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As Rishi Sunak officially becomes prime minister of the United Kingdom, it is the first time in the British history that the residents of 10 Downing Street are richer than the monarch's family at Buckingham Palace.
Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy sit on a combined fortune of roughly £730 million, almost double of the estimated £350 million wealth of King Charles III and Queen Consort, Camilla.
Earlier this year, Sunak had become the first frontline politician to be included in the Sunday Times Rich List, which releases a list of the UK’s wealthiest people.
Most of Sunak’s wealth comes from his wife Akshata’s stake in Infosys, a company which was started by her father, Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy. She also owns Catamaran ventures UK, a start-up incubator and owns shares in close to half a dozen companies.
Murthy owns a 0.93 percent stake in Infosys, which is worth roughly £630 million, Mint reported.
The Rich list placed Sunak and his wife Akshata among the 250 wealthiest British people or families. The report added that source of the duo’s wealth was “Technology and hedge fund.”
As Many Houses as the King
Sunak also rivals the King in terms of the number of official residences. The former chancellor owns a vast portfolio of four properties around the world, valued at over £15 million, according to The Guardian.
Sunak, with his wife and two daughters, spends most of the week in a five-bedroom house in west London’s Kensington, estimated to be worth over a staggering £7 million.
The family’s weekends are usually spent in retreat to a Georgian manor house in Sunak’s constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire. The couple bought the mansion for £1.5 million before Sunak’s MP election in 2015, and today is worth over £2 million.
In the meanwhile, the house was transformed into a weekend hotspot, with a £400,000 indoor swimming pool, yoga studio, gym, tennis court, and hot tubs. The heated pool itself could cost more than £14,000 a year to power, almost six times a British family’s average energy bill.
UK's New Prime Minister: 'Rishi Rich'
Sunak’s fortune and the number of times he has been seen “flaunting it” have led to him being accused of being too rich to understand the daily struggles of the people of his constituency.
It was a heated topic point of the Conservative leadership vote in earlier this year, and is credited to be one of the few reasons Tories felt hesitance in picking Sunak. The British tabloids anointed him “Rishi Rich.”
Sunak, who made his money at Goldman Sachs and hedge funds Thelma Partners and TCI, has often been seen making the rounds in £450 Prada loafers and £3,500 bespoke suits but has unapologetically answered for it on several occasions.
In a podcast with The Telegraph, Sunak said that he was unafraid in answering questions about his wealth. He added:
“I actually quite welcome it, to be honest…It is the opposite of annoying. Very few people bring it up with me. While I was chancellor, I did town hall [meetings] very regularly with members of the public … virtually nobody asked me about it.”
However, he has refused to answer questions about the total wealth he has or where it is invested on multiple occasions.
Moreover, the revelation of his wife Akshata Murthy's non-domicile status, that allowed her to save millions on taxes in foreign earnings together severely dented his reputation.
(With inputs from Mint, Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Telegraph)