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May 16, 2011 4:37 by

Bhumibol Adulyadej

With a net worth of $30 billion as of July 2010, the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand tops Forbes’ list of the richest royals. Second on the list is Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei ($20 billion), followed by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia ($18 billion) and then there’s Sheikh Khalifa in fourth place. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai places fifth with $4.5 billion.

Back to King Bhumibol. When Forbes came out with the list of richest royals with the King on top, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand issued a statement that the report had wrongly attributed wealth owned by the Crown Property Bureau solely to the King. Bhumibol and the royal family own land and equity in major companies across Thailand, particularly in insurance, construction, telecommunications and banking.

Bhumibol is also known as Rama IX (or simply ‘Lek’ to his close associates and family). He is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.

The King, who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US, has been credited in facilitating the country’s transition to democracy in the 1990s. He is also an avid writer, painter, musician and photographer.

 

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