Trusts & Estate Planning

Jersey Court stops Italian princess taking millions from her sister...again


By added on 19/01/2018

(Bailiwick Express) -- Following half a decade of hearings and a trial of almost three months, Jersey’s Royal Court found in favour of Cristiana Crociani, the estranged sister of Princess Camilla Bourbon de Deux Siciles and the daughter of 60s actress Madame Edoarda Crociani.

She had brought claims against her family members in the Royal Court after discovering that they had secretly conspired against her to redirect family wealth including paintings and company assets in a trust worth $200million in favour of the princess.

The issue, the Court heard, was that Cristiana was apparently the less favoured of the granddame’s two children, as she had not married into high society or royalty like her sister. As such, she became estranged from her family.

The Court subsequently ordered in September that the Bahamian trust – known as the Grand Trust – be reconstituted to its original state.

One of the first steps involved ordering former trustee BNP to pay $100million back into the trust. As the trust was split between the two sisters, the pair were due to receive $50million each.

But BNP were reluctant to pay half to Camilla, given that she had been found to benefit from the restructuring of the trust away from her sister. As a result, Judge James McNeill QC ruled that plans to credit Camilla’s half of the trust with $50million should be put on hold.

Camilla then tried to get a second bite at the remaining golden apple of $50million due to Cristiana. Through her lawyer, she argued that any money that goes back into the trust should be split between the two of them and therefore demanded $25million of her sister’s share.

The case fell on deaf ears in the courtroom.

Commissioner Sir Michael Birt, who sat with Jurats Olsen and Ramsden, felt that asking for this smaller sum would contradict McNeill’s order that Camilla should not be paid. Moreover, it would deny Cristiana the ability to enjoy “the fruits of her victory” in full.

“In our judgment, Camilla has no legitimate interest in seeking to restrict or prevent distributions to Cristiana out of Cristiana’s Trust,” the Commissioner concluded.