There are various stages of 'big purchase' available to people, depending on where they are in life. Many of us celebrate when we've saved up enough money to buy our first car. After that, the next major financial acquisition is likely to be a home, or perhaps even a wedding.
Beyond that, for the majority of people, it's a case of taking what we already have and making it larger. If we progress in life and take on better jobs, we might buy bigger cars or bigger homes, or go on luxury holidays to exotic locations if money allows us.
If you're a rich, famous millionaire though, there's another 'status purchase' beyond the scope of what normal people contemplate; a secret island hideaway. Nothing says 'I've made it' like buying an entire piece of land you can call your own - preferably somewhere hot. Check out these amazing celebrity paradise islands!
Spending big isn't anything new for Hollywood superstar - we are, after all, talking about a woman who thought nothing of buying her then-husband Brad Pitt a helicopter for his birthday. The flying machine was just a drop in the ocean for Jolie compared to her most outlandish purchase - a $12.2m private island just off the mainland of the USA, but far enough away for it to be completely private.
Jolie bought the island for herself and Pitt while they were still together, so we're unsure if she still uses it now. We hope so though, because it sounds awesome. You can only access the island via a helicopter (so we imagine Pitt's birthday present came in handy), in which it's a fifteen-minute flight from New York. There's a giant 5,000 square foot mansion on the island for her to enjoy while she's there, but there's an almost-as-impressive guest house too which she sometimes hires out to guests.
Marlon Brando is sadly no longer with us, but while he was, he was old-school Hollywood royalty. In his era, anyone who was anyone had to have their own island, or they just weren't keeping up with the jet set! Brando didn't just choose one at random though; he fell in love with a location he was filming a movie in, and decided he couldn't bear to part with it when filming was over.
The island, which is in French Polynesia, is called Tetiaroa. It's far better known by its nicknames though - 'Desire,' and 'The Grandfather of Private Islands.' That should give you an idea of how beautiful and idyllic it is. Not only did Brando enjoy filming on the island, but it's also the place he fell in love with his third wife. Now he's no longer around to enjoy it, the island plays host to an environmentally-friendly holiday resort for the rich and famous to enjoy. If you want to see it for yourself, you're welcome - but prices start at $12,400 per night.
Nicholas Cage has never found it difficult to earn or spend money. Based on his resume it would appear that he never says 'no' to a movie if the money is right, and nor does he say 'no' to a deal if he can afford to pay for it. Cage has many weird and wonderful possessions that have cost him millions of dollars, including a priceless first edition of the first ever 'Superman' comic.
Curiously, Cage paid $3m dollars for Leaf Cay - one of the Exumas Islands in the Bahamas (site of the ill-fated Fyre Festival), but then never built on it. He's owned it for years, but there isn't a single human-made building anywhere on the island. Perhaps he stays in a mud hut when he visits? Maybe he just likes to go swimming in the clear-blue, unspoiled waters, away from the world's prying eyes? Or, perhaps more likely, he was put off when he found out who his new next-door neighbor was: Johnny Depp.
We're early on in our list, and we're already seeing a trend for islands being purchased by A-list actors. Johnny Depp, as you may have seen in press reports of his most recent court case, has a reputation for spending money more quickly than he earns it. When you consider that he's the star of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies, that's no mean feat. Depp allegedly spends tens of thousands of dollars on wine every month for his personal consumption, but that's far from being the most expensive of his excesses.
In 2004, Depp paid $3.6m to buy Little Halls Pond Cay - right next to Cage's island. The island comes with six pristine beaches of golden sand, all of which Depp named after someone dear to him - two after his children, one named 'Jack' after his most famous character, and one 'Brando' after his acting hero. Depp described the island as 'instant freedom' in an interview with Vanity Fair, going on to call it the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
Compared to the prices some big-name actors paid for their islands, it sounds like all-time-great actor Leonardo DiCaprio got away with something of a bargain in 2005 when he paid $1.75 for the rights to an island in Belize. It's also quite large compared to some of the other islands in this list, covering 105 acres in total and stretching over two miles from one end to the other, close to the Barrier Reef. We're surprised that he feels comfortable being this close to the sea, given what happened to him in 'Titanic!'
DiCaprio is well known for his interest in environmental issues, having campaigned and raised money for various green causes in recent years. It therefore shouldn't surprise anybody to hear that he turned his island into an eco-paradise, containing a nature reserve where animals can live safely. He's spent millions of dollars on it, and he's not even going to live on it himself!
The last twenty years or so haven't all been kind to Mel Gibson, who's suffered some mishaps in his personal life, and come in for negative press attention as a result. That might have been the trigger for him to buy an island where he can spend is days without worrying about photographers lurking around every corner. True to Gibson's style, he didn't just buy any old island - he bought one of the biggest private islands anywhere in the Pacific, close to Fiji. Even in doing that, he couldn't completely steer clear of controversy - the island used to belong to slave owners, and was used as a cotton and sugar plantation in the 19th century.
Those days were long gone by the time Gibson paid $15m to buy it from a businessman in 2005, and he set to work removing all traces of the island's history. One of the very few buildings that remains on the 5,400 acres of land is Gibson's purpose-built mansion; the rest of it is pure and unspoiled.
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest football players who ever lived. Whether or not he's better than Lionel Messi is a debate that happens every day on every football forum in the world, and so we're not going to get into it here, but his talent has seen him win trophies and awards wherever he's gone, as well as breaking records. Top footballers earn incredible amounts of money, so it's unsurprising he has his own island.
Unlike many of the islands on this list, you can still visit Ronaldo's island, and take a vacation there for a reasonable price if you so desire. It's Deserta Island in Ria Formosa, close to his home of Portugal. Many observers consider it to be the most desirable location anywhere in the famous Algarve region, and it's a popular stopping point for boat cruisers, who like to spend time on its beautiful beach.
Say what you want about Eddie Murphy's movies - many people have - but they've given him the kind of bank balance and lifestyle that enabled him to buy a $15m island in the Bahamas in 2007. Murphy's island, which goes by the name of Rooster Cay, is considered to be the prime piece of real estate available to private buyers in the area. It's a mere five minutes across the water from Bahamian capital Nassau, but far enough to feel totally cut off from the world.
Unlike Shakira and Roger Waters, Murphy doesn't want other people sharing his island with him, and nor does he wish to spoil what's already there. Aside from making sure he has somewhere comfortable to stay when he's spending time there, Murphy has left the land untouched, feeling that building on it would spoil its natural essence.
David Copperfield may be capable of some of the greatest magic tricks the world has ever seen, but even he couldn't conjure himself a tropical island out of thin air. He had to pay for it, just like everybody else does. He has gone a little further than the other people we've discussed so far though - he didn't buy one Bahamian island, he bought four.
Nobody knows for sure how much Copperfield paid for the islands - so perhaps we can't completely rule out magic after all - but we can tell you how much other people pay for the privilege of enjoying them. Copperfield converted Musha Cay - the largest of his islands - into a guest resort, keeping the other three for private accommodation. Five-star service awaits visitors, including a private chef and butler service. That's probably the least you should expect for $37,500 per night.
After spending years of her life running into the sea off the beach while filming 'Baywatch,' you could forgive Pamela Anderson if she never wanted to see the water again. That isn't the case though - she's another star of the acting world who owns an island. Anderson didn't actually pay for hers though - it was gifted to her by her ex-husband, Tommy Lee. That means Motley Crue must have been making far more money than any of us ever realized.
Anderson and Lee are long-since divorced, but Anderson still retains ownership of the island, which is close to Dubai. At one point she planned to create a luxury resort on the land, but it would appear she doesn't have the money to do so, as nothing's been done with it in the whole time she's owned it. She may just be holding onto it as an investment, waiting for the right time to sell.
John Lennon had quite a cheek. In the most famous song he recorded after his time with the Beatles, he sang the line 'Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can?' If Lennon were true to his word, then for him that process would have involved imagining that he didn't own a beautiful green island in Ireland's County Mayo. Dorinish Island is a windswept land of hills and grass, which is home to some sheep and not a lot else within its 19 acres.
Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono planned to build a cottage there and live there in isolation for part of the year, but sadly never got around to it after Lennon's 1980 murder. After he died, Ono sold the island and gave all of the proceeds to a local Irish orphanage. It's believed that the island is still unoccupied.
Lennon's island purchase broke the mold a little in terms of where celebrities usually buy islands. Usually, the idea is to be somewhere that's hot and sunny all year round. Legendary director Steven Spielberg had the right idea, purchasing two islands somewhere off the coast of Portugal. We say 'somewhere' because the fiercely private Spielberg has never disclosed their precise location.
As we don't know much about Spielberg's islands, that leaves us free to bring you some speculation and rumor! There's known to be volcanic activity around the area. Volcanic islands were the setting of his famous movie 'Jurassic Park.' Could Spielberg be trying to create 'Jurassic Park' in real life? Is there any truth to the whispers he's built a giant underwater tunnel to connect his two islands together? We hope so. He's certainly got the money to pay for it.
There's quite a concentration of acting royalty in the Bahamas, and we can add Tyler Perry's name to that list. Who would have thought that a man best known for playing a senior woman would work his way up to an $800m fortune? Not only that, but his White Bay Cay is believed to be the most expensive of all the islands in the region. We're unable to confirm that, because the purchase price has never been publicly listed.
Unlike many of his peers, who seek to turn their islands into luxury resorts, it would seem that Perry plans to live on his. Work is underway on a palatial home, bungalows for guests, a full-sized tennis court and a marina. When you factor in all the essentials that have to be installed on a previously-untouched piece of land, such as electricity, water, and internet connectivity, the construction work can sometimes exceed even the cost of the land. It's a good job Perry has deep pockets!
The world still isn't quite over the tragic loss of funnyman Robin Williams. With his easy charm and his many joyous comic creations, Williams put a smile on the faces of millions of fans. When he wanted to put a smile on his own face, though, he took vacations at his private island - Pender Harbor, close to Canada. Williams never publicly spoke of his island, and it's only through tales from locals that we know he was often seen there, quietly enjoying some relaxation time.
After he passed, the island passed into the hands of his relatives. Instead of selling it or renovating it, they plan to keep it exactly as it was, and in the process, they've turned it into somewhere they can always go and remember him. It will forever be exactly as he left it.
Musician Lenny Kravitz has never been shy about his desire to have somewhere to escape from the world. As he sang in one of his most famous songs, "I want to get away. I want to fly away!" It would appear he took his own advice and did exactly that, traveling to Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The island wasn't always in private hands - it was the birthplace of his mother. Now it's all in Kravitz' hands, and he's done some rather unusual things with it.
He's built a recording studio on the land, which is to be expected of a rock star. What's less expected is the color of the sand, which Kravitz has somehow turned pink. When he goes there, Kravitz says he lives as simplistically as possible, not taking his phone, any clothes beyond the essentials, and not even a pair of shoes. He walks in the pink sand, gets close to nature and writes new music.
Country music stars don't come much bigger than Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill, and their wedding may have made them the highest-profile country power couple since Johnny Cash and June Carter. Country music doesn't often trouble the upper reaches of the charts, but it still pays well enough to buy the couple Agnes Island, which is off the coast of Chile. They completed the purchase in 2003, and went to work turning their strip of land into a 'forever' home.
The island was completely uninhabited when they bought it, but since the deal went through, they've built a house, a recording studio, staff houses, pavilions, and garages. Unconventionally, their idea of a house doesn't look much like yours or ours. All of the rooms are separate buildings, connected by open-air corridors. As time passes, it's beginning to take on the look of a small town.
Ricky Martin has had a successful career both in front of the microphone and in front of the cameras, but it wasn't until 'Livin' La Vida Loca' became a worldwide smash hit that he really started to see big money rolling into his bank account. Fortunately for him, once it started it never really stopped, and in 2008 he had enough saved up to buy an island off the coast of Brazil. It capped off a great twelve months for Martin; it was the same year his twins were born.
Martin lives on the island full time, meaning he has time and space to raise his children without fear of unwelcome photographers poking their noses into his business. He's paid for a full-sized mansion to be built on the retreat - because why wouldn't you - but aside from that he's believed to have left the beautiful landscape untouched.
Diana Ross is a singer and entertainer who's done it all, with her singing career lasting from the 1960s well into the start of the 21st century. With success like that, it's only right that she's bought herself a few little treats - for example, Tiano Island in French Polynesia. The island covers 17 acres, and takes in full-sized docking facilities for yachts, and excellent snorkeling sites. Obviously, she also had an enormous mansion built on the land, styled after Polynesian architecture.
We don't know how much Ross paid for the island, but we do know how much she sold it for - $12m in 2017. We don't think it was a case of her needing the money; it's just that Ross is a little older now, and travel back and forth from the island isn't as easy for her as it was in the 1980s, when she and her husband spent their honeymoon there.
Contrary to popular belief, the Virgin Islands don't have that name because they belong to billionaire owner of the Virgin company Richard Branson. He could probably afford to buy them all if he wanted to, but the name actually comes from Christopher Columbus, who discovered them and named them Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins. It was the name that attracted the attention of Branson though; as soon as he found out they existed, he was determined to buy one.
It was 1979 when Branson bought his first island there, paying just $180,000 for it, as at the time there was no market for them and nothing there to see. Since then - thanks in no small part to development work that Branson has paid for - they've become one of the most popular destinations for the rich and famous anywhere in the world.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has a reputation for being the nicest and most ethical multi-billionaire in the world. He's given away at least half of his wealth, and donates all the profits he makes each year to charity, having long ago decided that he already had all the money he's ever going to need, and doesn't want to swallow up any more. Even a man as generous as that is entitled to a few little perks though, and so we don't begrudge him his island.
Gates settled on the Belize area for his island, buying a piece of land known as the Grand Bugue, which is the largest of the options which were available to him at the time, and attracted a cost of $15m. That's a very high price-per-acre given that it's only 325 acres in total, but as Gates earns $250 every second of every day, he doesn't really have to worry about that now - or ever. True to form, Gates hasn't turned the island into a resort or vacation destination - it's just a private place to relax for himself and his family.
No list of rich or famous island owners would be complete without paying our respects to the man who's credited for starting the whole trend. Aristotle Onassis purchased Skorpios, off the coast of his native Greece, on the occasion of his marriage to Jackie Onassis in 1968. Once the flamboyant billionaire had set the tone for over-the-top purchases, others were bound to follow.
In the years since his death, Skorpios remained in the hands of his daughter Athina until 2010, when it fell into the equally-fabulous hands of Giorgio Armani in return for $190m. Other parties believed to have been interested in buying it at the time included Madonna and Roman Abramovich, so it's something of a 'must have' when it appears on the market. No work has been done on the island other than the provisions Onassis originally made for his wife - the iconic 'Pink House,' some botanical gardens and tennis courts for her to play on.
As we've already seen from Bill Gates, while earning your money through entertainment might be the more glamorous route, if you want to be a multi-billionaire, then the way to get there is through technology. Larry Page co-founded Google. Everybody uses Google every day. The company is worth $136bn, with Page's own net worth coming in at north of $55bn. That's enough money to see him move into the Virgin Islands, next door to fellow billionaire Richard Branson.
Page has put his love of technology to good use at Eustatia Island. It's an eco-friendly tropical paradise which is completely solar-powered. We suppose that's easier to achieve when you're living somewhere the sun never sets! Page doesn't spend all year there, and he even lets visitors come to spend time with him in the villas he's had constructed for rental purposes. We don't know how much they cost, but we're going to wager that it's a lot.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell made her millions by looking good, and where can a person look better than when enjoying the sunshine on their own tropical island? For Campbell, that's Isla Playa de Cleopatra, which is in the Gulf of Gokova near Turkey. The island is probably the most staggering birthday present anyone's ever been bought. Her boyfriend Vladislav Doronin bought it for her on her 41st birthday, along with a house in the shape of the Egyptian Eye of Horus that was purpose built for her. The house came with enough supplies to allow someone to survive alone there for three years.
Despite the love gift, Campbell and Doronin split up in 2013. It would seem that star-crossed lovers never do well on this piece of land; it takes its name from a legend that Mark Antony once brought Cleopatra here, but she refused to set foot on it until he had Egyptian sand shipped over so she could walk on it.
If you're struggling to place the name (short of knowing it's a compass point), we'll help you out. North West is the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. She's also a child. That means she didn't actually pay for this island herself, and we suspect she doesn't even know that she owns it! Most celebrities build up an estate and then hand it down to their children either after they pass away, or when they believe their offspring are old and responsible enough to deal with it. The West-Kardashians don't appear to have any such concerns.
The young West was only seventeen months old when Kardashian paid $5m to buy Turtle Island, which is off the coast of Australia. The only major development on there so far is a home, which is situated at a high point on the land to allow for a spectacular panoramic view. By the time she's old enough to spend time there alone, who knows what her parents will have done to it!
Bill Gates - who we seem to keep coming back to in this list - didn't found Microsoft alone. His partner in the endeavor was Paul Allen, who was also set up for life financially when the company became a success. Allen is sadly no longer with us, but he used to own a slice of paradise off the coast of Seattle. There was nothing there when he bought it, but by the time he sold it for $8m in 2013 he'd had a lot of work done.
The island's new owner picked up a ready-made island retreat which featured an airstrip for private planes to come and go, a log cabin, a luxury home, and an electricity generator. It's completely self-sufficient, and boasts incredible views of the Seattle coastline. Thanks to Allen's vision, this rough diamond is now fully polished.
You may not be familiar with the name of eccentric millionaire Dean Kamen, but you will know his most famous invention - the Segway. Kamen has achieved far more in his life than just creating the Segway, but even if he never did anything else, that creation will keep all of his bills paid forever. Kamen paid an eye-wateringly high price of $2.5m for a tiny two-acre island called North Dumpling off the east coast of the USA in 1986. He wanted to build a wind turbine to fuel it, but New York refused to give him permission, so he did the only sensible thing. He declared independence.
Kamen's old friend (and then-serving President) George Bush jokingly signed a treaty of non-aggression between the USA and Dumpling Island, and from there Kamen has created a flag, a miniature replica of Stonehenge, a national anthem, a daily newspaper, and a one-boat navy. Visitors to his island are invited to commemorate the occasion by leaving an imprint of their own buttocks. No, we're not joking!
This is another case of an unfamiliar name, but a very familiar product. Dietrich Mateschitz's main contribution to the world was the creation of Red Bull; a company that started out making energy drinks but is now heavily involved in motorsport. Mateschitz's island is close to Fiji, and goes by the name of Laucala. We don't know for sure what goes on there, but we can tell you it's euphemistically referred to as 'Disneyland' for adults, and has a team of full-time masseuses.
Photographs from on and above the terrain show a golf course, private beaches, a coconut plantation, a network of bee hives and a series of hydroponic bays. Whatever Matechitz is up to over there, it looks like a lot of fun! If you want to find out, you can hire a villa for $5,000 per night. Make sure you report back to us once you've been.
Errol Flynn didn't live a long life, but he made a lot of noise during his time on the planet. As one of the most sought-after male leads during the Golden Age of Hollywood, he was both larger than life on the big screen and off it, known for his party lifestyle, his multiple romances and his numerous excesses. Many of the parties he was famous for happened on his own private island.
The specific location was Navy Island, in Jamaica's Port Antonio. Flynn planted a long row of palm trees on the island to ensure his privacy, which is still there today, but never built a home there. Instead, he used the trees to shield the mooring location of his yacht. These days the island is uninhabited, having reverted back to the ownership of the Jamaican Government. If the sand and trees could tell stories, we're sure they'd be good ones.
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones practically invented every single cliché we now know about being in a rock and roll band, from the bad behavior to the lavish spending and the party lifestyle. He's a little calmer now he's in his mid-70s, but he still has all the trappings of his wealth and fame. We suspect he used to use Mustique Island, off Venezuela, for his own entertainment and amusement. Now he rents it out to families for $30,000 per week.
Jagger doesn't quite own all of Mustique Island, but he does own enough of it for the definition not to matter. Crucially, his share of the land includes Pelican Beach, which is the most attractive part of the land. The price people pay for rental includes the services of a chef, a gardener, and a butler. If you're lucky, you might even see Jagger there - he's retained a small property for his own personal use next to the beach for when he's not touring the world as a performer.
We shall not see the like of music legend David Bowie again. Nor will we see the like of his own share of Mustique Island. Bowie and Jagger were close friends, and so it's no surprise that they both ended up owning parts of the same island. This was allegedly once of Bowie's favorite places in the world to come and spend time. Depending on who you believe, his ashes may be scattered on the beach in front of his old home.
In keeping with Bowie's unusual tastes and styles, there's a fusion of different culture and architectural styles at work in and around Bowie's old villa. He named it 'Mandalay' and built it in both Japanese and Balinese style. That means you'll find tropical plants on one side of the villa, and a pond full of koi carp on the other. Stepping into Bowie's world will cost you a little less than stepping into Jagger's, but it's still pricey at $58,000 per month.
As the old saying goes, 'wherever I lay my hat; that's my home.' We're guessing George Clooney must have a lot of hats, because he has property dotted all over the world. The soap-actor-turned-movie-legend bought his most elaborate property on the occasion of his wedding, spending $12m on an English manor hidden within a private island in a secret location. It dates all the way back to the 1600s, but has been upgraded since then to include all the latest mod cons.
The property affords Clooney plenty of breathing space away from the showbusiness world - 5.5 acres of it to be precise. If he does find himself getting a little bored of his surroundings, he can always fly off and go and spend time in one of his other mansions in Italy. Or Mexico. Or Los Angeles. We guess he must just get restless very easily!
Oprah Winfrey has her own television network, so of course she has her own private land as well! In her case, it's a big slice of Orcas Island within Washington state, where Winfrey paid just over $8m for 43 acres of land. The island is still technically public, but so much of it belongs to Winfrey that there isn't much point in anyone else visiting it. Her home is palatial, but the 3,000 feet of pure sand and beach might be the best feature here.
Winfrey had the mansion on her island purpose built for her in 2007, but deliberately had it made in an old-style. All the materials are reclaimed or hand-forged, and she even had hardwood floor brought in from the old Sears' Chicago building. Somewhere within its walls is a full-sized library and reading room of the kind that millionaires always have on television, and a bathtub which is molded to the shape of her own body. Now that's luxury!
It would seem that Gene Hackman is every bit as canny as the characters he often plays in movies. He's not just owned one island over the course of his long life and career; he's bought one, sold it and traded up. His island-buying ways started with this little gem though - the tiny Fawn Island, which is in the seclusion of the San Juans. It spans only 2.3 acres, but such is its prime location that it's currently valued at $4m.
Hackman had a property build on the island in 1978, covering over 3500 square feet, along with a private water system and a pier for boats to dock. That's useful for getting back to the comfort of the mainlands, with Orcas being only a few minutes away across the water. Hackman himself can now be found at even more snug and secure island home somewhere near British Columbia.
The majority of the people on this list have paid vastly inflated prices for islands that were already desirable, or that someone else had at least already built a home on. It was never going to be that way for British survival expert Bear Grylls, who loves a challenge. Grylls paid a mere $150,000 for a tiny, rocky island called St. Tudwal West off the coast of Wales in 2001, and set to work on it alone, turning it from nothing into a fantastic vantage point to survey the local wildlife.
The island already had an old lighthouse cottage, but Grylls has upgraded that to turn it into a unique home from which he can watch dolphins, otters, and seals out in the water. Neighbors on the mainland have only complained once, and that's when he installed a huge metal slide into the side of one of his cliffs in 2015.
Steven Spielberg isn't the only movie director who can call himself an island owner. The equally legendary Francis Ford Coppola has more than one of his own. He hasn't confined himself to one location either; Coppola has three island getaways in Central America alone, but the star of his collection is Coral Caye, which is sheltered by the Barrier Reef in Belize.
Coral Caye has historically been for the exclusive use of Coppola and his family, although they've been happy to have guests stay close by on Turtle Inn. More recently though he's apparently started inviting people over to stay on the two-acre island, which can accommodate up to twelve people within its mansion. Butlers and massage services are available on request. We're unsure on whether they come from the same person. It's understood that Coppola owns six islands in total, but the location of the other three is a closely guarded secret.
Here's what good family connections and royal bloodlines can get you. On the day of her wedding, Beatrice Borromeo became the owner of five private islands which all carry her family name. They formed an unusual dowry-of-sorts as part of her 2015 wedding to Pierre Casiraghi, as a way of welcoming him into the family.
This may sound completely insane until you take into account the royal connection - this kind of thing goes on all the time in royal families! Casiraghi is the son of Princess Caroline of Hannover. Borromeo is also from aristocracy, and the done thing at such a high-profile social wedding is to tie assets together. The islands had been in the Borromeo family since the seventeenth century, and one served as the setting for the wedding. We've seen a lot of islands on this list, but this is the only set with a fortified chapel!
We understand why Celine Dion chose to part with her incredible, castle-like home in 2013, but we suspect that she had to 'think twice' before she signed the sale documents. The fairytale dwelling on a private island between Laval and Boisbriand in Quebec was the home she shared for years with her husband and manager, but she put it on the market when he became seriously ill. It eventually sold in 2016 for more than $25m.
If someone drew pictures based on images from the property, you'd assume that you were looking at something from a Disney movie rather than someone's actual home. From the stone walls to the castle gates and winding staircases, it has the impression of a building out of time. One of the staircases even leads directly up to a luxury bathtub. When you have a bathtub so impressive you need a staircase to reach it, you know you've really made it.
Michael Schumacher has a strong claim to being the most successful racing driver who ever lived. During his peak years, driving for the famous Ferrari motor racing team, he was unstoppable. He's won more world championships than any other Formula 1 driver in history, and won millions of fans over the world. One of those fans was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, who gifted Schumacher this beautiful island.
Despite looking like any regular island it's actually completely artificial, created with the best technology money can buy. It's believed to have a value somewhere in the region of $7m. Sadly, Schumacher can't currently make much use of his island. A severe accident suffered while skiing almost killed him, and his recovery has been a long, slow struggle. It's to be hoped that one day, Schumacher can return to the beach and enjoy the benefits of the generous offering.
We're afraid we can't give you must detail on this one, but we can say for certain that if you're out on a Bahamian beach - if you can even find one, given that they all appear to be owned by celebrities - you might just see a pretty woman standing on the opposite coast on her own island nearby. Julia Roberts definitely owns an island somewhere in the Bahamas - probably quite close to her famous friends - but has never let slip on the precise locations.
To be honest, we can understand that. We probably wouldn't want photographers and paparazzi bothering us on an island we'd paid millions of dollars to own, either. As we're unable to bring you a photo of Roberts on her island, here's a picture of her looking suitably summery in front of a background that may or may not be her island. It's as close as we're ever going to get!
Remember what we said a little earlier on about all the real money being in tech companies? This might be an even better example than Bill Gates and Larry Page ('Larry' is obviously a great name for tech billionaires. Remember that when you're naming your children). Larry Ellison founded Oracle, which is a software company so enormous that only Microsoft have then beaten for size or net worth. With all the money it generates, Ellison has found the income to buy the Hawaiian island of Lanai for somewhere between five hundred and six hundred million dollars.
It's easily the most expensive island on our list, but Ellison isn't even going to live there; he's turning it into a state-of-the-art tourist resort! Given that we've seen other celebrities charging up to $30,000 per night to stay on islands that cost less than a tenth as much as Lanai, we shudder to think what a night on Lanai may cost visitors in a few years' time.
This is what islands look on the covers of romance novels. We're looking at Il Gallo Lungi, a dolphin-shaped island which is one of three private islands on the Amalfi Coast. The islands have been known for their outstanding beauty throughout most of human history, having been the place upon which Homer positioned his sirens in 'Odyssey.' It's no surprise that they attracted the attention of legendary Russian ballet artist Rudolf Nureyev in 1988. At only $2.4m, we think he got his island cheaply.
The facilities on Il Gallo Lungi were rustic when Nureyev bought it, but he quickly set to work on building a three-bedroom mansion in the Moorish style. Regrettably, he never really got to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor, passing away only four years later in 1992. The island is now available for private holiday rentals, although it costs about as much as you'd imagine it to.
The Barclay brothers have been operating in the higher circles of British society for decades, only really attracting public attention in the past few years. They're publishers and businessmen, owning both the Daily Telegraph newspaper and London's famous Ritz Hotel, along with Yodel and the fashion and homeware store Littlewoods. They also own this island, named Brecqhou, which is in the British Channel Islands.
There's a gothic castle on the island which you'd imagine has been there for centuries, but in fact, the Barclays had it constructed at some point after1993, which is when they acquired the lease of the land. Until very recently, no member of the public has been allowed on the island at all, which begs the question of why there's also a pub there named the Dog & Duck. What use is a pub without any customers?
There's quite the story behind John Wayne's ownership of the island of Torcillo. He never paid a penny for it - it was gifted to him by the Government of Panama. Panama was in turmoil during the 1960s, Panamanian independence becoming a thorny political issue, and a crisis in the Panama Canal. Perhaps surprisingly, Wayne spoke out fiercely and repeatedly in support of Panama being given control of their own canal, and they were finally granted it in 1977.
Because of his support of Panama, Panamanian President Omar Torrijos decided the most appropriate way to thank Wayne was by giving him his own personal island in the shape of Torcillo. The island is sometimes also called Taborcillo, but most people in the area actually refer to it as 'John Wayne Island.' It now operates as a holiday resort, which includes a theme park.
Most people probably won't have heard about Louis Bacon, but he won't mind that. He gets all the perks of being a billionaire without the hassle of people stopping him in the street to take pictures. Bacon is a businessman and entrepreneur who's made most of his money managing hedge funds. As a man with an eye for a good deal, he knew he was onto a winner when he bought Robins Island, just off New York's coast, for $11m in 1993.
The land was subject to a dispute between New York's officials and private companies at the time Bacon bought it, so his stepping in ended a petty dispute over what was then completely undeveloped land. The island is now off limits to the public, but Bacon is known to have taken steps to replenish the over-logged tree population, as well as helped to develop a thriving population of turtles.
If you weren't familiar with the name 'Aga Khan' recently (other than a passing reference in the song 'Where Do You Go to My Lovely'), you probably are now. There's been a controversy in the press about a visit to the Aga Khan's private island by Canadian President Justin Trudeau, which has put a focus on the private Bahamian dwelling of Bell Island.
Bell Island's history is long and complicated. It's one of the most desirable pieces of land anywhere in the Exumas, and looks like the most idyllic slice of paradise you could ever hope to see. It's understandable that only the rich and famous would ever be able to visit here, and it was even once owned by Baron Rothschild. It also appears to be the base of operations for many large international companies who like to keep their tax affairs offshore - but we're sure that's purely down to coincidence!
Broadcast billionaire Ted Turner was once something of a revolutionary in the world of television, having founded the Cable News Network and therefore starting the trend for the availability of 24-hour news on television. TBS and TNT are also channels which fall under Turner's purview. He's still very rich, but lost a lot of money pursuing an unlikely and unwise professional wrestling territory war, with the Turner-owned World Championship Wrestling going head to head with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment.
We don't know if losing that battle is what persuaded Turner to sell St. Phillips Island in South Carolina, but we do know he got less than he wanted for it. He initially listed it for $24m in 2014, but eventually sold it back to the state of South Carolina for $4.9m last year. Turner's old vacation residence is still on the property, but we're not sure how much he enjoyed it, given that the island doesn't have its own water or electricity.
Nick Hexum's name will probably only be familiar to you if you're a fan of heavy rock and alternative music; he's been the singer and guitarist for the rock band 311 since 1988. Even though his music has more appeal to niche interest groups than a larger audience, he still made enough money from it to purchase Melody Key; one of the Florida Keys. It's only 5.5 acres of land in total, but as of 2012, it was ranked as the world's fifth most expensive island.
The island is completely off the grid, and has changed hands several times in the past few years between various different millionaires, all of whom have performed upgrade and maintenance work on it. It most recently went on the market in 2017, with an asking price of $7m. You don't get a beach with the island, but you can at least enjoy some close-up views of iguanas.
We're stretching the definition of owning an island a little here. Taylor Swift doesn't own all of Rhode Island - that would be impossible - but she does own a significant chunk of it which is her own private land. It didn't start out that way though, and it didn't become hers without a lot of legal wrangling.
Technically, all Swift paid for was the $18m home that sits on top of Watch Hill, but she successfully argued in court that what used to be a public beach around it was actually part of her land. If the citizens of Rhode Island had objections, Swift managed to shake them off. The land and beach have since become notorious for A-list celebrity parties, which Swift is able to host discreetly due to the distance between her home and any other civilian property.
There was no way that Beyoncé wasn't going to be on this list, given that Shakira's on it! Shakira may be one of the world's biggest pop divas, but it's Queen Bee who holds the crown, and everybody knows it. When you're the Queen, you don't pay for your own things - other people do that for you. The $20m island she owns off the coast of Florida is tiny at only 12.5 acres, but it was just a small token of her husband Jay-Z's appreciation on her 29th birthday.
Don't feel bad for the music power couple only having a tiny island though - they also own another one in the Bahamas! It was Jay-Z who was shelling out a second time when they bought it, and this time it was an anniversary present. He's going to have to start thinking about new gift ideas, because if he doesn't they'll very shortly have fifty islands and no money left!
Last but not least, we're stepping into the lifestyle of pop diva Shakira! Her island is also in the Bahamas - close to where Depp and Cage spend their fishing and swimming time - and goes by the name of Bonds Cay. You won't find Shakira living there though; that's not why she bought it. She didn't even buy it on her own - the acquisition of this island is the result of an unlikely business partnership between her and English rock music legend Roger Waters, of the band Pink Floyd.
Shakira and Waters paid $15m between them to buy the island in 2011, which is a lot for a mere 500 acres. We suspect they'll make their money back though - they're turning it into a prestige vacation destination for their famous friends. There will be purpose built 'artist retreats,' luxury villas and boutique hotels by the time they're done with it. The majority of construction work has already been completed, and the main hotel is open for business.