Manny and Brigitta Davidson are a remarkable couple. Their parents, emigres from Latvia and from Nazi-occupied Poland, strove to keep their heads above water and give their children a future in which to prosper. Together, Manny and Brigitta built a business empire from nothing, having survived the terrible Blitz on London during the Second World War.
Their two children, however, have lived altogether different lives. Charmed lives, some might say. The Davidsons' business did so well that their offspring went to the finest schools, enjoyed luxury holidays and lived in beautiful homes here and abroad. As their success grew, the Davidsons set up a trust fund for their son and daughter, with two purposes. First, to provide generous incomes for them - it is currently delivering approximately GBP20 million a year. The second purpose was to protect the family's wealth for the future benefit of their children and further generations. That wealth included the beautiful Jacobean manor, Lyegrove House in Gloucestershire, and all its priceless contents of art and other treasures.
Sadly, their children decided that they would wait no longer before laying claim to all that their parents had provided, and seized control of the trust in a cruel and punishing way, which led to legal action, and even to court
Today, the Davidsons live in Monaco, estranged from their son and daughter. They have lost their children, as surely as those children have lost their parents. This is their story, in which they can be forgiven for echoing Shakespeare's line: 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.'