Author Topic: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities  (Read 31619 times)

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Offline Caleb

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2006, 07:54:52 PM »
Did the czar & czarina have to pay some sort of taxes at all, at least on their belongings & property? I was also wondering if the other Princes, Princesses, Grand Dukes & Grand Duchesses had to pay taxes to their czar. How much money did the government reap each year & when were the taxes taken, also? Speaking of taxes, H&R Block, the company that offers help on peoples taxes, admitted a rather embarrassing mistake..H&R Block made a mistake on their OWN taxes, costing them about $32 million!!

Offline GD Alexandra

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2006, 10:33:10 PM »
We know all royal houses have their own fortune... I was wondering; just before the russian revolution which royal house of the world had the most valuable fortune, I mean, which one was the richest of all?
I think the Romanov's were definitely on the "Top ten" but how close to the first place they were? Maybe on the first one?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alexanastasia »

Offline Ortino

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2006, 12:02:16 AM »
Quote
We know all royal houses have their own fortune... I was wondering; just before the russian revolution which royal house of the world had the most valuable fortune, I mean, which one was the richest of all?
I think the Romanov's were definitely on the "Top ten" but how close to the first place they were? Maybe on the first one?

Everything that I've ever read about the Romanovs seems to indicate that Imperial Russia was the richest and most splendid court of the era. The lifestyles of the other branches of the royal family and the wealthy aristocrats seem proof enough of this.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2006, 05:42:04 PM »
I was just reading a contemporary article (about 1900 or so) that was listing various houses and their worth. There was a pretty comprehensive dollar amount given but for the Romanovs all they could really say was that it was 'incalculable'. It seemed that they far out-stripped their nearest competitor.
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Offline JD

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2006, 11:33:56 PM »
It's probably said as much because it has always been literally true, as the Romanov family "owned" Russia.  In terms of merely private wealth, I really have no idea, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were first. I've read the Kaiser was privately one of the 5 wealthiest men in germany (maybe it was top 3 even), which is saying something in a country with Krupp, Ballin, etc. But since the Romanov's had total access to state funds the line between private and public money becomes blurred and therefore their "worth" is truly incalculable. But even in Russia, in terms of private land and holdings, the Romanov family was probably not the richest (that honor belonging to the House of Yussupov).

 This is just as I understand it, hopefully someone can clarify.

As for lifestlyle, Nicholas and Alexandra hardly lived it up, with the exception of some quirks. Other royals  lived quite a bit better (with presumably quite a bit less). N&A were extremely domestic and were considered to have poor taste by most. (I think this particularly applies to Alexandra)

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2006, 03:51:31 AM »
I have read too that the Yusuppovs were actually more wealthy than the Romanovs.

It is true that it is impossible to say where the Romanov personal money and Russia's money actually began and ended, because the Tsar 'owned' Russia.  What was truly 'their' money and what wasn't? I don't think it's possible to really calculate.

I have always gotten the impression though that the Russian court was the most splendid and wealthy in the world. I can't see any other court of the time coming anywhere close.  When you've got an empire that has the sun setting on one side while the sun comes up on the other, you've got to be absolutely drowning in wealth.  Whether all of that money was technically theirs to spend or not is a different matter though...

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'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2006, 08:45:34 AM »
Don't know if this is true and what all it entails (since the Romanovs owned huge amounts of the land in Russia) but the New York Times reported, upon the Revolution, that the Romanov fortune (not just the Tsar but the whole family I suppose) was worth $9,000,000,000--in 1918 money, not current prices.  :o
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Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2006, 09:12:09 AM »
Oh.My.God.

If that was 1918 money....my mind can't even fathom how much that would be now.

Rachel
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'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2006, 05:31:05 PM »
A lot!  :D

You figure it was probably taking into account the palaces, the artwork, the value of the land owned, etc...So, given all that, I could see it though it is hard to fathom being worth that much. Bill Gates has a net worth of $52 billion though (announced the other week) so I guess not so inconceivable. The difference being cash wealth vs total wealth, much like it must've been for the Romanovs.
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Offline Caleb

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2006, 08:02:06 PM »
Out of curiousity, what would be the comparison between...say, Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette as opposed to the Romanovs. Didn't some of the British royals live off stipends?

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2006, 09:34:52 PM »
There were coming-of-age & marriages settlements for QV's children. They started to arouse controversy and debate in Parliament around the time of Helena and gained traction during Arthur & Louise. The public was getting fed up with funding the royals when QV was in seclusion and the Prince of Wales was getting hissed at in public. Also the fact that public monies was supporting 'penniless foreign princelings' such as Christian--part of the reason that Louise was permitted to marry Lorne and the marriage was popular in society. Some brides, such as Marie Coburg, brought their own  marriage settlements and allowances as well. There were also apartments in palaces that were free of charge and houses that were purchased by QV (if not already owned by the Crown) for the use of her children. Bertie, of course, bought Sandringham himself since he had an independent income as Prince of Wales.
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Offline JD

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2006, 10:08:18 PM »
I don't know much about the various courts, but the Russian aristocracy as a whole was almost certainly more lavish than those of other European countries. I think most aristocratic European landowners were increasingly marginalized as industry boomed and the noveau-riche and their descendents gained more and more influence. That transition never really got to take hold in Russia.

I have no idea how much land the Romanov's owned, but I've seen that 9 billion figure mentioned before here. I can't remember what the verdict was, and I have no idea what to think, except that it certainly seems preposterous. Rockefeller wasn't even worth 1 billion at that point; when he was he was several times over the richest man in the world. I really wouldn't put any stock into it, as even if by some measure they were worth that, most of it probably wouldn't translate into cash. For example, I believe the Hermitage was considered the Tsar's possession (correct me if I'm wrong, this may've changed officially when it was opened to the public), but that didn't mean Nicholas could just take a cherished painting down and sell it to pay for a new yacht!

Offline GD Alexandra

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2006, 11:47:25 PM »
Quote
Don't know if this is true and what all it entails (since the Romanovs owned huge amounts of the land in Russia) but the New York Times reported, upon the Revolution, that the Romanov fortune (not just the Tsar but the whole family I suppose) was worth $9,000,000,000--in 1918 money, not current prices.  :o

WOW!!! The amount is astronomical. :o  You know, when I started this thread I was almost sure that the Romanovs had the biggest fortune by that time (but I had my doubts because of the way it could be calculated), now I'm completely sure thanks to your replies, they are all quite illustrative
 grandduchessella: About the article you read. Do you remember which other royal houses were on the listing, close to the Romanov?

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2006, 11:54:30 PM »
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I have no idea how much land the Romanov's owned, but I've seen that 9 billion figure mentioned before here. I can't remember what the verdict was, and I have no idea what to think, except that it certainly seems preposterous. Rockefeller wasn't even worth 1 billion at that point; when he was he was several times over the richest man in the world. I really wouldn't put any stock into it, as even if by some measure they were worth that, most of it probably wouldn't translate into cash. For example, I believe the Hermitage was considered the Tsar's possession (correct me if I'm wrong, this may've changed officially when it was opened to the public), but that didn't mean Nicholas could just take a cherished painting down and sell it to pay for a new yacht!

I could easily believe it if total holdings were considered and not just cash worth. As I said, Bill Gates is worth $52 billion but that's what he's worth, not what he has in the bank. (I'm sure that's just a paltry 3-4 billion  ;) ) If one thinks of what the British monarchy is worth, it would be considerably larger than what EII herself is worth. So if the reports were what the Russian monarchy was worth and not NII himself, I could believe it.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Romanov Fortunes and Annuities
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2006, 12:06:51 AM »
There was a 1905 article, Royal Incomes & Expenditures, from Munsey's magazine.

Here's what a bit of it said about NII: 'His yearly income is about four hundred million dollars but he must bear the entire expenses of his residences and his vast crown estates.'

A book from 1899 listed salaries of world leaders. A brief list for comparison:

Emperor of Austria $1,885,575
King of Belgium $636,570
King of Bavaria $1,287,398
Emperor of China--not known
King Denmark $270,350 (a relative royal pauper)
Queen of England $1,873,410
Emperor of Germany $3,652,196 (receives no salary from Germany though)
King of Greece $291,572
Queen of Netherlands $304,125
King of Italy $2,890,500
Emperor of Japan $3,117,765
Prince of Montenegro ($3,074
Shah of Persia--entire revenue of country is at disposal. not known
King of Portugal--$493,344
King of Rumania--$230,648
Emperor of Russia--in possession of revenues of Crown domains which are enormous but not stated
King of Saxony--$748,594
King of Siam--whole revenue of State about $10,000,000
King of Spain--$1,849,080
King of Sweden--Sweden pays about 3/4 $568,670
Sultan of Turkey--$3,825,000
President of US--$50,000
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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