When you think of the world’s royal families, the idea of luxury and opulence automatically springs to mind. While this association is generally a fair one, it turns out there are exceptions to the rule that deserve all the appreciation in the world.
Norway’s royal family, an example of modesty and common sense
Norway is one of the richest countries in Europe, yet its royal family is not the richest on the continent – quite the contrary. And that’s not because of any financial woes, but because of choices made by family members.
Norway’s 85-year-old King Harald is practically one of the world’s poorest kings, with an estimated fortune in 2019 of around €25 million.
What’s more, this family seems to lead a relatively normal life, hardly comparable to others in Europe, or even beyond. They usually dress simply when they are on the street.
Even more interestingly, the formal situations differ. While the others traditionally overdress, the Norwegian royal family seems to prefer simplicity, as far as their conduct obviously allows.
On the street, they walk without being flanked at all times by bodyguards, and the houses in which they live are not surrounded by fences “up to the sky”.
The Royal Palace in Oslo is unique in that there are no fences or walls here to keep the “commoners” out, with simple, tasteful architecture.
Members also try as much as possible not to live off the money of Norwegians, generating their own income so as not to hurt Norway’s economy, but also the inhabitants.
They have often been caught travelling on public transport alongside ‘normal’ people and, perhaps more impressively, they don’t use private planes to fly to exotic islands out of sight of any curious onlookers.
A prime example of the modesty of these people is this: Crown Prince Haakon travelled to Ibiza with his family and relaxed on a crowded public beach.
At the couple’s wedding, Princess Mette-Marit chose a simple wedding gown, without the use of a top designer as is customary in the world of the rich, powerful and entitled.
In case you didn’t know, Queen Sonia of Norway is a person of “grassroots” origins. Her parents owned a clothing store before she married the King of Norway. The Norwegians obviously love her dearly, as the Queen seems to have never forgotten where she came from.
Last but not least, the children of this family go to public schools, wishing them a normal childhood.
At the opposite pole, the British
At the opposite pole is the British royal family, which, according to statistics, is not only the richest in Europe, but also by far the most influential.
According to an analysis by Forbes magazine, the British royal household, now under the sceptre of King Charles, is worth $88 billion, most of the money coming from taxes paid by Britons. This “detail” has, in fact, created protest after protest over the years.
At the time of her death, Queen Elizabeth II held the title of richest member of the family, with a personal net worth of $428.3 million.
All this money was inherited by her son, King Charles III, who obviously took his mother’s place at the top.