A distant cousin of the Duchess of Cornwall is alleged to have taken his own life, after falling on hard times that left him sleeping on friends’ sofas and declared bankrupt.
Charles Villiers, aged 59, was found dead by a housekeeper in his room at the Durrants Hotel in Marylebone, according to The Times.
He had previously been staying on a yacht in the Greek islands, but it had been arranged for Charles to fly back to the UK to visit a mental health facility due to his state of mind.
Instead of going to the clinic as intended, Charles checked into the Durrants Hotel and after one day it has been reported that he took his own life.
Charles, who is a distant cousin of the Duchess of Cornwall on his mothers side, was once a racehorse owner and previously co-owned multiple newspapers.
He split from estranged wife Emma Villiers in 2012 and filed for divorce in 2014, however their conflict has still not been been resolved making their divorce one of the longest cases on record.
Over the past eight years the case has been seen by five courts and 20 judges - there was even a police investigation against Mrs Villiers.
There were allegations of bigamy but they were dismissed at a later date.
Many of the problems in the case were geographical, as Charles argued that the divroce should be settled in a Scottish court as he and his wife lived there since they were married in 1994.
It also had the added benefit that in Scottish court inherited wealth is not taken into account when dividing assets.
However, Emma moved to England after the split and divorce rules are different in English courts.
In an English court a claimant can request financial support for years, if not decades after the separation.
After many years of arguments, the Supreme court ruled against Mr Villiers and told Mrs Villiers that she could proceed to ask for maintenance in England - she requested £3.5million.
However, in 2021 it was ruled that Charles was heavily in debt by Mr Justice Mostyn of the High Court’s family division - which meant he did not have to pay the money to Emma.
Mrs Villiers appealed the decision and Charles was ordered to pay £10,000 a year in maintenance.
Mr Villiers was set to marry opera singer Heidi Innes, 45, but she ended their relationship earlier this year.
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