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Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 04:11 GMT 05:11 UK

World: Europe

UK royals 'not Europe's richest'

Many will be surprised the Windsors do not top the list

The UK Royal Family, widely thought to be the richest in Europe, has been beaten into third place by the House of Liechtenstein.

A survey of the wealth of Europe's 10 reigning dynasties by EuroBusiness magazine estimated the fortune of the royal family of Liechtenstein at £3.3bn.

[ image: Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein belongs to the wealthiest family]
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein belongs to the wealthiest family
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg's family came in second with an estimated fortune of £3bn, while the Windsors came third with a total wealth of £2.7bn.

But Buckingham Palace dismissed the list as "overblown and speculative".

It said the magazine was wrong to include the Crown Estate and Duchy of Cornwall in its calculations for the Windsors.

"These simply cannot be counted as personal assets," said a Palace spokeswoman. "The Royal Family gains no personal benefit from the Crown Estate whatsoever and to include it in the calculation is misleading.

"Also, although the Prince of Wales is entitled to revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall, he cannot sell its assets."

The magazine listed the Windsors' assets as:

  • Cash and investments - £520m
  • Art collection - £1bn
  • Jewellery - £130m
  • Crown Estate - £700m
  • Duchy of Cornwall - £195m
  • Other property or assets - £160m

    [ image: Richest royal: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands]
    Richest royal: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
    The "poorest" royals were the Oldenburgs of Norway with £90m.

    Queen Elizabeth II was ranked the seventh-richest individual royal, with the Prince of Wales beating his mother by one place.

    The Queen Mother came 22nd, with Princess Margaret 23rd and the Duke of Edinburgh 45th.

    Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was named as the wealthiest reigning monarch, with £1.2bn, followed by Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (£800m) and Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein (£540m).

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