The almost unbelievably fabulous life of the richest woman in Britain, Kirsty Bertarelli

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The Independent Online

Kirsty Bertarelli was just named Britain's richest woman again, according to the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List.

And as a multibillionaire she lives an enviably incredible life.

Her fortune is so vast that it eclipses that of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and the Queen combined at £1.01 billion. Bertarelli's net worth is now at £11.5 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2017.

She became Miss UK as a teenager, an accomplished music writer in her 20s, and then in her 30s she became the wife and the mother of three children with Switzerland's richest man, Ernesto Bertarelli, who sold his family's pharmaceuticals firm Serono for £9 billion to Merck in 2007.

Now in her 40s, she is trying to take the world by storm with her singing. She has already supported Simply Red's Mick Hucknall in concert and performed for the prince and princess of Monaco.

Through interviews from The Telegraph, the Mirror, and her website, as well as pictures from her Instagram, we've put together the fairytale that is Kirsty Bertarelli's life.


Kirsty Bertarelli, née Roper, was born in Stone, Staffordshire, on June 30, 1971.


​But her tale isn't a "rags to riches" story. Her father, along with her uncles, owned one of the world's largest manufacturers of ceramics, Churchill China.


Here is her mum and dad.

 

#happydays Mummy and dad brought us #oatcakes! #yummy #hurray #stoke @sixtowns

A post shared by @kirstybertarelli on

She even went to the now-defunct private boarding school Howell's in North Wales and gained seven O levels.


​As a child, she "had so many opportunities: riding, tennis. We were taught good values; in the holidays we worked in my father's factory. It taught us to be grounded," she said in an interview with The Telegraph.


On her website, she says her mother encouraged her to write poems, and that later became her way of writing songs.

At 17, she joined a modelling agency in Manchester, which entered her for the Miss UK beauty contest. Here she is, pictured on the right, with another model Michelle Mills.

kirsty.jpg


In 1988, she was crowned Miss UK and became second place runner-up for the Miss World pageant.


This opened doors for her in the music industry. She was signed to Warner Records and began writing music professionally.


She's got a pretty amazing voice -- you can hear it in this video.


Meanwhile in 1997, at age 26, she met her future husband Ernesto Bertarelli at a dinner party in a Sardinian villa.


"There were so many girls wanting to be with him and I think he just found me naively refreshing," she told The Telegraph in an interview.

 

Beginning of the evening ........

A post shared by @kirstybertarelli on

 

The year 2000 was a year of change for Kirsty. She married Ernesto.


​Ernesto proposed to her with the aid of a Mariachi band in Mexico.


The same year, she also scored a No. 1 hit single, "Black Coffee," which she co-wrote for one of Britain's most popular girl bands at the time: All Saints.


While on honeymoon -- a safari run by Massai warriors -- she became pregnant with her daughter Chiara, who is now 15. She later had Falco, now 11, and Alceo, 9.


In 2000, she also became the richest woman in Britain.


She can largely thank her husband Ernesto, Switzerland's richest man, for her fortune.


Her fortune of £11.5 billion is more than that of the Queen and Harry Potter's creator JK Rowling combined.


Ernesto sold his family's pharmaceutical company Serono, which was Europe's biggest biotech firm at the time, to the German drugmaker Merck in 2006 for £9 billion.


But her dreams of being a singer were put on hold while her family relocated to New Zealand and then Spain for Ernesto's yachting team, Alinghi. In 2003 and 2007, Ernesto's team won the world's most expensive and highly contested yacht race, America's Cup.

 


But despite her incredibly hectic lifestyle, she insists that Ernesto, she, and her children are a "close knit family." "Ernesto and I are always at home, bringing up the kids. Every morning we're preparing breakfast for them, there's pandemonium," she told The Telegraph.


After 2008, Kirsty and Ernesto split their time between Switzerland and London. Her life has been a whirlwind of parties, fashion shows, holidays, and singing ever since.


But all she's ever "wanted to do" was be a pop star. "I've been writing songs since I was in my teens. But now I am a little older, there is so much more to write about!" she says on her website.


She also insists she has always forged her own way through the music industry."I don't think Ernesto is going to stop working and rely on my income quite yet, but it still feels fantastic to make your own money. It's important to a woman's self-worth and self-belief to be making some money," she told the Mirror in 2013.


Universal signed her in 2009, and she released her first single, "Don't Say," in December that year.


2010 marked an incredibly important year in her singing career. Her debut album, "Elusive," entered the Swiss charts in the 20th position in January that year.


In July 2010, she supported Simply Red at the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland.


And in Edinburgh that same year.


She then went to sing for royalty.


In 2011, she made a remix of her conservation song "Green" and performed it at the WWF Panda Ball celebrating the association's 50th Anniversary. Here she is with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco (centre).


In 2012, she then signed a deal with Sony / ATV Music. Her single "Twilight" with trance DJ Armin Van Buuren peaked at the European dance charts for nine weeks.


After releasing her acoustic album "Green" in 2012, she recorded the album "Love is" in 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.


OK, so she has a fabulous life. But she also makes sure her children remain grounded ...

 


She also loves a good fry up. Her Instagram is packed with pictures of plates of bacon, sausages, and baked beans.

 

#goodmorning #scotland #riseandshine! #imready! #thereshegoes promo #wishmeluck xx

A post shared by @kirstybertarelli on


She burns it off with a personal trainer.


She may go on holiday with her friends a lot ...


... but she also goes on a lot of family holidays with her husband and her children.

 


So, who inspires her the most? "My husband. He's my inspiration," she says on her site.


She now mostly travels the world in her $160 million superyacht with her husband and family ...

 


... including Antartica.

 

🎶 I went to the end of the sea And you were the sky And you carried me 🎶 #paradisebay #antartic

A post shared by @kirstybertarelli on

And to top it all off -- in 2016, she was given an Award of Honorary Doctor of Arts by Staffordshire University "in recognition of her charitable work and as an inspiration for young people in her active role supporting artistic and community projects throughout Stoke-on-Trent."

 

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