Alexander McQueen dogs benefit from will
Tuesday 26 July 2011
Fashion designer Alexander McQueen left £50,000 of his £16 million fortune for his beloved pet dogs, his will reveals.
McQueen, 40, bequeathed another £50,000 to each of his two housekeepers, one of whom found him hanged in a wardrobe in his Mayfair flat nearly 18 months ago.
But he left most of his money to his favourite charities, including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London and the London Buddhist Centre.
McQueen left £16,036,500 when he hanged himself after taking a cocktail of cocaine, sleeping pills and tranquillisers on February 11 last year, the day before his mother Joyce's funeral.
The designer's will includes provision for £50,000 to be put into a trust for the upkeep of his dogs for the rest of their lives.
He also left £50,000 to his housekeepers, Marlene and Cesar Garcia, for their "long and faithful service". Mr Garcia made the grim discovery of McQueen's body.
McQueen also bequeathed £50,000 to his godson and each of his nieces and nephews, and £250,000 to each of his three sisters and two brothers.
Four charities - The Terrence Higgins Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the London Buddhist Centre and the Blue Cross animal welfare charity based in Burford, Oxfordshire - have received £100,000 each.
Kim Hamilton, chief executive of the Blue Cross said: "The Blue Cross relies on donations to help animals in need so we are thrilled to have been chosen to receive such a generous legacy."
The designer left the remainder of his estate in a trust for his Sarabande charity, which shares a name with his spring/summer 2007 collection famous for including a dress adorned with fresh flowers.
He asked the charity to consider using this money to fund bursaries or grants for students at Central St Martin's College of Art and Design in London, where he studied fashion.
McQueen, who was known as Lee to friends and family, was born in London's East End in March 1969.
He was the son of a taxi driver and left school at 16 but quickly rose through the fashion industry to become one of the world's leading designers.
An inquest in April last year heard that he killed himself after struggling with depression, the pressures of his work and his mother's death.
The hearing was told that he saw his huge success as a "double-edged sword" and became "overwhelmed with grief" after his mother died.
The inquest heard that police found a book at the designer's flat on the back of which he had scribbled: "Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee."
The fashion house that bears McQueen's name remains hugely influential.
The Duchess of Cambridge's intricately decorated wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, received rave reviews on her big day in April and is currently on display at Buckingham Palace.
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