Court rejects princess’s claim that she ‘doesn’t have immediate access to £2 million' to pay fine

AN Italian princess and Monte Carlo socialite’s claim that she cannot pay a £2 million fine that she received for disobeying legal orders has been rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Princess Camilla Crociani de Bourbon des Deux Siciles going into the Royal Court. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30287963)
Princess Camilla Crociani de Bourbon des Deux Siciles going into the Royal Court. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30287963)

Princess Camilla Crociani de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, star of the TV show Inside Monaco: Playground of the Rich, was handed the fine after the Royal Court last year ruled that she had ignored its order to reveal the location of a $66 million painting and other valuable assets owned by her mother, Edoarda, to help rebuild a disputed family trust. She was given two months to pay the fine, with the Royal Court warning that it would impose a 12-month prison sentence if she did not do so.

Her sister Christiana made claims against the trust, alleging that she was being excluded from inheriting the family wealth.

The legal battle between the family has dragged on for a decade, with the Jersey-based trustees, BNP, and Edoarda instructed by the Royal Court to reconstruct the trust, known as the Grand Trust.

The Royal Court found Princess Camilla in contempt last year for refusing to disclose details of her mother’s wealth and assets, including a Gauguin painting worth a reported $66 million, while BNP has incurred heavy costs rebuilding the £100 million trust fund.

Princess Camilla lodged an appeal against the fine, which was issued on 22 December, claiming that she ‘does not have immediate access to £2 million’.

She requested an ‘application of stay’ – a suspension of proceedings – in relation to the order.

The court rejected her appeal, however, pointing out that the Princess had been aware for some time that a heavy fine was a possibility.

‘She has known since 25 February 2020 that the court was considering the imposition of a substantial fine,’ the Court of Appeal said in a recently published judgment. ‘She has known the exact amount of the fine since 22 December 2020. In the circumstances, she has had every opportunity to provide evidence regarding her financial resources, both revenue and capital, both liquid and illiquid.’

In the document, the court adds that it believed that the timescale to pay the fine, as well as the cost of compensating more than £200,000 of BNP’s legal costs, was ‘entirely reasonable’.

Jonathan Crow QC, Lord Anderson of Ipswich QC and David Perry QC were sitting.

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