It's the most contested will in the fashion world, and now a new twist has emerged in the saga over Karl Lagerfeld's estate, with Princess Caroline of
It’s the most contested will in the fashion world, and now a new twist has emerged in the saga over Karl Lagerfeld’s estate, with Princess Caroline of Monaco newly named as one of the beneficiaries.
Caroline, 66, the sister of Prince Albert, 65, has enjoyed a life-long relationship with French design house Chanel and was a dear friend of its late creative director.
And according to a report by French magazine Le Point, Grace Kelly’s eldest daughter has been named as one of the people set to receive an inheritance from the designer, affectionately nicknamed the Kaiser.
The issue of Lagerfeld’s inheritance has remained up in the air since the designer’s death from pancreatic cancer in Paris in 2019, and has now hit a legal standstill.
Seven names have emerged alongside Caroline’s, including Lagerfeld’s muse and friend Baptiste Giabiconi, 33, his right hand man and chauffeur Sebastien Jondeau, several of his Chanel collaborators, and his former governess, Françoise Caçote, who has been looking after his cat Choupette since his death.
Caroline of Hanover, 66, the sister of Prince Albert, 65, has enjoyed a life-long romance with Chanel and was a dear friend of its late creative director Karl Lagerfeld (pictured in 2013)
According to Le Point, Caroline of Hanover is in line to inherit Lagerfeld’s furniture from his Parisian apartment, alongside three other friends of the designer.
The Kaiser’s will reportedly stipulates that Caroline can take her pick out of the designer’s impressive collection of furnishings.
The royal and designer struck a friendship from their very first meeting in Paris in the 1970s.
Speaking to the French-speaking magazine Point de Vue after Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, the royal spoke of their 45 years of friendship.
She revealed how they met at a photoshoot for American Vogue which took place at Lagerfeld’s Saint-Sulpice apartment in Paris.
‘We ended up there with Chris von Wangenheim, wonderful fashion photographer. I wore Chloé clothes that Karl drew. It was a really happy atmosphere, I was very shy at that age,’ she recalled.
From then on, Lagerfeld dressed the royal beauty for several occasions, including both royal engagements and more casual outings, and she became a regular front row attendee at his shows throughout the years.
In the same interview, Caroline talked of how she became Lagerfeld’s number one fan, and how the designer became involved with the Rose Ball, an annual event which is held in Monaco by the princely family to mark the onset of Spring.
She described the designer’s death as a ‘family mourning’, which hit her children, Charlotte Casiraghi, Andrea Casiraghi, Pierre Casiraghi and Princess Alexandra of Hanover particularly hard, because they knew Lagerfeld ‘from birth.’
‘He was home the day before I gave birth to Andrea, he took a picture of me on the stairs. He was there when they were born,’ she said.
Charlotte, 36, has followed in the footsteps of her fashionable mother, becoming an ambassador for Chanel in 2020, and she has worked with the fashion house on several projects over the years.
Like her mother, Charlotte is a regular attendee at Fashion Week, and she has also filmed videos and programmes for Chanel campaigns, social media clips and more.
Virginie Viard, who now heads the French fashion house, described Casiraghi as someone who ’embodies the Chanel allure, all while remaining true to her own world.’
However, it might be a long while before Caroline and the other beneficiaries of Lagerfeld’s will might be able to touch any of what the designer left them.
The designer and the Monaco princess at the Rose Ball in Monaco, where Caroline wore Chanel, in 2017
Caroline’s daughter Charlotte Casiraghi, left, has also grown to become a Chanel fan, and is a brand ambassador for the fashion house. Pictured with Karl and her mother in 2015
As of 2023, none of the people listed on the will have been able to claim their due, in part because of debts the designer had acquired during his lifetime, and because his accountant, Lucien Frydlender, shut up shop in 2019 and refused to take the claimants’ calls.
On top of this, Le Point has revealed that several of the designers’ assets, including his properties portfolio, were registered in several countries – include the US, Monaco, Liechtenstein and France, making it even harder to divide his estate between his heirs.
For instance, Lagerfeld had a company registered in Delaware, which included two real estate companies holding properties for the designer, while a British company looks after SARL Studio 7 L, which holds the exploration rights for the designer’s catalogue and his Parisian photography studio.
And different companies can co-own some of the assets of the late designer, which has complicated the matter of who would inherit what.
Also named in the will are British creative consultant Amanda Harlech, a long-time collaborator of Lagerfeld, as well as Virginie Viard, who succeeded him as Chanel’s creative director and Sandy Brant, the partner of the late journalist Ingrid Sischy.
Meanwhile, Lagerfeld’s muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, who is expecting his first child later this year, is thought to be set to inherit 30 per cent of the designer’s assets.
And his beloved Birman cat Choupette, who has secured an invite to next month’s Met Gala which will honour Lagerfeld’s career, should inherit 1.5million euros.
Others listed include the model Brad Kroenig and his son Hudson, 12, who was Lagerfeld’s godson and made his fashion debut on the Chanel runway.
Sebastien Jondeau, the designer’s chauffeur, who has described himself as Lagerfeld’s ‘spiritual heir,’ also made the cut.
Éric Pfrunder, who was Chanel’s artistic director from 1983 to 2021 and died in 2022, was meant to receive Lagerfeld’s photography collections, excluding the snaps he took from Baptiste Giabiconi and Sebastien Jondeau.