To her godchildren: a few precious things

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The Independent Online
THE BULK of the fortune of Diana, Princess of Wales is divided equally between her sons but the amended will, made last December, allows for more personal bequests which her family felt she would have wanted.

Chief among these is the pounds 50,000 bequest to her butler, Paul Burrell, and a list of china and paintings which are to be given to her godchildren.

Martyn Gowar, of Lawrence Graham, the lawyers acting as executors for the Princess's estate, said: "The trustees have decided on the items for each of the children. There are a range of things like pictures, nice pieces of china and some special photographs. They are not really things of monetary value and in the context of a pounds 21m estate they are insignificant. They are purely of sentimental value."

The gross value of the estate was pounds 21,711,485, which, after the payment of unspecified personal taxes, was reduced to pounds 21,468,352. A total of pounds 8,502,330 was paid in inheritance tax and the remaining pounds 12,966,022 will be distributed to the beneficiaries, chiefly the Princes William and Harry.

Until they are 25, the executors will decide how much of the income from their share they should receive and once they are 30 they may ask for the capital. Under the terms of the original will they stood to inherit at 25, provided they survived the Princess for three months.

A discretionary fund has also been set up for the princes and their future families and also for any charities which the trustees may decide could benefit, which could include the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The fund is listed as including "all my wearing apparel," the sum of pounds 100,000 and any money or investments. It operates independently from the rest of the estate.

The new will shows how measures were taken to protect Diana's legacy for her children. A section marked "the Intellectual Property Rights", highlights the rights that are, or could be, owned by the estate and includes the copyright to artistic work, performers' rights and trademarks world- wide.

It also includes "moral rights" relating to her name, reputation, voice, or "any other characteristic or feature of Diana, Princess of Wales".

The Princess's wedding dress, her wardrobe and intellectual property rights - including copyright trademarks and the resulting royalties from the authorised commercial use of her picture or name - are to be used for charity purposes, or for the benefit of William, 15, or Harry, 13. It is likely that the wedding dress and some of her designer gowns will go on permanent display at her ancestral home of Althorp.

The executors of the Princess's will, her mother Frances Shand Kydd, her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, agreed with John Major, who is acting as legal guardian to the young princes that the will should be made public.

Although widely expected to become a bestseller, there was only a trickle of people at Somerset House yesterday morning. Staff had prepared 200 copies photocopies of the will in anticipation of the demand, but by mid- morning the bulk of those had been sold to the media. A spokesman for the probate office said about 300 copies were sold by the end of the day and staff had been busy taking calls from around the world.

The first person to buy a copy of the will was Christine Lansdowne, 72, from Sidney, Australia. She had come to Somerset House to research her family history and after purchasing her copy found herself the object of intense media interest. "I was here quite by chance and decided it was a unique opportunity to buy a historical document. She was the mother of the future King of England and I shall treasure it," she said.

Mrs Lansdowne said she had been a lifelong royalist, adding: "My mother had pictures of the whole family on the walls all the time and I was married 50 years ago, like the Queen, so I suppose I do feel a bond."

However, Musa Audu, 45, like most of the others who arrived during the morning, had come for more prosaic reasons. "I am a probate solicitor and I was curious to see what her legacy was and who the beneficiaries were," he said.


Diana, Princess of Wales, had 17 godchildren, all of whom are provided for in her new will. They are:

Lady Edwina Grosvenor, 16, second child of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, was the first of Diana's godchildren. The Princess attended the private christening in February 1982, six months after her wedding. She was already expecting Prince William and within two years Lady Edwina was seen as an ideal bride for the future king.

The Hon Alexandra Knatchbull, 15, was the second godchild.The daughter of Lord and Lady Romsey and great granddaughter of the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Clare Cazalet, 13, daughter of Isabel (nee Dawnay, the princess's third cousin) and Victor Cazalet. Mr Cazalet's father was the Queen Mother's race horse trainer.

Camilla Straker, 12, daughter of Reuben and Hon Sophie Straker. Sophie Straker was a former flatmate of Diana, and the Princess also attended the couple's wedding three months after her own. Sophie was a guest at the Princess's funeral.

Prince Philippos, 11, son of the ex-King Constantine of Greece - cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh - and Queen Anne-Marie of Hellenes.

Leonora Lonsdale, 11, daughter of Jamie and Laura Lonsdale. Mrs Lonsdale was a lady-in-waiting to the Princess, who had attended her wedding. The Lonsdale's 11-month-old son Louis died in 1992 and Diana was a guest at the funeral. Mrs Lonsdale attended the Princess's funeral.

Jakie Warren, 11, son of John and Lady Carolyn Warren. Lady Carolyn is the daughter of the Queen's racing manager, the Earl of Carnarvon.

Lady Mary Wellesley, 11, daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Douro. The Marquess is the Duke of Wellington's heir.

George Frost, 10, son of the broadcaster Sir David and Lady Carina Frost.

Antonia Twiston-Davies, 10, daughter of Audley Twiston-Davies, a company director, and his wife, the Hon Caroline Harbord Hamond, who was a schoolfriend of Diana.

Jack Falkner, 9, son of Col Simon Falkner, of the Household Cavalry, and Isabel Falkner.

Edward, Lord Downpatrick, nine, son of the Earl and Countess of St Andrews. The Earl, eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, gave up his rights as 17th in line to the throne to marry Sylvana Tomaselli, a Roman Catholic divorcee in 1988.

Jack Bartholomew, eight, son of William and Carolyn Bartholomew. Carolyn was a schoolfriend and flatmate of Diana, and both the Prince and Princess of Wales attended their wedding in 1982. Mrs Bartholomew was at Diana's funeral.

Benjamin Samuel, eight, son of the Hon Michael and Julia Samuel. Julia Samuel attended princess's launch of charity dedicated to improving support for bereaved parents.

Antonia Harrington, six, daughter of Jonathon Harrington.

Daisy Soames, five, daughter of the Hon Rupert and Camilla Soames. Rupert is the brother of Nicholas Soames, the former Conservative defence minister.

Domenica Lawson, two, daughter of Dominic Lawson and the Hon Rosa Monckton, the friend with whom Diana enjoyed a holiday the month before she died. Mrs Monckton was at the funeral.


The items to be left to the godchildren were included as part of a 130-page valuation catalogue - including china, ornaments and paintings - compiled by Christie's for the executors shortly after the death of the Princess. It will not be released to the public as it is privately owned by the executors.

Some of the objects which form sets will be divided among her godchildren at the behest of the executors.

A spokesman for the executors said: "They are not really things of monetary value and in the context of a pounds 21m estate they are insignificant. They are purely of sentimental value."

The gifts, often very briefly described, include:

Four pieces of Odenby crockery; an Odenby Coffee service; H Cockerel; Decanter; Carriage Clock; Dresden pen tray; Shepherd/ess; Watercolour; Herend animals (Herend is a Hungarian porcelain factory that makes model animals that sell at around pounds 30 each); Watercolours; Hunting figures; Part of a tea service; Bird Model; Model Harp.