Hans Rausing found love with his second wife Julia after drugs tragedy (2024)

They married at the magnificent Woburn Abbey, home of the Duke and duch*ess of Bedford.

It was a fairytale setting for the marriage of art expert Julia Delves Broughton and the troubled billionaire and Tetra Pak heir Hans.

The couple found love and happiness together in their fifties when,despite upbringings of privilege, theyhad both suffered great personal tragedy in their lives.

Their wedding in 2014 was an opportunity for their two families to put behind them a seemingly endless list of catastrophes- including murder, suicide, drugs and a fatal accident.

Friends of Mr Rausing credited Julia with bringing him happiness after his wife Eva's life was destroyed by her addiction to crack cocaine. Hans had concealed her body for two monthsbecause he could not 'confront the reality' of her death and 'could not cope' without her.

His second wife, who lost two siblings in tragic circ*mstances, helped him fight his own addiction and encouraged him to be extraordinarily generous with their charitable trust. But tragedy has hit again just ten years on as his beloved Julia died from cancer yesterday, aged 63.

In the years since they wed, shehad dedicated herself to a life of philanthropy along with her husband, whose friends have said that his main satisfaction in life has always been giving money to good causes.

One friend told The Independent: 'They were palpably in love and affectionate towards each other and were a very touching couple who focused most of their time on how to give away money to those in need.

'They were also discreetly social while she also for many years had to battle cancer. Without a doubt, she was responsible for bringing Hans back from appalling grief and helping him find joy in life again.'

Hans and Julia on a yacht around 5 years ago.Friends have said that she met 'resolutely private' Hans when he was at his lowest ebb.

The National Gallery and other arts organisations have received tens of millions of pounds in donations from the Rausings (pictured at the NationalPortrait Gallery's reopening party in June 2023)

Eva and Hans met in rehab in the US and battled with class A drug addiction for years

Apart from Hans, Julia's other passions were her family, friends and their dogs as well as painting and travel - although the last trip shared on her Instagram was to Venice in January last year, perhaps as her health battle worsened.

The couple had donated £330million in more than 1,000 grants, including £50million to UK charities annually, through the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust which they co-founded.

Most recently they provided a £18million 'lifeline' for small and medium charities under the Charity Survival Fund in 2020, as well as a £16.5million emergency donation for other Covid causes, including a £1million donation for the Mail Force campaign.

Julia had been battling cancer, succumbing to it yesterday surrounded by her family.

They married at the magical Woburn Abbey, surrounded by friends and family, just two years after the Tetra Pak heir's first wife, Eva, died of cocaine abuse in 2012.

Friends have said that she met 'resolutely private' Hans when he was at his lowest ebb.

He had just been given a 10-month suspended prison sentence after he hid her body in his house for two months and prevented her 'decent and lawful burial' because he was unable to 'let her leave'.

Rausing did not enter the family business. Rausing's father, also called Hans, sold his stake in Tetra Pak, the Swedish family's packaging company, for £4.3 billion in 1995.

Julia Rausing (pictured with her husband at Serpentine Gallery summer party in 2015) passed away peacefully on Thursday morning surrounded by her family, her friends have revealed

The couple had donated £330million in more than 1,000 grants, including £50million to UK charities annually, through the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust which they co-founded

Hans and Julia Rausing (pictured in 2016) married in 2014 and formed one of the world's leading philanthropic forces

Hans will always be known for the drug overdose death of his first wife, whom he covered in clothing and bags for weeks to hide her in their £70million mansion.

The couple met in rehab in the US and battled with class A drug addiction for years.

Mrs Rausing had a heart valve replaced in 2006 and had a pacemaker fitted. She died from cocaine intoxication and the effects of a heart condition.

Julia's family name will always be associated with the infamous 'White Mischief' murder case in which his father, Sir Jock, was acquitted of killing his wife's lover the Earl of Erroll in Kenya's Happy Valley in 1941.

She is also younger sister of the late fashionista Isabella Blow, who committed suicide in May 2007.

Years earlier, when they were children, according to family folklore, Isabella was told by her mother to 'keep an eye' on her brother John.

But she was momentarily distracted just as the boy, who had been eating toast, was taking off his shoes and stepping into the ornamental pond. He suddenly pitched forward, and within two minutes was dead.

He didn't die of drowning but from asphyxiation, having fallen after choking on the toast.

At the inquest, the tragedy was described by the coroner as a 'one-in-a-million chance' with no one to blame.

But Isabella, who grew up to be the flamboyant and much-admired fashionista, spent the rest of her life agonisingly believing her mother did blame her for Johnny's death.

For her part, Julia remembers nothing of the pond tragedy, which happened when she was three.

Despite marrying at one of Britain's grandest country homes, Woburn Abbey, it was said to be a low key and quiet affair.

But if their wedding day was discreet, a party held that November at the prestigious venue One Mayfair in central London was anything but.

Assembled to toast the new Mr and Mrs Rausing were aristocrats, arty-types and assorted acolytes.

They included TV presenter Jools Holland, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry's socialite son Otis and his then girlfriend, model Edie Campbell, milliner Philip Treacy, conservationist Desmond Guinness, property tycoon Gerald Ronson, hedge fund manager Rod Barker and his TV presenter partner Tania Bryer — among others.

Announcing the passing of Julia – a 'much-loved wife, stepmother, sister and daughter' - her family said: 'Julia was widely known for her unwavering commitment to philanthropy and her impactful contributions to various charitable causes.

'She co-founded The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust with her husband in 2014, a charitable fund supporting good causes in the UK and beyond.

'She was instrumental in building the Trust into one of the largest philanthropic funds in the country donating to causes across Health, Welfare, and the Arts. Notable amongst her many achievements was the speed with which she responded to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, masterminding an initiative to provide over £35million funding to help charities survive this turbulent time.

'She took a keen interest in all the Trust's giving, no matter how large or small the grant.'

Mr Rausing said of the death of his wife: 'We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of my beloved wife Julia after an extended illness.

'Julia dedicated her life to her family and charitable causes, and she will be missed by all who knew her. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy across many charities which we will continue in her name.'

She is survived by Hans, four stepchildren, sister and mother.

The National Gallery and other arts organisations have received tens of millions of pounds in donations from the Rausings, and they were leading forces in fundraising for charities during the pandemic.

Hans has supported addiction charities also backed by the Princess of Wales. But she is not the only member of the Royal Family who is sympathetic to Mr Rausing.

Another, even more influential, figure is the King himself, who often expressed his appreciation of Rausing's philanthropy when he was Prince of Wales.

In July 2006, he publicly thanked Rausing for the donation he had made to the Prince's Regeneration Trust. 'I am delighted to say that we have already attracted some serious support from one very special philanthropist,' said Prince Charles.

At the time, of course, Eva Rausing was still alive, and she was to receive the backing of the Prince of Wales when she was arrested in 2008 for carrying crack and heroin into the American Embassy in London in her handbag.

The Prince insisted she should be given a 'second chance', and refused to allow her to be struck off as a trustee from one of his charities.

As an aide to Charles said at the time: 'The Prince's charities work with young people, many of whom have had problems with drugs. They aim to give these people a second chance to help them rebuild their lives.

'It would therefore be hypocritical for the Prince not to give Eva Rausing a second chance.'

A figure who was close to both Prince Charles and Eva Rausing explained further: 'He knew of her troubled background and began to feel very paternal towards her.'

Hans Rausing found love with his second wife Julia after drugs tragedy (2024)
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