Princess could be fined millions for contempt

A MONTE Carlo socialite could soon be fined millions of pounds after the Royal Court said it believes she is refusing to reveal the location of a $66 million painting and other valuable assets owned by her mother.

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In the latest chapter in a decade-long family feud, Commissioner Julian Clyde stuck by previous court rulings that Princess Camilla Crociani de Bourbon des Deux Siciles has shown contempt of court by not obeying an order to disclose full details of her mother Edoarda’s wealth in order to rebuild a disputed trust fund.

The princess, who lives in Monte Carlo and appeared in Jersey’s highest court this week, has been warned that she could face a fine of ‘millions’ for contempt of court. The Royal Court will deliver its written judgement in due course.

The affair relates to a dispute dating back to 2011, when Princess Camilla’s sister Christina began legal proceedings claiming that steps were being taken to block her from inheriting the family’s wealth, which had been placed in a trust called the Grand Trust by Edoarda, and then later removed.

In 2017 the Royal Court ordered that Edoarda and BNP Jersey, who were both trustees, to rebuild the trust fund, which at one stage was estimated to be worth more than $130 million and included valuable artwork, including a Gauguin painting insured for $66 million.

Princess Camilla was ordered to disclose details of her mother’s wealth to BNP to help do this but the bank and the court have not been satisfied with numerous submissions she has made using affidavits.

Yesterday, Advocate William Redgrave, acting on behalf of BNP, outlined that an example of assets not submitted was expensive jewellery owned by Edoarda.

‘She had not mentioned that her mother had valuable jewellery in her mother’s affidavit. There was no de minimis limit [minimum threshold] in the court order,’ he said.

On the matter of a potential fine he referred to media stories and pictures outlining her expensive lifestyle, such as photos taken with President Donald Trump at his Florida home and her appearances on the TV documentary ‘Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich’.

Advocate Olaf Blakeley, acting on behalf of the princess, maintained the position that she did not know the location of many of her mother’s assets and had submitted items ‘highlighted’ as a priority.

‘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,’ he said.

‘It is my submission the vast majority of documents that were requested were provided by Princess Camilla and all those highlighted were provided.’

Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith was sceptical that the princess was revealing everything she knew.

‘We have had not received any information about the Croci Group [the family business] or on Mdme [Edoarda] Crociani’s non-voting shares in the group,’ he said.

‘The court believed [at the last hearing] that she knows where the Gauguin is. The way to purge the contempt is to tell us. And she has not done that.’

Jurats Charles Blampied and Jerry Ramsden were sitting on the case.

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