The crazy world of the flashiest couple in the UK

Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko make the Beckhams look modest and understated

Andrey Melnichenko superyacht

Andrey Melnichenko and his wife Aleksandra made headlines last week when they sailed their £225 million super yacht down the Thames - under Tower Bridge, and moored alongside the HMS Belfast. For Londoners it was a sight to behold, for the Melnichenkos it was nothing special - because this is just what their life is like.

Andrey is apparently worth £8.5 billion - after making his fortune in unglamorous industries like coal and fertilisers. He's only the 139th richest person in the world - according to Forbes - but he stands out as a man who isn't afraid to flash the cash.

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The Yacht, designed by Philip Starck, may be 380 feet long and feature a swimming pool with a glass floor, and enormous master suite with a revolving bed, but it's not even the couple's only yacht.

They also have a £313 million sailing yacht - again designed by Starck - which includes the largest piece of curved glass ever made. The enormous masts and sails are record-breaking, and the three sails between them would roughly cover the size of a football field.

The yachts are home to the kind of opulent luxuries you would expect. They also house Melnichenko's collection of Impressionist art - including paintings by Claude Monet. Other masterpieces hang in the couple's numerous properties.

The property portfolio

According to Tatler, Melnichenko was one of the first Oligarchs to move to London, when he bought a flat on Berkley Square for £2.9 million in 2002. He also owns Harewood Estate in Ascot, Berkshire - which is said to be worth at least £24 million. It features not just a mansion, but 35 acres of land, a spa and swimming pool complex, and separate staff accommodation.

He also owns a villa in Antibes, known as Villa Altair. The couple was married there in a ceremony that was said to have cost £3 million - and featured performances by Christina Aguilera, Julio Iglesias and Whitney Houston.

According to the Daily Mail, they also have a number of investment properties in Belgrade, a home just outside Moscow, and a £9 million apartment overlooking Central Park in New York - covering 2,800 square feet and offering a view of the park from every room.

The couple get around the UK in their £200,000 Bentley, but have a private jet for more far-flung travel. A bog standard version of this jet would cost £42 million, but this couple is anything but bog standard, so it is kitted out in style.

They dress to impress too. Former model Aleksandra says she usually dresses down, but when she dresses up, she does it in style. She has a wardrobe accessed by fingerprint scan and stuffed with designer clothes, including Givenchy and Versace. On her 30th birthday, Harpers Bazaar said she wore a Dior by John Galliano gown that weighed more than 80 pounds.


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