With the exception of a flat near Paris, a bungalow and a few scraps of woodland, only "six handkerchiefs and a pair of slippers" can be found, say the lawyers employed by the count's family. "Even the light-sockets had been removed."
A long and messy legal battle looms between the count's 11 children and his mistress, Monique Freise, who was his companion for his last 24 years. In a 17-line handwritten will, five weeks before his death at 91, the count left all his possessions to his wife, Princess Isabelle d'Orleans-Bragance, without specifying what he owned. There was no mention in the will of Ms Freise, 78, a former nurse and governess.
From 1988 onwards, it was known the count - Son Altesse Royale Monseigneur le Prince Henri Robert Ferdinand Marie Louis-Philippe d'Orleans - had been steadily selling off the royal patronage, including several properties and Marie- Antoinette's jewellery, raising more than pounds 10m. But no possessions or money from property sales could be found.Reuse content