Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Jane Armyne Stevens, LVO 1937-2022

 Jane Armyne Stevens, LVO, who died at her home 15 April, 2002, aged 85, was a scion of the Sheffield baronets and a Lady-in-Waiting to the late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

She was born 7 March, 1937, the eldest daughter of John Vincent Sheffield [1913-2008], of Laverstoke, Whitchurch, Hampshire, and his 1st wife the former Anne Margaret Faudel-Phillips [who died 8 February, 1969]. Her paternal grandfather was Sir Berkeley Sheffield, 6th Baronet [1876-1946].

Janie Sheffield had a glittering career for nearly eight years working as a model for Sir Norman Hartnell, a leading British designer best known for his work for the royal family. Hartnell gained the royal warrant as dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1940, and royal warrant as dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. She served as a Lady-in-Waiting and close confidante to Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon from 1970 until the death of the princess in 2002.

Stevens recalled in Margaret: The Rebel Princess, that HRH asked her to act as her driver when her chauffeur was sick. She had never driven a Rolls Royce before and had no practice. Margaret encouraged Stevens by saying "Janey, you can drive." As the pair departed the gates and were under the arch of Buckingham Palace, Stevens remembers motorcyclists crashing into the side of the Rolls Royce. Margaret responded with "drive, drive on, Janey," and told Stevens not to worry.

Jane Stevens married 14 June, 1956 [divorced 1979], the publisher Jocelyn Edward Greville Stevens, CVO [1932-2014], who was knighted in 1996. Her husband was sometime managing director of Beaverbrook Newspapers, and managing director of the London Evening Standard.

She leaves two sons, Charles and Rupert, and two daughters, Pandora and Melinda. Three granddaughters are the socialite 'It Girls' Chloe, Poppy and Cara Delevingne.


No comments: