THE QUEEN, once hailed as being prominent among the world's richest women, could manage only 10th slot in a survey of wealthy females by a business magazine. She has been apparently toppled from pole position as Britain's wealthiest woman by Christine Goulandris, 44, an heiress and race horse owner, little known outside racing circles.
Also ahead of her Majesty are a string of other heiresses whose fortunes add up to pounds 1.7bn. BusinessAge magazine values the Goulandris fortune, inherited from her shipping magnate father, at pounds 270m, ahead of the Queen's pounds 100m.
Arguments about the Queen's true wealth will no doubt continue. Previous investigations have put her investments at about pounds 340m. Her total worth, including trappings of state, has been estimated at up to pounds 6.5bn.
Kevin Cahill, an author and researcher, spent three years ploughing through records at Companies House, back copies of newspapers and published wills to compile the list. There are 97 heiresses among the 250 women, they have 61 per cent of the wealth recorded.
The richest businesswoman, Laxmi Shivdasani, 69, whose family company's interests include food, hotels and banking, is only 13th. She took up the reins of her husband's company after he died and is worth an estimated pounds 94m.
Britain's best-known female entrepreneur, Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, is 32nd with pounds 45m.
The world of literature has 14 representatives: chief among them is Barbara Cartland, the author of romantic fiction, who is placed 34th with a fortune of pounds 40m. The singer Sheena Easton, 33, is the richest of 23 representatives from the entertainment industry, ranked 36th with pounds 39.4m.
Other list members include Baroness Thatcher, 134th with pounds 9.5m and Samantha Fox, the former Page Three girl, 179th with pounds 5.5m.
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