Hans Kristian Rausing, the son of one of the world's richest men, is due in court Wednesday after his wife was found dead last week.
Rausing was charged Tuesday "with preventing the lawful and decent burial" of his wife, Eva, London police said.
Her body was found last week when police searched the couple's home, in an expensive London neighborhood, after he was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and arrested on drug charges.
Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, is the son of Hans Rausing, who is worth an estimated $10 billion, thanks to the family's connection to Swedish packaging giant Tetra Laval.
He is to appear Wednesday at West London Magistrates' Court.
The death of his 48-year-old wife remains unexplained pending further tests, police said Friday, but the heiress's previous problems with drugs are well documented.
Her father, Tom Kemeny, paid tribute Tuesday to his "beloved daughter." He described her as an "American philanthropist, loving wife and mother, who helped countless addicts, and children." The tribute was e-mailed to reporters by a public relations firm representing the family.
Recounting her early life, starting with her birth in Hong Kong in 1963, Kemeny painted a picture of a bright and loving, but shy, girl. "We think she started experimenting with drugs in her late teens to overcome her shyness," he wrote, adding that this drug use affected her studies in California.
He also paid tribute to her sharp wit and intelligence, devotion to her children and care for others. A Kemeny family statement released with his tribute said: "We believe her tragic death highlights the scourge of drugs and that it does not matter how rich, intelligent or beautiful you are, you can still be impacted and overcome by this terrible disease."
Kemeny said the best way to remember his daughter would be to carry on her efforts to help those battling addiction, especially women.