When Diana, Princess of Wales, died on that warm August night in Paris in 1997, she left behind two young princes and an estate valued at approximately £21 million. And of course a woman of her stature had a last will and testament which she signed in June 1993 and then modified with a first and only codicil in February 1996. The original will and codicil left the young princess’s estate in equal shares to the young princes when each child reached the age of 25.
Since both princes are well over the age of 25 (William Arthur Philip Louis, known as Prince William, is currently 32, and Henry Charles Albert David, known as Prince Harry, just turned 30 on September 15), one would think that they had already received their inheritances a while ago, but not so fast. Apparently the executors of Princess Diana’s estate, her mother, Frances Ruth Shand Kydd, and her oldest sister, Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale, didn’t like the provisions of the will because they were able to obtain a secret “variation order” from the High Court of Justice in December 1997. Under the terms of “The Arrangement,” as it is referred to in the court order, the will was modified to provide that Princess Diana’s estate wouldn’t be distributed outright to her sons until each reached the age of 30. This was certainly sneaky and wouldn’t happen in the U.S. since notice would be required to be given to all parties interested in an estate if the executor didn’t want to follow the terms of the will.
In any case, as a result of “The Arrangement,” back in June 2012 when Prince William turned 30, he inherited a lump sum of £10 million, or about $16 million U.S. dollars. And when Prince Harry turned 30 on September 15, he also inherited a lump sum of £10 million. The princes also received some of their mother’s personal items on Harry’s 30th birthday, including her wedding gown, personal letters, jewels, and the score and lyrics to Elton John’s version of “Candle in the Wind” which he performed at the princess’s funeral.
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