Italian Princess at war with sister over £100 million inheritance from film star mother
Princess Camilla Crociani could be fined millions over assets, including a £50 million Gauguin painting, taken from trust fund according to sister, Christina
A tale of an Italian Princess, a Gauguin painting and a £100 million inheritance battle sounds like something completely fantastical – and that’s even before you throw in the film star mother (whose credits include a Federico Fellini film). But it’s all absolutely true and yesterday, a Royal Court on the Channel Island of Jersey, told Princess Camilla Crociani de Bourbon des Deux Siciles that she could be fined ‘millions’ for contempt of court after refusing to reveal the whereabouts of a £50 million Gauguin painting (called Hina Maruru).https://www.tatler.com/ar...t-fund-battle-with-sister
Yesterday’s hearing was the latest in a bitter 10-year dispute. The family feud began when Italian film star Edoarda Crociani (who many will remember as Edy Vessel) set up a trust fund – the Grand Trust – for her two daughters, Cristiana and Princess Camilla, when they were teenagers in 1987. Edoarda was the widow of an extremely wealthy Italian industrialist, Camilla Crocianai, who died in 1980. He had amassed considerable wealth, including a collection of fine art.
As reported by the Telegraph, when £100 million of investments and art was taken from the fund in 2010 and transferred into Edoarda’s name, estranged daughter Christiana feared she was being blocked from inheriting the family’s wealth and it was being given to her sister in place. Christiana began legal proceedings in 2011 and detailed that her luxurious upbringing had been a ‘golden hell’ and that she had been ostracised by her mother, a woman obsessed with her marrying into royalty, namely the Italian Prince Bante Boncompagni Ludovisi — a relationship that lasted for just four months.
In 2017, the Telegraph reports that the Royal Court ordered Edoarda and bank BNP Paribas Jersey Trust Corporation Limited, who were both trustees, to rebuild the fund, which includes Gauguin’s 1893 masterpiece that is insured for £49.9 million. Christiana’s sister, Camilla Crociani – whose title became Princess de Bourbon de Deux Siciles following her marriage to Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro (an event that the Times described as the ‘blue-blooded wedding of the decade’) – was ordered to disclose details of her mother’s wealth to BNP.
Princess Camilla, 49, who lives between Monaco, St Tropez, Paris and Rome with her husband and two daughters, however, has allegedly refused to disclose the locations of the painting and other precious assets. Advocate William Redgrave, acting on behalf of BNP, said that artwork and expensive jewels were examples of assets not submitted by the Princess. He said that the Princess lived a lavish lifestyle, highlighting photos taken of her with President Trump at his Florida home and her appearance on the TV documentary Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich as further evidence.
Advocate Olaf Blakeley, on behalf of the Princess, said that she did not know the location of many of her mother’s assets. He said: ‘It would be quite wrong to say she failed to purge her contempt of court if she did not provide documents that are not in her power or possession. It is my submission the vast majority of documents that were requested were provided by Princess Camilla and all those highlighted were provided.’ The Times reports that Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith was sceptical that the Princess was revealing everything she knew.
Princess Camilla and Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, 57, have two daughters, Maria Carolina, Duchess of Calabria and of Palermo, 17, and Maria Chiara, 15. As reported in the Times, Princess Cristiana told the original trial at the Royal Court that her mother had a fear of being alone, and controlled her family through money. Judgment will be given at a later date.