Saturday, May 18, 2024

Angela, Lady Buchan-Hepburn (died 2024)

Angela, Lady Buchan-Hepburn, who died 12 May, 2024, was the widow of Sir Ninian Buchan-Hepburn, 6th Baronet, and mother of the Duchess of Northumberland.

She was (Mary) Angela Scott, daughter of Thomas Ian Scott, of Balfunning, Balfron, Stirlingshire, & his wife, Charlotte, and was three times married, firstly to Jack Walch Lyne, secondly,  to John Miller Richard, and thirdly, in 1991, as his second wife, Sir Ninian Buchan Archibald John Buchan-Hepburn, 6th Baronet (born 8 Oct, 1922), son of Sir John Buchan-Hepburn, 5th Bt (1894-1961), and his wife the former Jessie Lawrence Smith (died 8 Mar 1961). Her 3rd husband succeeded to his father's baronetcy, 8 Feb, 1961, and he died 22 Feb, 1992.

Lady Buchan-Hepburn leaves issue, (Isobel) Jane, Duchess of Northumberland (born 11 May, 1958), Simon John Miller Richard (born 11 Mar 1960), and Nicola Denise Richard (later Davies) (born 22 Jan 1962), and was predeceased by a daughter, Dorinda.


Friday, May 17, 2024

Dr William Gerard Noel 1965-2024

 Dr William Gerard Noel, who died following an accident,  29 April, 2024, aged 58, was a scion of the Earls of Gainsborough.

The Anglo-American historian died after being hit by a van in Edinburgh. He was struck by a white Citroen Relay van on Trinity Crescent on 10 April. The 58-year-old was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where he died.

Dr Noel, who was previously honoured by the Obama administration for his commitment to open science, was Associate Librarian for Special Collections at Princeton University at the time of his death. He was an eminent scholar of medieval manuscripts best known for directing a project in which the latest technology was used to decipher lost works of Archimedes of Syracuse, the Greek mathematician and inventor who lived in the third century BC.

He was born 1 August, 1965, the second son of Capt Henry Methuen Noel (1927-1998), and his wife the former Helen Elizabeth Anne Hutchison (1935-1992); and married in 2007, Carol Lynn Ransom, wby whom he had a son, Henry Mehtuen Ransom, born in 2010.


Frederick Cresswell Macrae Clementi (born 2024)

 Alice Margaret Clementi [nee Stein], wife of Thomas Cowley Clementi [born 1979], descended from the Earls of Chichester, gave birth to a son, Frederick Cresswell Macrae, 25 April, 2024, a brother for Mary Jane Cowley, who was born 3 September, 2022.

Alice is a daughter of Nigel M. Stein and his wife the former Jane Lennon. 

Tom Clementi is a son of David Cecil Clementi [born 25 Feb, 1949], and his wife the former Sarah Louise Cowley [born 1947]. 

2nd Earl of Chichester > Rt Rev Hon John Pelham > Henry Francis Pelham > Sir Edward Henry Pelham > Susan Pelham > David Cecil Clementi > Thomas Clementi > Frederick Clementi [born 2024]


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The 8th Marquess of Ailesbury 1926-2024

 The Marquess of Ailesbury, 8th holder of the Peerage (created 1821), died 12 May, 2024, following a fall at his London home. He was 98.

The peer fell out of his window at his home while letting his cat out. He died on impact on a concrete patio. By unhappy coincidence, 86 years ago, his mother was killed falling from a window at the Savoy Hotel. 

The Marquess, whose home was in Savernake Forest, Marlborough, Wiltshire, was Marquess of Ailesbury (1821), Earl of Cardigan (1661), Earl of Ailesbury (1776), Earl Bruce (1821), Viscount Savernake (1821), Baron Brudenell (1627/8), Baron Bruce (1746), a Baronet in England (1611), & 30th Hereditary Warden of Savernake Forest.

Michael Sydney Cedric Brudenell-Bruce was born 31 March, 1926, elder son of the 7th Marquess of Ailesbury (1904-1974), and his 1st wife the former Joan Houlton Salter, daughter of Stephen Salter, of Pondwell House, Ryde, Isle of Wight. 

Michael's mother, the then Countess of Cardigan, who had recently returned from South Africa, was killed in July, 1937, when she fell from a seventh floor window at the Savoy Hotel, London, where she was staying alone. The countess, wearing an evening dress, fell near three children who were playing in the street. A coroner returned a verdict that Lady Cardigan had committed suicide whilst of unsound mind.

Michael Brudenell-Bruce succeeded his father in the family honours, 15 July, 1974.

Lord Ailesbury was three times wed. He married firstly, 17 March, 1952 (div 1961), Edwina Sylvia de Winton Wills (1933-2023), the second daughter of Lt Col Sir (Ernest) Edward de Winton Wills, 4th Baronet (1903-1983), of Hazelwood, by his first wife Sylvia Margaret Ogden (died 1946); and married 2ndly, 10 July, 1963 (div 1974), Juliet Adrienne Lethbridge Kingsford, daughter of Edward Hilary Lethbridge Kingsford; and married 3rdly, 18 September, 1974 (div 1992), Caroline Elizabeth Romilly (former wife of Simon Romilly, 1st son of Eric Carnegie Romilly, of Bradfield Court, Bodenham, co. Hereford), only daughter of Cmdr Owen Francis MacTier Wethered, RN, of Remnantz, Marlow, co. Buckingham. 

The Marquess leaves a son from his first marriage, David, Earl of Cardigan, and two daughters, Lady Sylvia (b 19 Jun 1954), and Lady Carina (b 13 Jan 1956); and he leaves two daughters from his 2nd marriage, Lady Louise (b 13 Jul 1964), and Lady Kathryn (b 24 Aug 1965).

The son, David Michael James Brudenell-Bruce, styled Earl of Cardigan (born 12 Nov, 1952), now succeeds as 9th Marquess of Ailesbury.


Peter Phillips and his latest girlfriend's family and background

 Peter Phillips, 46 year-old nephew of the King, the late Queen's eldest grandchild has been seen on the arm of a new girlfriend. The lady, Harriet Sperling, described in the Sun newspaper as "a paediatric and specialist nurse and freelance writer in her 40s" was with Phillips last week at the Badminton Horse Trials where she was introduced to Queen Camilla.

Harriet wrote in March this year of the struggles, and joys, of her life as a single parent bringing up her young daughter. She highlights how while 'parenting solo can be tough' it 'can also be the most beautiful, precious relationship.' Harriet said: 'In the earlier years of my journey as a single mother to my daughter, resources were scarce, and the future was uncertain. 'Yet, in the absence of material security, I discovered the strength and life that comes from true selfless love. A love that is able to be solely devoted to your child.'

Harriet's life as a struggling single parent belies her aristocratic and distinguished ancestry. The NHS nurse was born Harriet Eleanor Sanders, her birth registered at Swindon, in the first quarter of 1980, daughter of solicitor Rupert Hugh Sanders (1944-2023), and his wife the former Mary Elizabeth Hoskins (born 1950), daughter of Richard Samuel Hoskins (1912-78), of Park Corner, Cirencester, and his wife (nee Wakefield).

Harriet's mother featured in Tatler in 1971 on their 'Girls in Pearls' page following the announcement of her engagement to Rupert Sanders, whose ancestry is rich in the landed 'beerage' and stockbroking.

Harriet's grandfather Maj Geoffrey Thomas St John Sanders (1911-86), a High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, married Eleanor De Zoete (1910-78), of the Mill House, Radwell, scion of the De Zoete stockbroking dynasty, daughter of the Old Etonian stockbroker and famed England cricketer Herman Walter De Zoete (1877-1957).

Herman De Zoete was a right-handed batsman who bowled both slow left-arm orthodox and left-arm medium pace, and played for Cambridge University in the 1890s. He was part of the De Zoete & Bevan stockbroking family who were bought out by Barclays Bank in 1986. De Zoete married in Essex in 1903, Dorothy Courage (1877-1972), scion of the Courage landed gentry family, whose fortune was based on brewing from the 18th century. 

Dorothy Courage was the tenth child of Edward Courage (1832-1904), of Shenfield Place, Essex, and Hanover Square, London, an old Harrovian, head of the Courage landed gentry family, by his wife the former Helen Rosa Marshall (1837-96), a scion of that landed gentry family.

Harriet has siblings: Nicholas (born 1975), Louisa (born 1976), and Rebecca (born 1986).


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Belinda Bellville 1930-2024

 Belinda Bellville, who died 5 May, 2024, aged 94, founded the fashion house Bellville et Cie (later Bellville Sassoon), whose young, fresh designs became a staple in the wardrobes of society ladies, brides-to-be and members of the Royal family over four decades. She was a scion of a landed gentry family.

Daily Telegraph: Dubbed “Belinda Bellville, the top peoples’ darling” by the press, her patrons included Princesses Margaret and Alexandra, the Duchess of Kent, and, a little further down the social scale, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Christie, Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve.

“Titled ladies applaud the titled models” reported the Daily Mail of one of her early shows in the 1950s. “200 women crowd into an elegant drawing room in Park Lane to see 18-year-old Lady Beatty and five other models show off the latest creations of Belinda Bellville. The Duchess of Westminster, the Countess of Derby, Lady Rupert Nevill, Lady Oppenheimer, and Lady Ebury squeezed on to little gilt chairs. The less fortunate had to strain to see from the corridor outside. The street was jammed with Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.”

When Lady Pamela Mountbatten married David Hicks in 1960, her wedding trousseau was designed by Bellville – as was the dress worn by her bridesmaid Princess Anne. The designer Cath Kidston, whose mother was Belinda’s first cousin, recalled being told how when Belinda went to Buckingham Palace for the fitting of the dress – a yellow ruffled affair – the Queen came along to see it and said “It’s very nice”, then turned to Belinda and said, “Will it wash?”

In 1963 The Sunday Times reported that Bellville had just completed its 80th wedding dress of the season with 20 more to finish by October. By the end of the decade, a survey by Tatler showed that Bellville et Cie had made more society wedding dresses than any other couture house had over 30 years.

In 1970 Belinda Bellville went into partnership with David Sassoon and the business expanded into a full-blown couture house. In 1981 Belville Sassoon created the outfit that Lady Diana Spencer wore when her engagement to Prince Charles was announced, and went on to create her wedding trousseau and her going away outfit. Between 1981 and 1993 Bellville Sassoon created more than 70 outfits for the Princess of Wales.

The oldest of three children, Belinda Bellville was born 29 March, 1930. Her father was Anthony Seymour Bellville (1902-70), whose family wealth came from Keen’s mustard. Her mother was Audrey Dorothy Kidston (1907-97), member of that landed gentry family, whose family owned Clyde Shipping.

She grew up in Leicestershire where her parents were part of a fashionable set – keen on racing cars, aeroplanes and horses. Summers were spent at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, where her parents sailed and had parties on their yacht Mahelah, a converted Thames barge equipped with a grand piano and cast iron bath.

During the war, her father joined the RNVR and had the deck of the boat covered in concrete to transform it into an anti-aircraft platform from which he would shoot at doodle bugs – like shooting high pheasants, he claimed.

To avoid the bombs, the rest of the family moved to a house on the river Wye, near Builth Wells, where they enjoyed riding Welsh ponies in the mountains, fishing for salmon and collecting gulls’ eggs.

Belinda’s interest in fashion was inspired by her (divorced and remarried) paternal grandmother, Gladys Hermione “Cuckoo” Chester Master, who had run a dress shop in Savile Row in the 1920s. With clothes rationed during the war, Belinda helped her mother make garments out of whatever they could find, including old curtains.

Towards the end of the war, Belinda did a short stint at Miss Faunce’s school at Wimborne St Giles, Dorset. Six foot tall and elegant, in 1947 she was presented at court.

Determined to forge her own career in fashion at a time when there were few opportunities to study for design qualifications, Belinda Bellville dabbled in fashion journalism, assisted a fashion photographer and worked for a clothes shop in Bond Street.

She married 30 July, 1952, (Thomas) David Whately, MC (1924-2008), a partner in a firm which made mobiles and abstract sculptures for advertising, and later a financier, son of Brevet-Maj Ernest George Whately (who died 1969, and his wife the former Edith Winifred Rhoda Milburn.

The following year, aged 23, she founded Bellville et Cie in partnership with Sydna Scott, who had a shop in Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge. “The space was so small, it had an outside loo and I used to visit the neighbouring pub to design and sketch the dresses,” she recalled.

Needing money to invest in the business, Belinda sold a Citroen car that her brother Jeremy had given her for a wedding present, for £500; astonishingly it was the only capital the company ever needed.

In 1953 Belinda Bellville held her first show at Cuckoo Leith’s house in Manchester Square, with her sister Camilla and friends as models. People queued up to see it, and the show was a riotous success, featuring in Illustrated magazine. Orders flooded in and by 1957 her collection included millinery, cocktail dresses, ball gowns and, most famously, wedding dresses.

Later she moved to new premises at 14 Motcombe Street, Belgravia, where she employed 40 people, serving an upper-class clientele. “Belville understood that Cheltenham racecourse is a draughty place and would always know to within an inch how much decolletage the Duchess would stand at dinner,” observed The Times.

In 1958 she was joined by David Sassoon, who had impressed her with his designs at a Royal College of Art degree show. Belinda, he recalled later, “had no formal training but she had great taste; she understood the moods of fashion, had a great love of fabric and a very good colour sense. Socially she knew all the right people and brought in a lot of royals.”

“Boutique”, Bellville’s ready-to-wear collection, was launched in 1963 and in 1965 Vogue Patterns invited Bellville et Cie to join their pattern books. By 1970 Bellville Sassoon, as the company was now called, had a staff of over 100.

Belinda Bellville stepped back from the company in 1982, but remained a consultant. She moved with her family to a house outside Shaftesbury in Dorset, while the company continued to flourish under David Sassoon.

The family moved to North Norfolk in 2001 and her husband David died in 2008. Belinda survived major brain surgery in 2011, but continued to live happily in Norfolk, always commenting on the fashion choices of her visitors.

She is survived by three daughters, Sophia Louise (born 29 Aug 1955), Victoria Mary (b 2 May, 1959), married to Thomas Lowther (b 2 Apr 1966), scion of the Earls of Lonsdale, and Polly Maria (b 30 May, 1967), the Countess of Leicester, wife of the 8th Earl of Leicester (b 6 July, 1965).


Monday, May 13, 2024

Mary Anne Vere Makgill Crichton Maitland 1935-2024

Mary Anne Vere Makgill Crichton Maitland died 25 April, 2024, aged 88.

She was born 13 August, 1935, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Herbert Harberton Eales, MC (1895-1941), and his wife the former Vere Edith Ogilvy (1912-2000), scion of the Ogilvy baronets; and married thrice (1) 27 Apr, 1957 (div 1973), Major Charles Pepler Norton, TD (1926-1994); & married 2ndly, 1980, as his 2nd wife, Capt James Quintin Penn Curzon (1923-1985), scion of the Earls Howe; & married 3rdly, 1987, as his second wife, Major (John) David Makgill Crichton Maitland, CVO, DSO (1925-2015), scion of the Earls of Lauderdale.

She leaves two sons and two daughters from her first marriage, Anthony (b 1958), Julian (b 1959), and Marina (b 1961), and Josephine (b 1964).


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Rollins/Berry engagement

 The engagement was announced 11 May, 2024, between Graham Lee Rollins (born 1979), son of Brian S. Rollins, of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and his late wife the former (Pauline) Elaine Hird (1944-2019), and Alice Elisabeth Berry (born 12 February, 1990), scion of the Viscounts Kemsley, elder daughter of Edward Anthony Morys Berry (born 23 June, 1960), of Bridport, Dorset, and Mrs Joanna Clare Berry (nee Leschallas, born 1960), of Smarden, Kent.

The bride-to-be is a first cousin once removed of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The 4th Baron Fermoy (1885-1955) > Hon Mary Roche (1934-2023) > Edward Berry (b 1960) > Alice Berry (b 1990)


Friday, May 10, 2024

Son and heir for Lord and Lady Hay

Clementine Camilla Curtis Hay, styled Lady Hay [born 1989, nee Travis], wife of Harry Thomas William Hay, styled Lord Hay (b 8 Aug, 1984), gave birth to a son and heir, the Hon Mungo Louis Merlin Hay, 1 May, 2024, a brother for the Hon Persephone Idina Isabelle Hay, who was born 10 July, 2020.

Lord Hay is the son and heir of the 24th Earl of Erroll (b 22 Apr, 1948), (Peerage of Scotland, cr 1452), Hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland, of Woodbury Hall, Bedfordshire, by his wife the former Isabelle Jacqueline Laline Astell Hohler (born 22 August, 1955, died 13 January, 2020), of that landed gentry family.

Clementine Hay is the elder daughter of Professor Simon Piers Leigh Travis, FRCP. of Knights' Spill, Oxfordshire, by his wife the former Pamela J. Evans (born 1960).