, receiving blessings and favor in return. Sometimes the government of a country does the same. About $ 6 million is spent every year from the South African budget to support the king of the Zulu people. Moreover, South Africa is not a monarchy, but a democratic state. But in Africa, the boundaries of the influence of kings (which have formed over the centuries) and the boundaries of states (which were drawn by the Europeans) generally rarely coincide.
Are there any economic benefits of monarchies, or are they just a burden? It’s hard to say, but the main thing is that the citizens are not opposed to supporting the royal family. The citizens of Saudi Arabia, of course, are not asked much, but the British are interviewed regularly — and seven out of ten are quite happy with the state of affairs. At the same time, Brand Finance (it estimates, in particular, the value of the brand, the name of the company) notes that the British crown brings £ 1.766 billion to the budget annually, and costs several times cheaper. After all, this is a famous brand on which business is done: tourism, trade, souvenirs and much more. Brand Finance generally considers the British monarchy to be Britain’s most valuable asset. It’s a brand that they value at $ 85 billion (by comparison, the most expensive brand in the auto industry, Mercedes, is worth about $ 60 billion). For the sake of this, you can increase the «salary» of Her Majesty.
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