Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Top 10 Landowners in the World

How large is the yard at your home? If you live in many parts suburban or rural parts of the country, you might enjoy a sprawling property of quite a few acres or more. But for those of us who live in California’s cities, we might consider a quarter acre to be a huge lot. But no matter if it takes you all Saturday afternoon to mow your lawn or you can practically touch both sides of your fence at the same time, your property isn’t even a postage stamp compared to these ten largest landowners in the world:  

#10 King Letsie III

Where: Lesotho, Africa
Land: The entirety of the country of Lesotho, all 11,718 square miles of it.
Background: King Letsie retains legal title over the nation's lands. This is his second stint as Lesotho's monarch after being replaced by his exiled father and then being deposed upon his return, then taking the throne again after the death of his father less than one year later.

#9 King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Where: Bhutan, South Asia
Land: The entirety of the Kingdom of Bhutan, all 15,000 square miles of it.
Background: The former University of Oxford graduate, and fifth currently reigning Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King), was crowned in 2008 and has been the force behind Bhutan’s recent democratization.

#8 King Abdullah I

Where: Jordan, Middle East
Land: The entirety of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, all 35,637 square miles of it.
Background: The heir to his father, the wildly popular King Hussein, and son of British born Princess Muna al-Hussein (formerly known as Antoinette Avril Gardiner), is one of The United States' most loyal allies in the Middle East.

#7 King Gyanendra

Where: Nepal, South Asia
Land: The entirety of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, all 57,000 square miles of it, including Mount Everest.
Background: The royal family retains nominal ownership of all Nepal, even though the country's move to a Maoist Republic in the 1990's shook things up politically. Gyandera is a titular head of state but antithetically friendly with the socialist government. He has been tested in recent times, during events such as the 2015 earthquake.

#6 Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said

Where: Oman, Middle East
Land: The entirety of the Sultanate of Oman, all 119,498 square miles of it.
Background: Qaboos is the ruler of Oman and the head of its military. He is a fairly Westernized leader in the context of his neighbors, even allowing women to serve in his cabinet. Though his landmass is very large, the majority of it is desert.

#5 King Bhumibhol Adulyadej

Where: Thailand, South East Asia
Land: The entirety of the Kingdom of Thailand, all 198,115 square miles of it.
Background: Bhumibhol has been King since 1950; 11 years after the country changed its name from Siam to Thailand. He is the longest serving monarch in Asia and so popular is he in Thailand that you can see him on every bank note and in almost every establishment. It is a serious crime to deface his portrait or speak ill of him in public.

# 4 King Mohammed VI

Where: Morocco, North Africa
Land: The entirety of the Kingdom of Morocco, all 274,375 square miles of it.
Background: King Mohammed is the first monarch in Morocco’s history who was a major proponent of democracy.

#3 Pope Francis

Where: Various parts of the world.
Land: The 110 acres of The Holy See that constitute Vatican City. Also, roughly 177 million more acreage of various lands owned by the Catholic Church throughout the globe, including the hundreds of Vatican embassies that are legally titled to The Holy See as an independent nation.
Background: Born in Argentina as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, and has held the position since 2013. He is one of the most popular Popes to date.

#2 Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Where: Saudi Arabia, Middle East
Land: The entirety of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, all 830,000 square miles of it.
Background: Having served as the deputy governor and then the Governor of Riyadh for 48 years from 1963 to 2011. He was appointed as defense minister in 2011. After the death of his brother in 2012, he was named the Crown Prince of the Kingdom. Salman was crowned as the new king of Saudi Arabia on 23rd January 2015 following the death of his half brother, King Abdullah.

#1 Queen Elizabeth II

Where: Various parts of the world
Land: 10,312,500 square miles of land across the globe; including Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, the Falkland Islands and some 26 other states.
Background: England's longest serving monarch, Elizabeth II retains royal title over The British Commonwealth and as such her face is on the currency of several nations around the globe.
With her 10,312,500 square miles of land, her Majesty is a very clear winner of this category.

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