Lifestyles of the Really, Really Rich (but They Don't Want to Be Famous)

Members, ages 18 to 85, observe a strict door policy of jackets for men and no jeans or sneakers. And with a $1,000 annual membership fee, it's not hard to see how the club has managed to keep its glamorous cachet over all this years.

Buying the Brits Out of House and Home

The rich are also keeping London's estate agents in work. Foreign buyers bought more than half of the London homes that sold more than £2 million last year.

Indeed, the massive spending power of the "novi Russki" has been a driving force behind the 25 percent rise in price since January for property in the few squares miles of what real estate agents call "prime central London."

Lulu Egerton of Lane Fox Estate Agents says the English "are clinging on to plush Chelsea streets by their shirttails" as they are priced out of the market.

Brothers Nick and Christian Candy are taking advantage of this foreign boom and creating apartments especially for Russian oligarchs, British chief executives, American film stars, Arab princes, and the new billionaires from India and China.

One of their properties, a $53 million flat behind a 19th century facade on Manresa Road, Chelsea, is the most expensive apartment in London.

Candy flats include an "intelligent mirror" that combines a hidden camera with a 50-inch plasma screen to show the viewer in full from all angles; they also offer a pool table made from solid Venetian glass (and felt, of course).

And where property is concerned, the sky's the limit.

Billionaire Roman Abramovich -- who has racked up a dizzying portfolio of properties, including the Chelsea Football Club and a couple of yachts (the 377-foot Pealrus and the 282-foot Ecstasea) -- has a $12 million house in Chester Square (where his neighbors include Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber), a couple of $10 million flats, and a 434-acre estate in Sussex previously owned by King Hussein of Jordan.

And that's not to mention the governorship of the Siberian province of Chutoka, the exiled duke of Windsor's former chateau near Cap d'Antibes, which cost $30 million in 2000, a villa in Saint-Tropez and a walled estate outside Moscow.

Private Schools Par Excellence

London also offers his children an unrivaled education and is a stone's throw from all the major British public schools, like Eton, Radley and Harrow, where his children can learn math and English as well as proper English etiquette.

British public schools are the equivalent of prestigious American boarding schools like Andover or Exeter.

Standing in their little tweed coats and squashy velvet hats at the gates of one smart prep school, Abramovich's kids are not picked up by their yummy mummy, Irina.

Instead, there is a sport utility vehicle with tinted windows waiting, with a tough young man who has "bodyguard" written all over him standing by.

Apparently, the Abramovich family has a team of four permanent bodyguards run by a team of former Special Air Service soldiers.

Paul Maidment, editor of the Forbes' list, pointed out that Samuel Johnson's exchange with his biographer Boswell in 1777, still rang true today.

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." And then some.

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