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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 02:32 GMT 03:32 UK
Queen drops down rich list
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen is not even the wealthiest monarch
The Queen has slipped to 19th in a ranking of the world's richest women, according to a new report.

The list of the world's 200 richest women, published in this week's edition of EuroBusiness, also reveals that the Queen is not even the wealthiest royal - despite her 1.9bn fortune.

That privilege goes to Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands who is reported to be worth 2.09bn.

The top place, by a vast margin, went to Helen Walton, 81, whose husband founded the global hypermarket Wal-Mart.

She is said to have a personal fortune of 27.6bn.

Few Brits listed

In second place was Liliane Bettencourt, 74, whose father founded the L'Oreal empire, with 8.5bn.

Kevin Cahill, wealth editor of EuroBusiness, spent 11 months trawling the fortunes of 560 women to establish the richest 200, each worth more than 300m.

Only 20 of the 200 are British, with Lily Safra, originally from Mitcham, Surrey, the richest of the Britons with more than 3bn. Yet she is ranked only at number 11 in the world.

Already a wealthy woman - her father made a fortune building railway carriages in Brazil - she married three times and her third husband, who died last year, left her 2.4bn.

Mafia women

But it is women who are not named in the list that Mr Cahill finds most fascinating.

He believes the wife of one of the major Italian Mafia figures could be worth a fortune of 10bn and that women around the world are helping to run criminal empires.

He came across the information too late for inclusion in his report, but Mr Cahill explained that while figures of the Mafia languish in prison, their wives take over the running of the family business.

"The women are supposedly far more dangerous than the men," he said.

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28 Feb 00 | C-D
Civil List
04 Jul 00 | UK
The minted Royals
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