British Queen celebrates

Sir Paul McCartney has made history as the first UK musician to become a billionaire, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The 81-year-old former Beatle increased his wealth by £50 million

over the past year, thanks to his successful touring, the lucrative value of his music catalog, and Beyoncé's cover of his 1968 classic, "Blackbird."

Gopi Hinduja and his family once again topped the list as the richest people in the UK, with a staggering fortune of £37.2 billion, the highest ever recorded by the newspaper.

Other notable names on the list include Sir Elton John, Lord Lloyd-Webber, and David and Victoria Beckham. The entry threshold for this year’s list was a minimum wealth of £350 million.

The combined wealth of the 350 individuals and families on the list amounted to £795.3 billion, surpassing the size of Poland's economy. However, Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, noted that the "billionaire boom" in Britain might be waning. He observed that many UK entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes decline, and some international billionaires are leaving the country.

Watts emphasized that "thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent," and it remains to be seen if the UK has reached "peak billionaire" and what implications this might have for the economy.

Several well-known figures faced significant financial challenges this year. Sir Richard Branson's wealth dropped to £2.4 billion, a level not seen since 2000, due to a tough year for Virgin Money and Galactic. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who acquired a 27.7% stake in Manchester United for about £1.25 billion in February, also experienced considerable losses. His wealth declined by £6.16 billion, largely due to a substantial drop in profits at Ineos Group.

Despite these setbacks, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir James Dyson remain among the top five richest in the UK.

New entries on this year's list include Graham King, who amassed a £750 million fortune from holiday parks, inheritance, and housing asylum seekers for the government. Jon and Susie Seaton, founders of education publisher Twinkl, and Euan Blair, who established the £1.4 billion apprenticeship tech firm Multiverse, also made the list. Additionally, Formula 1 driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, who is set to move from Mercedes to Ferrari for the 2025 season, joined as a newcomer.

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways," Mr. Watts commented. "This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aids." Photo by The_Admiralty, Wikimedia commons.