The old world glamour and rich heritage of Britain means that for many the place has an inimitable allure. From the imposing monuments on the streets of London which speak of the nation’s history, to the country’s continued presence as a world leader, Britain has always been something of a trend-setter. At the top of this tightly constructed social ladder, lie those who have it all: money, luxury homes, and even the titles and dressings of landed gentry. Our list is not simply a rundown of female nobility however; it presents an overview of the variety of ways one can enter this gilded life.
In most cases these heiresses have had all the trappings of private schooling and the west London social circle to ensure they make it on the list. However, where their money comes from and the ways in which they spend their inheritance varies greatly. From doctors to party girls they’re all here, with each one at some point or another filling up column inches in the UK’s notorious tabloids.
10. The Honourable Mary Olivia Charteris: British Aristocracy, Brewing Fortune
Mary Olivia Charteris may sound like something of an English rose, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find she’s far from it: her father is the Earl of Wemyss and March, Jamie Neidpath, who in his heyday was known for holding outlandish raves at the family estate in Gloucestershire.
Daughter Mary is from the Earl’s first marriage to Catherine Hesketh, a member of the wealthy Guinness family, and so Mary counts the eccentric fashionista Daphne Guinness as her aunt. A successful model since her teens, Mary is now a member of her husband’s band, the London-based The Big Pink. The couple’s 2012 wedding saw the bride don a dress that was simultaneously fit for the daughter of a lord, and the daughter of a raver. The gown, designed by Lady Gaga’s stylist, featured a full tulle skirt with cutaway mesh panels in the bodice, ensuring that absolutely all eyes were on the bride.
9. Lady Eloise Anson: Cousin to the Queen
Putting a figure on Lady Eloise Anson’s wealth is something of a hard task, but that’s because she’s royal in everything but name. Lady Eloise is the daughter of the late Patrick Lichfield, the photographer. But her father was much more than that: his official title was the fifth Earl of Lichfield, while her mother is Leonora Mary Grosvenor, daughter of the 5th Duke of Westminster. Her father was a cousin of the Queen, linking Lady Eloise directly to the throne, while her godmother is the Queen’s daughter Anne, The Princess Royal.
Lady Eloise studied make-up artistry in London and last year married Louis Waymouth, Earl of Hardwicke, at a celeb-studded ceremony in the English countryside. Weymouth is a writer on the British TV series Armstrong and Miller proving that in spite of their royal connections- not to mention the wealthy Earldoms they inherit- this couple is not afraid of a bit of hard work.
8. The Honourable Sophia Fermor-Hesketh: $35 Million Inheritance
“The honourable” is the title in British aristocracy used to refer to the child of a lord, proving that Sophia Fermor-Hesketh is as well-heeled as you can get. Sadly for her. however. that does not mean she is rolling in cash- at least not compared to the rest of the members of our list. The traditional family home run by her father, Thomas Alexander Hesketh KBE, is Easton Neston and was built in 1702 to the lavish standard befitting of a lord. In the twenty-first century however, the old guard has had to give way to the new, and the Heskeths – like many British aristocrats – were no longer able to keep up the costs of running and maintaining such opulent homes.
In 2005 Sophia’s father made the decision to put the property and its contents up for sale: the asking price for the home was $83.6 million, but the property was sold for considerably less at $25 million. Add to this the fact that one of the many auctions to raise cash to keep Sophia on our list of heiresses took in $9.9 million and you’ll realise that the Heskeths aren’t exactly in the red. In aristocracy, however, looking rich is almost more important than actually being rich. With the country home gone The Honourable Sophia Fermor-Hesketh is all title and no assets.
7. Cara Delevingne: Personal Net Worth of $145 Million, Priceless Aristocratic Heritage
Anyone with even the most passing interest in either fashion or the London social scene will know who Cara Delevingne is. At present she is reported to be the highest-paid model in the world, out-earning the likes of fellow British model Kate Moss. Even if Cara didn’t have such a successful career, she would have few financial worries.
The youngest member of the Delevingne clan, Cara was brought up in Belgravia and Chelsea – the uber-posh ends of West London – and attended the best of schools. Cara has two older but equally beautiful sisters, Chloe and Poppy, to guide her on her heiress way. Her agent at Storm Models in the UK just happened to be the mother of Cara’s best friend, so it seems she had an easy way into the industry. In spite of her fame on the runway however, Cara claims she did not always want to be a model and that her real love is music. When not modelling for pretty much every big designer label out there, Delevingne can be found playing drums and working on her singing.
6. Georgia May Jagger: $328 Million Inheritance, Priceless Rock Royalty Status
With a surname like Jagger, it’s clear that Georgia May is descended from rock royalty: her father is the Rolling Stones’ frontman, Sir Mick Jagger, while her mother is model Jerry Hall. Georgia grew up in the UK and, having inherited her mother’s good looks, and – dare we say – her father’s slender legs, it was clear this heiress was destined for modelling.
The London-based model is known for partying into the wee hours like any rock star’s daughter, but that hasn’t stopped her from establishing a firm career. As well as the runway work Jagger junior has done for the likes of Fendi and Tom Ford, she is also the face of cosmetics label Rimmel, and can be heard on televisions sets across the nation cooing the brand’s catchphrase “get the London look”. When she’s not hard at work, Georgia likes nothing more than to hang out with her equally minted heiress friends, like the offspring of another Rolling Stones member, Keith Richards, who has two daughters Alexandra and Theodora. Both girls are also models.
5. Sofia Barclay: $1.6 billion Inheritance
25 year old Sofia Barclay was brought up in the lavish surrounding of West London, attending the elite Westminster School. Her grandfather, Sir David Barclay was a self-made billionaire, making his fortune in property, while her father has expanded their empire. Today the Barclay family owns the Telegraph Media Group, responsible for the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.
Sofia, however, has not inherited the entrepreneurial streak from her family and has instead decided to pursue a career in acting. She lives in New York where she is studying her craft. Should she ever feel the need to pop over to London though, she will always have a place to stay as the Barclay family owns the luxurious Ritz Hotel, near Piccadilly. Her inheritance of $1.6 billion is only half her father’s worth however: Sophia will have to share the property and media empire with twin brother Frederick.
4. Willa Keswick: $2.85 Billion Dynasty
Willa Keswick is part of a long line of property developers with their eyes elsewhere: for several generations the Keswicks have been part of a property dynasty, the Jardine Matheson & Co, which is based in Hong Kong. The company owns, amongst other things, the Mandarin Hotel Group.
Willa is something of a party girl and counts the Delevingne sisters on our list as friends. She opened the unsuccessful nightclub, Willas, but has since moved onto other ventures. She currently owns a boutique named The Village Bicycle: initially the store was set in the affluent Notting Hill area, but Keswick has now moved the store to trendy East London. Keswick claims that the store has everything a girl can need with prices ranging from $3 to over $3000.
3. Petra and Tamara Ecclestone: $3.2 Billion Inheritance
Petra and Tamara Ecclestone lead the quintessential lives of any well-known billionaire heiresses: tabloid gossip, fast cars, private jets, and of course, some equally minted husbands to complete idyllic portrait.
The sisters are the daughters of Bernard Ecclestone, a self-made billionaire who made his name in Formula One Racing. Ecclestone Senior is the head of the elite motor racing group and made billions through the sport over the years. Both Petra and Tamara are well known socialites, with Tamara known for her outrageous collection of handbags, valued at over $1 million. In Summer 2013 Tamara wed broker Jay Rutland in the south of France at a reported cost of around $17 million to her father. She is currently expecting her first child, while sister Petra has a daughter with her husband, businessman James Stunt. Fittingly the couple have purchased America’s most expensive house.
2. Holly Branson: $5 Billion Inheritance
She may not be as aristocratic as some of the heiresses featured out our list, but Holly Branson is closer to the royals than many on the list. The daughter of Richard Branson, the self-made billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, Holly counts Princes William and Harry as mates.
There is more to this heiress than plain socialite antics, however. Holly initially shunned the Virgin empire in favour of studying medicine at university. Having qualified as a doctor however, Holly now works within the company as a project manager as well as heading up the charity, Free the Children, which works to empower young people the world over. While Holly was never exactly a party girl, at least compared to some of the revellers on our list, she has settled down of late. In 2011 the now 31 year old married boyfriend Freddie Andrews on the Branson family’s private island in the Caribbean. The ceremony was said to be low-key, with only close friends and family attending. The $5 billion inheritance is what father Richard’s net worth is currently valued at, although will of course be split between Holly and her brother Sam.
1. Chloe Green: $5.2 Billion Inheritance
You may not have heard of Chloe Green, but you’ve almost definitely heard of the fashion empire she is heiress to: Chloe’s father is none other than Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Arcadia Group. Arcadia is the British retail giant which owns high street brands like Miss Selfridge, Topman and Topshop.
When Chloe is not trying on the endless amounts of free clothes she must get from her father’s shops, she’s designing them. Although Green did not attend design school, she designs shoes under the label she recently founded, CJG, which stands for Chloe Jade Green. Alongside this, Chloe is known in Britain for the reality TV show “Made in Chelsea” which is somewhere between The Hills and Gossip Girl. She also dated the significantly older Latin singer and ex of J Lo, Marc Anthony, but latest we hear is that Chloe is back on the market. Chloe’s set to share inheritance with her younger brother Brandon.