Cover (Image: @kensingtonpalace/Twitter)

From years of reign and military service to education and net worth, these are the world's most distinguished royals

While a stellar curriculum vitae (CV) is essential for anyone searching for employment, this is not the case for the world's royals who are literally born into their jobs and groomed to succeed the throne. But what would their resumes look like if they did have one? To find out who the world's most distinguished royals were, RoyalVegas embarked on a study, awarding scores to royals according to their titles, length of reign, size of their palaces, estimated net worth, education, military service, and social media following on Twitter. 

The result is a ranking list based on their royal CVs—these are the 10 royals who topped the list. Do note, however, that the study takes on a conservative estimate of their net worths, which may differ greatly from the projected amount by other organisations.

1 / 10

Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom

At the age of 94, Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s oldest living monarch, as well as the longest-reigning monarch with 68 years of service. So it comes as no surprise that she takes the top spot in this list. The Queen’s military service also contributed to her high standing—when she was 18, the royal had joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during the second world war, after undergoing training in London as a mechanic and military truck driver. She remains the only female in the British royal family to have joined the armed forces. In addition, the popular royal boasted 4.1 million followers on Twitter at the time of the study—which now stands at 4.2 million—making her the royal with the highest Twitter following.

2 / 10

Sultan Abdullah of Pahang, Malaysia

Succeeding his father as the sixth Sultan of Pahang and elected to be the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Supreme Head) of Malaysia in January 2019, Sultan Abdullah has reigned for a year. However, the 60-year-old has contributed 42 years in military service—the highest number on the list. The Malaysian king began his military career as an officer cadet in 1978. From then, he rose through the ranks in the Malaysian Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and the 505th Territorial Army Regiment. As of 2019, he is the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the commander-in-chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

3 / 10

Sovereign Prince Albert II, Monaco

In third place, Prince Albert II’s ‘royal CV’ lists 14 years of reign, 19 years of military service, a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and an estimated net worth of US$1 billion. What stands out the most, however, is the size of his palace, which takes up 197 hectares. The prince’s official residence is the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, which has been the stronghold of the Grimaldi family since the end of the 13th century. Today, it is the fully working palace and headquarters of the Monégasque ruler, with its staterooms open to the public during the summer. The palace courtyard has also been the venue of open-air concerts by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1960.

4 / 10

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Like his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William needs little introduction. The Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the throne, has been actively involved in official royal engagements from a young age and has also contributed seven years of military service. The prince served in the Blues and Royals regiment, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, where he was notably a full-time pilot with the RAF Search and Rescue Force in 2009. William also ranked third in terms of social media following, with 2 million followers on his Twitter account, which he shares with wife Kate Middleton. However, if Instagram was taken into account, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would rank first with their 11.8 million followers.

5 / 10

King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand

The King of Thailand may deal with unwanted media attention at times but he is also known for being the richest royal in the world with an estimated net worth of US$30 billion. After ascending the throne in 2016, King Vajiralongkorn placed the Crown Property Bureau, which holds the royal family’s wealth, under his control in 2017. This granted him full personal ownership of assets including 6,560 hectares of land in Thailand, 40,000 rental contracts nationwide, as well as shares in Siam Cement Group and Siam Commercial Bank.

6 / 10

King Felipe VI, Spain

King Felipe VI was the youngest monarch in Europe when he ascended the throne in 2014, after the abdication of his father emeritus king Juan Carlos I. He is also known to be the best-educated king in Spanish history, with a degree in Master of Science in Foreign Service degree. The royal has reigned for five years, and prior to that served in the Spanish Army, Spanish Air Force and Spanish Navy for 25 years. Since his ascension, King Felipe VI has had to deal with wavering confidence in the monarchy, from his sister Cristina facing criminal allegations for her husband’s embezzlement of public funds, to his father’s shady financial dealings. Most recently, he renounced his personal inheritance from Juan Carlos and stripped the former king of his annual stipend after allegations of Juan Carlos’ secret offshore fund that is tied to Saudi Arabia.

7 / 10

King Abdullah II, Jordan

At 58 years old, King Abdullah II has reigned for 21 years and served in the military for 18 years. He is estimated to have a net worth of US$750 million. The constitutional monarch was credited for the economic boom that lasted until 2008, as a result of his reforms, and is noted to be popular both locally and internationally for maintaining stability in Jordan. The Jordanian king is most recently plagued by Israel’s plan to annex part of the West Bank, and is reportedly in talks with US officials to form a strategic partnership.

8 / 10

King Mohammed VI, Morocco

With an estimated net worth of US$2.1 billion, King Mohammed VI of Morocco ranks amongst the world’s richest royals. He also tops the list for his education credentials, having obtained a Certificat d'Études Supérieures (CES) in political sciences in 1987, a Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA) in public law in 1988, as well as a PhD in law with distinction from the French University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in 1993. The Moroccan king has reigned for 20 years and served in the military for nine years. He was commissioned a colonel major of the Royal Moroccan Army in 1985 and served as the Coordinator of the Offices and Services of the Royal Armed Forces until 1994.

9 / 10

King Philippe, Belgium

Succeeding the throne from his father King Albert II in 2013, King Philippe has reigned for six years and contributed 33 years of military service. The monarch was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy, during which he was appointed second lieutenant. He then attended Trinity College, Oxford as well as Stanford University, California, where he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in political science in 1985. King Philippe then went on to obtain his Pilot’s Wings and certificates as a parachutist and commando. He also attended special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute in 1989, promoting to colonel the same year. He was appointed major-general in the Land and Air component and rear-admiral in the Navel Component in 2001.

10 / 10

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates

The crown prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has yet to succeed the throne, but he has already been named one of the “100 Most Influential People” of 2019 by Time magazine, and “one of the most powerful men on Earth” by the New York Times in 2020. The royal, who is also the deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces is responsible for most presidential public affairs of the state, and is noted to be a driving force behind the UAE’s activist foreign policy. He also boasts a high following on Twitter, with 3.6 million followers as of the time of writing.

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