Noblesse oblige? The world's young royals mostly party in style
Looking at the young royals (and who doesn't sneak a peak?), Princes William and Harry rank numbers 1 and 2, respectively. No surprise there. Their first cousin, Zara Philips is number 3. The British press is gossip-hungry and dedicated and the royal family obliges. The Crown Prince of Dubai (Sheikh Hamdan etc..) is number 4. Then we're back to the British royal family with Princess Beatrice and her sister Princess Eugenie, who rank number 5 and number 7. Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand is number 6. The prince and princess of Monaco snag the numbers 8 and 9 spots, and the top ten rounds out with Prince Azim of Brunei.Here's what Forbes has to tell us about these very rich, very famous, very privileged young men and women who between the top ten are said to represent nearly 75 billion dollars in combined wealth:
The 26-year-old, Prince William is in training to become a military helicopter pilot. Prince Harry seems best known for his bar hopping. The 27-year old Zara Phillips is known for her equestrian skills. Skipping over Sheikh Hamdan for a moment, Princess Beatrice -- with her mother's fiery red hair -- is remarked on (at least by Forbes) for the company she keeps: Celebs Madonna and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham are mentioned. Her younger sister, Princess Eugenie is, "quickly becoming a royal wild child," reported to have run naked on school grounds and seen at pole dancing clubs. There is nothing exciting to report about the activities of positions numbers 8,9 and 10.
Whatever happened to "Noblesse Oblige?" Translation: Nobility Obligates. Put another way, "With great privilege comes great responsibility." Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.
Is there anyone of distinction in this roundup of the mostly young, rich and wasted?
Prince William is in training to be a helicopter pilot. Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand, who rose from number 16 to number 6 on the Forbes list this year, has been making a name in fashion design. Her 2007 debut collection ("The Presence of the Past") was a reinterpretation of traditional Thai costumes that took her a year to research.
By any standards, though, the Crown Prince of Dubai, listed at number 4, is the young royal worth watching. His father, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, married to the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, is the man who has made Dubai one of the fastest growing places on earth, a modern efficient Arab city. Appointed Crown Prince by his father in Feburary, 2008, the 27-year-old Sheikh was educated mostly in the United Kingdom, at Sandhurst and the London School of Economics. Committed to following in the footsteps of his workaholic father, he is already experienced in both government and the private sector. His interests range from people with special needs to poetry and sports and include the recent purchase of a $2.7 million camel.
Lacking formal royalty, the United States doesn't show up on the Forbes list. Of course, we do have our own young royals -- Barbara Bush (now that Jenna's married and ineligible), maybe Chelsea Clinton, Paris Hilton.
Will any young Americans prove worthy of the mantle? It's way too soon to tell, but this writer's money is on Malia and Sasha Obama.