United Kingdom

Aristocrat cousin of Camilla accuses estranged wife of lying and being 'past child-bearing age'

An aristocrat has accused his estranged wife of falsely claiming she was five years younger than she was - and costing him a larger family as a result.

Charles Villiers, 58, who is related to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, filed for divorce from his wife Emma Villiers, 62, in Scotland in 2014. 

The long-running dispute, which has seen the pair both become 'financially ruined' following the breakdown of their marriage, has now been rocked by new claims that Villiers' wife may have been aged 40, rather than 35, when they wed.

Charles Villiers, pictured with partner Heidi Innes, has accused his estranged wife Emma of 'misrepresenting' her age and being five years older when they married

He said that her age was entered as 30 on an earlier marriage certificate from 1984, meaning she could not have been 35 when they wed a decade later.

Villiers, who was 31 at the time of the marriage, claims that the couple were unable to conceive more children after their daughter was born and speculates he may have married 'under false pretences', believing his wife to be younger than she was.

He told The Sunday Times: 'I'm left in the situation that my wife might still try to claim millions of pounds off me, solely owing to the fact that we were married when, arguably, she married me under false pretences as I believed she was in her thirties, not in her forties in 1994, almost past child-bearing.'

Emma Villiers, pictured with the couple's daughter, Clarissa, has not responded to the claims

Villiers was also puzzled by the fact his wife did not want to celebrate her milestone birthdays.

'My wife didn't seem to want either her ostensible 40th, 45th or 50th birthdays celebrated - so neither were celebrated with any kind of part, nor with any relations or friends of hers.'

He added: 'If It was a genuine error made in the creation of a marriage certificate document, not one word of explanation has ever been offered to me by Emma in 27 years.' 

MailOnline reached out to Mrs Villiers, but she declined to comment on the accusations.

Last month, the divorce case made the headlines after Mr Justice Mostyn, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, considered arguments over money at a private hearing.

He concluded that Mr Villiers, who lived with his wife in an 18th century mansion in Milton, near Dumbarton, could not afford to pay maintenance Mrs Villiers said she could get. 

In a written ruling, the judge said that the 'terrible' litigation had 'endured for nearly six years'.

He said Mr and Mrs Villiers had been left 'financially ruined', and said he suspected that both were also 'psychologically damaged'. 

During their marriage, the couple lived in an 18th century mansion in Milton, near Dumbarton

Judges previously heard how Mr and Mrs Villiers separated in 2012 after 18 years of marriage. Mr Villiers still lives in Scotland, but Mrs Villiers now lives in London.

The judge said both Mr and Mrs Villiers had made accusations against the other after 'love' turned to 'hatred'.

'This case has been played out in the public eye and has attracted much lurid publicity,' he said in his ruling.

'That has been a product of an exceptionally strong mutual antipathy.

'This has been a case where love has to hatred turned to an extraordinary degree.'

He said 'hours' had been spent 'picking over ancient grievances' during the hearing he oversaw.

'The husband has vented his spleen by alleging that the wife is a bigamist,' Mr Justice Mostyn said.

'The husband has accused the wife of being a fraudster, a fantasist and generally useless.

'The wife, with some justification, has accused the husband of being dishonest, manipulative, vindictive and bullying.

'But she is not beyond criticism herself.

'She has conducted her pursuit of the husband in this litigation in a completely disproportionate manner and has wilfully blinded herself to the reality that the vast amounts of inherited funds that she believes that the husband has at his disposal are, in fact, a chimera.'

The divorce proceedings, which are ongoing, are expected to be settled at Dumbarton sheriff court. 

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