Kirsty Bertarelli is living her best life. She's the richest woman in England, with a multi-billion dollar fortune. She's got more money than J.K. Rowling and the Queen of England combined. She and her husband, Ernesto Bertarelli, are worth a combined $12.1 billion. She's rich, gorgeous, a former beauty queen, has a wealthy and handsome husband, three kids, a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, a chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva, a mansion in London, a private jet, a fleet of limos, priceless jewelry, a wardrobe full of Chanel, Dior, and Armani couture, and the $150 million yacht her husband bought her for her 40th birthday. Kirsty is also an involved and hands-on mother to her children with Ernesto, 19-year-old Chiara, 16-year-old Falco, and 14-year-old Alceo. Oh, and she's also a pop star, sort of. I'm pretty sure if I could trade places with anyone right now, it would be Kirsty Bertarelli.
Kirsty Bertarelli was born Kirsty Roper born on June 30, 1971 in Staffordshire. Her family owns Churchill China, one of the world's major china manufacturers. She grew up quite comfortably. As a kid she rode horses, played tennis, and wrote poetry. Those poems laid the foundation for her future songwriting career. When she was 17 years old, Kirsty signed with a modeling agency in Manchester. The agency entered her in the Miss UK beauty pageant. Kirsty was crowned Miss UK in 1988. She moved into an apartment in Chelsea and became friends with the well-to-do Sloane set. In the 1990s, Kirsty partied at nightclubs with Liz Hurley, Tamara Beckwith, and Tamara Mellon. She dated gambling heir Damian Aspinall for two years. During this time, she also signed a deal to write songs for Warner Records. Then one day in 1998, Kirsty collapsed at her parents' house.
She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. It almost killed her. Kirsty made a full recovery and a year later met billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli while on vacation in Italy. The couple married in 2000 in a picturesque Alpine Village and Kirsty settled into her role as a billionaire's wife. That same year, her song "Black Coffee" was recorded by the girl group All Saints and went on to be a number one hit in the UK and was on the international charts for 20 weeks. She never quite got over how that felt. In 2007, Bertarelli sold his family's pharmaceutical company Serano to Merck for nearly $14 billion.
By all accounts Kirsty has lived a charmed life and should want for nothing. After all, her husband is among the 100 richest men in the world. But Kirsty is living proof that money can't buy happiness or fulfillment because despite the handsome husband, the darling kids, the expensive houses, cars, planes, yacht, and designer wardrobe, Kirsty still didn't have what she really wanted. Kirsty really really, really wants to be a pop star.
Now in her late 40s, Kirsty shakes her money maker for all its worth in a bid to be the next Kylie Minogue. She tours as Kirsty B promoting her music. Now, instead of spending time on her $156 million yacht, she's traveling the UK by van and performing in bars and other low-key music venues. Her first single, "Don't Say," was released on December 9, 2009. Her debut album Elusive was released on January 15, 2010, entering the Swiss charts at #20. Throughout 2010, Bertarelli released two more singles in Switzerland ("Elusive" and "More Than Anything"). She also had several live performances, including the Montreux Jazz Festival (which is owned by a family friend) and as an opening act for Simply Red in Edinburgh and Zurich.
In 2011, a remix of her conservation song "Green" was chosen by the WWF to be their anthem to mark the Fund's 50th year of conservation at their annual Panda Ball. Bertarelli donated all proceeds from the single to WWF to support their ongoing conservation projects around the world. That same year, her single "Set Your Body Free," was released. In January 2012, Bertarelli signed a long-term exclusive music deal with Sony Music publishing and collaborated with world-renowned trance DJ Armin van Buuren. His remix of Kirsty's song "Twilight" was in dance charts for nine weeks, peaking at No. 2. This collaboration continued, with van Buuren producing Kirsty's single "Free of War." Bertarelli released her next album titled Love Is, which was partly recorded in Nashville. Her latest album, Indigo Shores, was released on May 12, 2014.
This is not the folly of a spoiled, rich, middle-aged woman. When Kirsty is not recording or performing she works tirelessly for a number of charities. Most notably, Kirsty is an advocate for the Smiling Children Foundation and she plays an active role in the Bertarelli Foundation. Her husband's foundation is involved in a number of avenues such as building a research center for neuroprosthetics at a university in Lausanne.
Life on the road can be hard, but it is surely soothed by long days and longer nights aboard her 314 foot, six deck, $150 million yacht Vava II. Kirsty has admitted she writes a lot of her songs while on her yacht. The yacht doesn't have a recording studio. That gives Britain's richest woman something else to aspire to—a yacht where she can record her music.
Kirsty Bertarelli has a pretty undeniably fabulous life.