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Sticky Topic Topic: Interesting Women of the Nobility  (Read 47861 times)
Reply #15
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:34:33 PM »
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Jennie Jerome Churchill





Amongst her paramours were (reputedly) Edward VII (when Prince of Wales) and King Milan of Serbia.

She married Randolph Churchill then, 5 years after his death,  George Cornwallis-West (brother of Princess Daisy of Pless). Her 2nd husband was only 2 weeks older than her son Winston. During this time she achieved notoriety by chartering a hospital ship to care for those wounded in the Boer War. It was during this marriage, in 1908, that she wrote The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill. They separated in 1912 and were divorced in April 1914. Jennie then married a third time, on June 1, 1918, to Montague Phippen Porch (1877–1964), a member of the British Civil Service in Nigeria and some three years Winston's junior. At the end of World War I Porch resigned from the colonial service; in 1921 he returned to Africa, in search of a fortune.

During her first marriage, regardless of her affairs, her loyalty was always to Lord Randolph. She supported his causes, and wielded considerable power behind the scenes, even to the degree of writing many of his speeches. Her second and third marriages seemed to have never held that loyalty which she showed for him.

While her husband was in Africa, Jennie, aged 67, fell downstairs while visiting friends in Somerset, breaking her ankle. Gangrene set in, and her left leg was amputated. She died suddenly at home in London, after a haemorrhage of an artery in the thigh, in 1921. She was buried in the Churchill family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire, near her first husband and sons.

[information courtesy of wikipedia]

Lady Randolph was a close friend of Marie, Duchess of Edinburgh and Coburg (born Grand Duchess Marie of Russia) and they had a long correspondence.

Some books:

Lady Randolph Spencer Churchill. The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill, 1908 (Autobiography)
Anita Leslie. Lady Randolph Churchill: The Story of Jennie Jerome, 1968 [Anita Leslie was the great-niece of Jennie]
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - The Romantic Years, 1854-1895 (Prentice-Hall, Ninth printing, 1969)
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - Volume II, The Dramatic Years, 1895-1921 (Prentice-Hall, 1971) ISBN 0-13-509760-6

There was also a miniseries in the 1970s entitled Jennie.
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Reply #16
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:36:36 PM »
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Jennie



Jennie with John & Winston in 1889



A great beauty and social figure, Lady Randolph was a dominating if distant presence in Winston's childhood. In his own account of his early life, he compares her to a "fairy princess" and the Evening Star, and admits, "I loved her dearly--but at a distance."
« Last Edit: May 11, 2007, 09:46:47 PM by grandduchessella » Logged

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Reply #17
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:40:19 PM »
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Jennie with son John during the Boer War



John on his wedding day to Lady Gwendoline Bertie



Jennie's great-grandson, Winston Churchill (son of Winston's son Randolph & Pamela Digby) named a daughter Jennie.
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Reply #18
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:46:18 PM »
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Randolph & Jennie



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Reply #19
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:50:12 PM »
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At the famous Devonshire House Ball in 1897

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Reply #20
« on: May 12, 2007, 06:40:46 AM »
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What a wealth of information!  Thanks so much for sharing.  I have read the last two Jenny books you mention:
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - The Romantic Years, 1854-1895 (Prentice-Hall, Ninth printing, 1969)
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - Volume II, The Dramatic Years, 1895-1921 (Prentice-Hall, 1971) ISBN 0-13-509760-6
As a teenager I checked them out of the local library over and over again.  In those days, before computer book check out, I had to sign my name to the card kept in the back of the book.  I am sure my name is listed there about 25 times!  My grandmother was called Jennie (and myself Jenny) and I was convinced we were both named for Jenny Jerome.  My grandmother's given name was Giovanna which she shortened to Jenny when her family came to the US, so my theory of an aristocratic connection was squshed Cry

My favorite photo of Jenny is the one with all the diamond stars in her hair.  My grandmother had a collection of rinestone stars that she would wear in her hair to New Year's Eve Parties in the 1920's and 30's.

A quick question: Daisy Leiter...........is she Mary's sister?  I know sometimes ambitious American mother's would try to marry-off several daughters into the  British aristocracy.
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Reply #21
« on: May 12, 2007, 12:08:33 PM »
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Here are some of Lady Curzon:



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Reply #22
« on: May 12, 2007, 02:57:11 PM »
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Yes, Daisy was Mary's sister. She paid her sister a visit in India and fell in love with an aide-de-camp to Curzon, Henry, the future 19th Earl of Suffolk and 12th Earl of Berkshire. They married in 1904. Another sister, Nancy, also married a British officer, Colin Campbell in 1904.

Daisy:




gogm--Thanks for the picture of the Peacock Dress and a better version of the von Lenbach.  Smiley
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Reply #23
« on: May 12, 2007, 03:02:19 PM »
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Some more about Daisy (Marguerite):

The daughter of successful Chicago businessman Levi Zeigler Leiter, Marguerite fell in love with an English officer, whom she met while visiting her sister in India. Henry Molyneux Paget Howard (1877-1917) later became 19th Earl of Suffolk and 12th Earl of Berkshire. They were married in Washington DC on Boxing Day (December 26th) of 1904. They had three children, Charles, Cecil and Greville. They traveled extensively particularly to India, and went on safaris in Africa. The tall, beautiful Countess was adventurous and loved fast cars and the newly invented airplane. The Earl was killed in action in Mesopotamia in World War I. 

Marguerite’s father, Levi Zeigler Leiter, was a rich and vindictive man, who was angry that Daisy did not visit him often enough. Upon his death, he stipulated in his will that if she wanted her inheritance, which amounted to $48 million dollars, she would have to live 4 months of every year in the U.S.A. 

Marguerite arrived in Tucson in the late 20's and spent the winters here. Why she chose Tucson is not known. She suffered from arthritis in her back later in her life, which could have been one of the reasons. She built a house in 1936. It was the first air-conditioned home in Tucson. She called it Forest Lodge. It is today the Immaculate Heart Convent and the land surrounding it is the Suffolk Hills Community. Later as the town grew northward, she sold the property and in 1957, purchased the land/property in Oracle where Biosphere II is now located. She built Casa del Oro, her private estate.

She still had her spirit of adventure and kept her airplane in her front yard and a Bentley in her garage. Stone, a former RAF pilot, was her pilot as well as her chauffeur. Together they flew from San Francisco to the Amazon. Marguerite died in 1969 aboard her airplane as Stone flew her to Los Angeles to visit one of her sons.

Daisy's son Charles, the 20th Earl



He, like his father, died in combat. He was killed in 1941. His son is the current Earl. The youngest brother, Greville, is still living.

Here's what wikipedia says about Charles:

"Charles Howard, Earl of Suffolk (1906-May 12, 1941) was an English bomb disposal expert.

As Liaison Officer for the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Research during World War II, the 20th Earl of Suffolk was charged with rescuing rare machine tools, $10 million worth of industrial diamonds, fifty French scientists and heavy water.The Earl, accompanied by his private confidential secretary, Eileen Beryl Marden, comprised a part of France's scientific elite as the Nazis advanced through the country. The Earl and Miss Marden were successful in their objective of ushering the the scientists out of France, as well as securing the industrial diamonds and heavy water. Howard's approach to his missions earned him the nickname "Mad Jack".

Following his return from France, the Earl worked for the Ministry of Supply as a Research Officer learning how to defuse bombs of new types. The Earl served as part of an unexploded bomb detachment in London during the Blitz. The detachment consisted of himself, Miss Marden, and his chauffeur, Fred Hards. They called themselves "the Holy Trinity" and they became famed for their prowess in detecting and successfully tackling thirty four unexploded bombs with "urbane and smiling efficiency." Miss Marden stood by his side taking notes, as the Earl worked at defusing the bombs. Sadly, the thirty-fifth claimed its forfeit when all were killed on Erith Marshes in Kent on May 12, 1941. He was awarded the George Cross.

In 1973, the BBC based a television drama series on the life of the Earl. Ronald Pickup played the leading role in The Dragon's Opponent.

BBC "The People's War: The Earl and the Secretary" "
« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 03:23:28 PM by grandduchessella » Logged

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Reply #24
« on: May 13, 2007, 06:29:35 PM »
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Now on to Nancy.............why does the name Colin Campbell sound so familiar?  Any relation to the Campbell Clan that Princess Louise married into (Ian Campbell/Lord Lorne/Duke of Argyll)?  I think the Duke had a brother Colin, but he would be of the wrong generation.  Perhaps his son or grandson?
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Reply #25
« on: May 13, 2007, 11:13:03 PM »
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I've found little so far but did come across this:

Chicago History Museum opened its doors after a 19-month, $27 million remodeling and welcomed a stunning crowd of 725 guests.

The new layout gives guests some quick eye candy: They walk straight in past a 1978 low-rider Chevy Monte Carlo and other colorful artifacts, where benefit committee co-chairs Alison de Frise and Susan Higinbotham welcomed arrivals.

Ms. de Frise recalled that some of her great-great-grandfather (and Marshall Field’s original partner) Levi Leiter’s old ledgers were in the museums’ collections, as well as some dresses that belonged to her grandmother, Nancy Leiter Campbell. “It’s absolutely extraordinary that we raised $1.5 million tonight, and that makes it a wonderful evening,” she said.

Also this:

From 1919-1945, the “Campbell Ranch” at Coal Oil Point was owned by a rich and colorful family that included Mrs. Colin Campbell (née Nancy Leiter,whose father was Marshall Fields’s original partner and the owner of onethird of all of the commercial real estate in Chicago) and her sister (whowas the wife of Britain’s Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon). Nancy’s brother Joe, who managed the property, turned out to be better at enjoying horses and yachts than handling money, and that eventually led to a lawsuit filed by another sister (who happened to be the Dowager Countess of Suffolk).

Coal Oil Point is in Santa Barbara, California. Remnants of Sands Beach's past still exist, including a memorial gravestone to Colin Powys Campbell, a retired British army officer who built a major estate on the land when he purchased it in 1919. "Many of the original buildings from the Campbell estate are still present at Sands today, including the access road, barn and the family’s mansion, currently the main building of the Devereux School for children and adults with developmental problems. Part of the Campbell family’s former beach house, located at the base of the cliff, currently serves as the site of a display of brightly colored aerosol murals. Commonly referred to as “the jail,” the walls of the crumbling beach house are coated with layers of spray paint that have been documented by UCSB art studio professor Michael Arntz in a series of photographs on display in Davidson Library."

A picture of 'the artwork'. Yuck.



Nancy had 2 children: Colin Leiter Campbell (1907-1962) and Mary Campbell Clark.

Nancy had a namesake niece, daughter of her brother, Nancy Leiter Clagett who was a renowned sailor. "C. Thomas Clagett married Nancy Leiter in 1940.  Nancy was an extremely accomplished sailor.  Arthur Shuman designed and built an 8 meter for her and she campaigned her 8 meter consistently  beating well known sailors such as Charles Francis Adams and William T. Aldrich.  Tom sailed a great deal with Nancy but would seldom crew for her in a race.  “She was too tough” he would later admit.  They shared 37 years of marriage, cruising the waters of the East coast from Maine to the Caribbean, on various boats of their own and also with friends.  They supported many America’s Cup boats starting in 1964.  Tom continued this support until the mid 1990's, even after Nancy died in 1977....After Nancy died in 1977, Tom donated 6 Lasers and a Trophy in her memory to The Ida Lewis Yacht Club.  The Leiter Trophy is now US Sailing’s Jr. Women’s Single Handed Championship.  Later Tom saw the need for Jr. Women to also have a Double Handed Championship and through US Sailing he initiated The Ida Lewis Trophy which is now US Sailing's Jr. Women’s Double Handed Championship.  These two very successful US Sailings models have helped to elevate the skill level of Junior Women racers. "
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 05:31:52 AM by grandduchessella » Logged

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Reply #26
« on: May 13, 2007, 11:18:28 PM »
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From Time magazine in 1937:

When old Chicago's Levi Zeigler Leiter died in 1904, aged 69, he left behind him a wife, a son, three daughters and $30,000,000....Before he died he had given his son Joseph $1,000,000 as a Harvard graduation present (1891), seen him almost corner the U. S. wheat market and lose $9,750,000 (1898), become a famed horse racer and sportsman. He had seen his daughter Mary wed a Britisher who became Lord Curzon, and Viceroy of India. He had seen his daughter Marguerite marry another English title, become the Countess of Suffolk & Berkshire, and his daughter Nancy pick as her second husband Lieutenant Colonel Colin Powys Campbell of the British Army.....

That they did fight, Chicago remembers only too well. For eight long years Marguerite sat on one side of a courtroom flanked by various Leiter-blooded, titled British progeny, staring icily across at her brother Joseph's bald head, demanding that the Illinois courts remove him as trustee of the Levi Leiter estate, charging incompetence and extravagance, calling for a special accounting. Sister Nancy Campbell stood by Joseph. Perhaps he had once schemed to buy the Great Wall of China and preserve it for posterity. What if he did once order 50 dozen pairs of silk socks? "I am a hard-headed American businessman," he told the court. "While my sisters were going to Europe marrying titles, I stayed by our property and managed it."

Finding that he had increased the estate's working capital from $12,920,000 to $17,387,000 in the 26 years of his trusteeship the court refused in March 1931 to remove him as trustee. Six weeks later, when the special audit was completed, Joseph resigned voluntarily. Lawyers' fees for the eight-year quarrel were $1,012,500. Joseph died in 1932. He caught cold watching horse races at New Orleans, insisted on returning to the track blanketed in a wheelchair, took pneumonia. His estate totalled approximately $1,000,000. Sister Mary died in 1906, with no sons to inherit her husband's title. Lord Curzon married again, a Mrs. Alfred Duggan; was elevated to be a Marquess, making Mrs. Duggan a Marchioness. Sister Nancy died in 1930. Sister Marguerite lives on as the Dowager Countess of Suffolk & Berkshire. Awaiting her death for their termination are trust restrictions on part of the Leiter fortune which last week were again before the courts in Chicago.

When the widow of Levi Leiter died in 1913 she created a $600,000 trust fund of her own. She then had three living children. She provided that the income from the $600,000 should go to three selected grandsons, but the boys must live in Chicago half of each year and work for their grandfather's estate. When the last of Levi Leiter's own children died, the three boys would get the $600,000. But if they failed to do their duty by Chicago, the $600,000 would be divided among all the grandchildren, including seven granddaughters.

Polo-playing Tommy Leiter, 27, son of Joseph, lives in Washington, D. C. Colin Campbell, 30, son of Nancy, lives in California where he is an official in a cement machine business. Cecil John Arthur Howard, 29, son of Marguerite, lives regularly in London, is at present in California recuperating from illness. Last week all three were suing the Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co., trustee of the estate, asking that the Chicago residence and work provisions be vacated since there is really no work to do in connection with the Leiter estate. Named as co-defendants are Levi Leiter's seven grandchildren.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 11:21:01 PM by grandduchessella » Logged

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Reply #27
« on: May 14, 2007, 05:33:24 AM »
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Nancy Leiter Campbell was described by one noted artist as America's most beautiful young woman. 

Apparently, Daisy Leiter, in the year of her debut, wished to marry a poor man, Bob Wallach. This potential elopement was 'thwarted by the betrayal of a false friend' according to a newspaper headline. Soon after, she was linked to the Earl of Suffolk but didn't marry him for several more years. In fact, in the late 1890s (after she was first linked to Suffolk) she was apparently linked to her future brother-in-law, Colin Campbell.  In 1920, her son, the 14th Earl, accidentally discharged his gun & shattered the foot of his younger brother, Cecil, necessitating the amputation of the limb.
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Reply #28
« on: May 19, 2007, 01:51:24 PM »
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Gladys Deacon, 9th Duchess of Marlborough, 2nd wife of Charles 'Sunny' Spencer Churchill

Gladys Marie Deacon was born in Paris to American parents and christened in their home city of Boston. While wealthy, they weren't of the class of the Vanderbilts or Astors.  Her parents marriage disintegrated under sensational circumstances when her father shot her mother's lover dead in the Hotel Splendide in Cannes when Gladys was 11. Her sister Dorothy would marry Prince Albrecht/Albert "Aba" Radziwill. The headlines would continue when after her parents divorced, her mother kidnapped her as her father had been given custody of the children. Gladys would spend little time in America, living mostly in France where she became the “Toast of Paris”.

At 16, she was an accredited beauty, mostly distinguished by her eyes. Some described her blazing blue eyes as "disturbing" and by her teens she was already considered a siren. She had more than just her looks to recommend her. Her conversation shone, her profile was just short of perfection. To make it impeccably Grecian, she had wax injected at the bridge of her nose. As the years passed it began to trickle chinward, ravaging her features. Yet a weird, mutilated beauty survived. She also possessed a cutting wit, a sharp intelligence and was a brilliant conversationalist. Unfortunately, she was also self-absorbed, vain, jealous, petty, a liar, a user and undependable. She loved the power she had from preying on the emotions of others--especially the many men who eventually fell under her spell.

In 1897, she met Charles Spencer Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough, then recently married to her fellow American Consuelo Vanderbilt. [Though I also read that she was a bridesmaid at their wedding, so I'm not sure.] Gladys enchanted them both and visited at Blenheim. From the time she was 14, she had lamented that Consuelo Vanderbilt was to marry the Duke of Marlborough and had claimed that "if only I was a little older I might `catch' him." The Marlborough's marriage, always one of convenience (money for a title) soon disintegrated and the couple led separate lives. Gladys would become Sunny's mistress, though he and Consuelo didn't divorce for over a decade after they separated.

She had many admirers during her 25-year campaign to marry Marlborough when he and Consuelo were divorced. The art critic Bernard Berenson was mesmerized by the teen-age Gladys, and his wife, though jealous, felt the same. "She is radiant and sphinxlike ... Enchanting, but tiring. A wonderful creature, but too much of a born actress to take quite seriously. But so beautiful, so graceful, so changeful in a hundred moods, so brilliant that it is enough to turn anyone's head," she wrote, adding perceptively that "part of her mysteriousness comes from her being, as it were, sexless." There were other flaws. Gladys was a liar, cruel, selfish, perverse, vulgar.

Her friendships, though ardent, usually ended in disappointment. The philosopher Count Hermann von Keyserling begged her to marry him, but she rebuffed him. The poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who saw in her "something of a lascivious young god in girl's clothes," confessed she caused him "a mysterious and sometimes very painful feeling of needing." Proust, Degas (who painted her), Rodin, Rilke, Giraudoux and George Moore were all bewildered or enslaved. The artist, Boldini, was as well and he painted the most well-known portrait of her. Ironically, it seems to be one of the few, considering her legendary good looks. A 2nd cousin, Eugene Higgins, would leave her a large sum in his will.
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Reply #29
« on: May 19, 2007, 01:51:40 PM »
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Gladys had plentiful suitors--from princes to duke to earls. In 1901, the Crown Prince of Germany fell in love with her while visiting Blenheim while in England. When Gladys vacationed in Germany with Consuelo, an Imperial ADC accompanied them to ensure that Gladys didn't have contact with the smitten prince. [In 1920, there was a postscript to this relationship. Gladys was awarded $2,500 damages in her suit against the Daily Graphic for its publication of the report that she had been expelled form Germany because of her friendship for the former Crown Prince. Her lawyer said his client had met the Crown Prince before the war at Blenheim Castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. Afterwards she went to school at Bonn, but never communicated with the Crown Prince and never heard from him, she said.]  Later, around 1919, there was the Duke of Connaught, the late Queen Victoria's son, who had been widowed several years when he met the then-39 year old Gladys. He pursued her, though probably more in romantic friendship (he had a weakness for American women, including Consuelo's sister-in-law Jennie's sister Leonie) than true romance. Engagement stories did leak out though. The relationship came to a sudden and bitter end when, after a misunderstanding, she wrote the elderly Duke a letter full of "cruel and seething words." The Duke of Norfolk, was also her lapdog, almost literally since she had him get down on all fours at her order to play dog for her entertainment. Still, she continued to hold out for Sunny.

She finally got her wish when Sunny and Consuelo divorced in 1921, when she was 40 and he 49. The couple married at the Church of Saint Genevieve, Paris. Gladys soon found that Blenheim Palace (for which he had married Consuelo) was what truly held his affections. Gladys pruned roses, cultivated a rock garden full of snakes, and bred spaniels in the state rooms. The couple soon realized how different they were--and how different Gladys was from Consuelo. Gladys preferred to remain at home while the Duke went out dancing and partying.  When they gave receptions in later years, he frequently stood alone at the head of the stairs. During the London Season of 1933, he lived alone at the Ritz Hotel, gave big week-end parties without her at Blenheim Castle. Eventually the marriage turned into one of mutual antipathy. One night during a dinner party she placed a revolver beside her plate. Her startled partner asked her what she meant to do with it. "Oh! I don't know, I might just shoot Marlborough." The Duke moved out of their home in 1933 and established a campaign to drive her out of the home, including cutting off electricity, gas and phone. She retaliated by beginning to load moving vans full of possessions until he got an injunction. The Duke died (of natural causes!) in 1934 before he could divorce her. Her marriage, she later wrote, was "like a black heavy cloud leaving such a disgusted pain that for years & even now I cannot bear to even brush by it in thought."

Her widowhood was a life much different from her previous existence. Along with her home, most of her friends were lost to her. Gladys meanwhile lived in a self-imposed exile. Her address was never published in reference books, and even the friends left to her could not contact her. She removed herself to a remote cottage, wore rubber boots and a straw hat with an old court dress, bred dogs that she walked at night with an oil lamp. Finally she took to greeting callers with a shotgun. It's thought that the treatments she'd sought to maintain her looks had left her disfigured or that the efforts were unsuccessful--either way, she preferred to be left alone. When at 81, in 1962, she was hauled off to a psychiatric hospital, she seemed no more than a crazy old witch. In 1968 she was living at St. Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, England, 94 and far from mad. "Sometimes something happens that is so awful that it cuts you off and after that you don't care," she told her eventual biographer, Hugo Vickers, who paid her dozens of visits before her death.

She died on October 13 1977 at age 95. She was buried in the village graveyard at Chacombe Grange after a short service at St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church. The only people present at her internment were her oldcaretaker, a representative of the Marlborough family, an old friend of the Duchess, and the Church Warden, Mr John Schilizzi.

A book, The Face on the Sphinx by Daphne Fielding, was published about her in 1978. Cecil Beaton, who had known & sketched her in 1920s, wrote that he had seen her in her 'twilight days' but that there were times she was still rational and that he wished he had 'enlarged' his feelings of her back when 'she was still above board'. He found her much more 'accessible' after reading the Fielding book and could've learned much from her. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 02:15:36 PM by grandduchessella » Logged

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