Inside the fabulous life of Monaco's royal family, who rules over one of the richest countries in the world, is richer than the Queen of England, and lives in a 12th-century palace
- The royal family of Monaco is headed by Prince Albert II and his wife of eight years, Princess Charlene.
- Their wedding was one of the most lavish and expensive ever, having cost an estimated $70 million (about R1 billion).
- They rule over one of the wealthiest places in the world, where 32% of the population is made up of millionaires.
- The family is estimated to be richer than the Queen of England.
- They attend ritzy galas with heads of state and Hollywood stars and goes on skiing holidays in Switzerland.
- For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.
Known as a "Billionaires' Playground," Monaco is famous for its lavish wealth, casinos, and glamorous events, such as the Monaco Yacht Show and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Ruling over this small yet rich city-state are the Grimaldis, the Monaco royal family headed by Prince Albert II, the son of Prince Rainier III and the actress Grace Kelly, who died in a car accident in 1982.
Prince Albert is worth an estimated $1 billion (about R14 billion) and owns about a quarter of the land he reigns over, according to GoBankingRates, making the Monaco royal family one of the wealthiest in the world. He married Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer and teacher from South Africa in 2011, and the couple shares two children. The prince also has two other children, who were born out of wedlock.
Take a look at the lifestyle of the Monaco royal family.
The Monaco royal family rules over one of the smallest yet wealthiest nations in the world.
Prince Albert of Monaco is worth an estimated $1 billion (R14 billion) and owns about a quarter of the land he reigns over, according to GoBankingRates, making the Monaco royal family one of the wealthiest in the world. For comparison, the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, is worth an estimated $500 million (about R7 billion).
Prince Albert married Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer and teacher from South Africa in July 2011, and the couple shares two children. The prince also has two other children, who were born out of wedlock.
Approximately 32% of the Monaco population is made up of millionaires.
The country is home to 12,261 millionaires in less than 1 square mile, and the number of millionaires increased by 12% between 2013 and 2018, according to the 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report.
The official residence of the royal family is the Prince's Palace of Monaco.
The palace hosts national celebrations such as one for Monaco's National Day on November 19.
Its state apartments are open for public visits for part of the year for €8, or about R129.
The Prince of Monaco is the son of Prince Rainier III and the actress Grace Kelly, who died in a car accident in 1982.
Kelly, a beloved American actress at the time, met her future husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, during a photo shoot.
They had three children: Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, and Prince Albert. The two were married from 1956 until Kelly's tragic death in 1982, when she suffered a stroke and crashed her car.
As a child, Prince Albert spent summers on his family's boat.
The family also went on skiing holidays in Switzerland.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene's nuptials in 2011 were one of the most lavish and expensive royal weddings ever.
Their three-day wedding cost an estimated $70 million (about R1 billion) and included guests like Karl Lagerfeld, Naomi Campbell, and Giorgio Armani.
The couple also hired the American rock band the Eagles to perform ahead of the ceremony.
The couple's royal lifestyle includes attending star-studded galas such as the Monte Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean.
The gala takes place in September each year during the Monaco Yacht Show, and attendees have included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Li Bingbing, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Grant, Robert F. Kennedy, Eva Longoria, and Madonna.
The royal couple also attends the annual amfAR gala in Antibes, France, which takes place during the Cannes Film Festival, the glamorous film festival attended by Hollywood's elite.
They rub shoulders with Hollywood A-listers at a television festival created by the Monaco royal family itself.
Prince Albert's father, Prince Rainier III, created the Monte-Carlo TV Festival in 1961.
And the Monaco royals get the best seats at some of Monaco's most high-profile events, like the Monaco Grand Prix, where the 1% cruise in on helicopters and party on multimillion-dollar yachts.
A one-day pass to the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix costs $328 (R4,800), and many of the superrich attendees stay at the Hotel Metropole, where a room can cost up to $41,000 (about R597,000) a night.
The prince and princess also host global heads of state, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan.
In 2019, Xi made the first ever state visit to Monaco by a Chinese president.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene's 5-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques of Monaco, are already "style icons," according to the press.
"Four-year-old royal twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella recently shut down the red carpet in Monaco with enough sass to rival Lady Gaga's entire awards season run," Megan C. Hills wrote of the above look for the UK's Evening Standard in 2019.
Last year, Princess Charlene took the royal twins on a trip to New York City.
On Instagram, the princess shared a photo of her children near the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan.
The princess has also shared photos and videos of her children on what appears to be a family ski trip.
The Monaco royals are known to take ski vacations to Gstaad, Switzerland.
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