Prince Charles Divorce $28 Million, December 23, 1997, Strapped for cash, the Duchess of York has hired Princess Diana’s divorce lawyer in hopes of a bigger settlement out of the royal family, British newspapers reported.
A spokeswoman for the former Sarah Ferguson refused Tuesday to comment on whether the duchess has hired Anthony Julius, the London lawyer who secured a reported $28 million settlement for Diana from Prince Charles.
The duchess, who was divorced from Prince Andrew, Charles’ younger brother, in 1996, received a settlement of $1.3 million, news reports said. About $830,000 of that is left, and it is earmarked for buying a house.
Queen Elizabeth II established a $2.3 million trust fund for the couple’s children, 9-year-old Princess Beatrice and 7-year-old Princess Eugenie, when their parents separated in 1992.
The 38-year-old duchess has no access to this money. She lives with her daughters in a separate apartment in their east London marital home that Andrew provided rent-free after his ex-wife went into debt.
Andrew pays the duchess $3,320 a year for each daughter and the fees at their private school, according to news reports.
Julius is expected to argue that the duchess received a settlement based on Andrew’s $61,400 annual salary as a middle-ranking naval officer, instead of based on her status as the ex-wife of a member of a very rich family.
The duchess was advised before the divorce by John Bryan, an American described as her financial adviser who was also her boyfriend at the time. She acknowledged having debts of $6.6 million at the time of her divorce.