Rishi Sunak boasts a fortune nearly double the personal wealth of King Charles III, who today invited him to become prime minister and form a new government following the resignation of outgoing leader Liz Truss
The newly appointed prime minister shares extraordinary wealth with his billionaire heiress wife, Akshata Murty, which consists of a sizeable real estate portfolio and business interests.
Analysts estimate the couple’s total net worth at around £730 million. While the king’s exact personal realm is unknown, it is believed to be worth around £370 million, as reported in the Sunday Times Rich List earlier this year.
Charles III, however, would be worth more if account was taken of the Duchy of Lancaster, an estate owned by the monarch since the 14th century.
Mr Sunak owes much of his wealth to his wife’s family with father-in-law Narayana Murthy recently being the sixth richest person in India and the 654th in the world.
Most of that wealth comes from Infosys, the Bangalore-based IT company founded by Mr. Murthy. His daughter, Mr Sunak’s wife, is reported to have a 0.91 percent stake, around 39 million shares, worth around £727 million.
Experts say this is an increase of more than £200m compared to a year ago, due to a rise in the share price during the pandemic.
Mr. Sunak and his wife also own other investments, including a company that directs investments through Mauritius.
International Market Management is financing the expansion of franchise restaurants in India, including Jamie Oliver’s Italian chain that went bankrupt in the UK and American hamburger brand Wendy’s. This completely legal structure allows them to reduce the taxes paid in India.
The couple’s property portfolio consists of a £1million flat in Kensington, a nearby £7million stables house and a £2million townhouse in Mr Sunak’s constituency of Yorkshire, where he is nicknamed ‘Maharaja of the Dales’ is called.
They also have a £5.5 million penthouse in California, overlooking the Santa Monica pier, which they use during the holiday season.
When it comes to wheels, Sunak has publicly claimed his family car is a Volkswagen Golf, but sources earlier this year claimed it was the cheapest of four vehicles he owns, including a ‘high-spec’ Range Rover, a ‘top-of-the-line’ of-the-range’ Lexus and a BMW, which are scattered across his various estates in both the UK and US.
A red £12,000 Kia Rio, which he borrowed from a Sainsbury’s employee for a staged PR stunt about a temporary 5p fuel cut which he rolled out because the Chancellor doesn’t appear to be in his garage though.
Although King Charles has access to the Crown Estate, worth around £14.1 billion, his own personal fortune is not that huge and is estimated to be about half that of Mr Sunak.
The newly appointed prime minister shares extraordinary wealth with his billionaire heiress wife, Akshata Murty, which consists of a significant real estate portfolio and business interests
He became a household name after he married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of the billionaire founder of a stunningly successful IT company. Pictured: The couple at their 2009 wedding to Murthy’s parents
This is the extraordinary web of homes and businesses with links to Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata, an heiress to a billion dollar fortune
Multimillionaire Sunak claimed his family car is a Volkswagen Golf, a relatively cheap and sensible hatchback that can be seen regularly on the streets of London. But sources quoted by The Mirror say the Chancellor owns a total of four cars, and the ‘family wave’ is the cheapest of them all by a significant margin.
Sunak is also said to own a ‘high-spec’ Range Rover (pictured), a ‘top-of-the-range’ Lexus and a BMW, which are scattered across the Chancellor’s various estates in both the UK and US
The monarch will never be short of a home – with at least nine prominent palaces to lay his weary head – but in a merry-go-round dubbed ‘Game of Homes’ he has also handed over the 130,000-acre Duchy of Cornwall to his eldest son.
It means that William is technically his father’s landlord as long as the king continues to live in his beloved Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire.
However, Charles has inherited a sizeable portfolio, either directly from the Queen – including Balmoral and Sandringham – or as part of the Crown Estate, such as Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.
These join those he already owned, including Birkhall on the Balmoral estate, inherited from the Queen Mother; Dumfries House and Mey Castle, Scottish landmarks held by his charitable trust; and two Romanian bolt holes.
Charles is also fond of his cars and before joining, he used ‘a Jaguar XJ and a range of new low and zero emission vehicles.
The King also owns an Aston Martin DB6 volante, converted to run on bioethanol made from wine waste and a by-product of cheese making.
In addition, in 2018 he bought an all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, while it was a Rolls-Royce Phantom IV that brought him to Buckingham Palace for the first time as head of state.
Robert Ford, a professor of politics at the University of Manchester, told the… Washington Post the issue of whether or not voters cared about a prime minister being richer than the monarch was “not binary.”
He added: ‘The British as a whole don’t think being rich is a bad or disqualifying thing. There are many very wealthy individuals who are very popular with the public.
“People do care about rich people who make the rules for themselves. It’s non-dom status for your wife while you’re the chancellor, it’s green cards in the US in case things go wrong, it’s family tax numbers being massaged. People say, ‘Well, I don’t mind as long as you pay your taxes, but it really annoys me if you don’t’.
Mr Sunak’s hopes of becoming prime minister were found to have been shattered earlier this year by the revelation that his wife, who moved permanently to the UK in 2013, is likely to pay more tax abroad.
Ms Murty is registered as non-resident for tax purposes in the UK, a legal way to avoid tax in the UK on overseas income. The status is often used by the super rich to save thousands or even millions of pounds in taxes.
In a brief statement, Mr Sunak’s wife, who was worth £200 million more than a year ago, claimed she had to pay taxes on all British earnings and said the set-up is necessary because she is an Indian citizen. But a number of tax and accounting experts disputed this.