Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston

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Grace Elvina, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston, John Singer Sargent, 1925

Grace Elvina, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston (1879–1958) was born as Grace Elvina Hinds in Alabama,[1] a daughter of J. Monroe Hinds, former United States Minister to Brazil. Her first husband was Alfred Hubert Duggan of Buenos Aires, Argentina, with whom she had three children, including two sons – Alfred Duggan, an author of historical fiction, and Hubert Duggan, later a British Member of Parliament. Her daughter (Grace Lucille) Marcella Rice (1907–1995) was mother of Caroline Helen Rice (b. 1931),[2] wife of the 7th Earl of Plymouth.[3]

She was a wealthy woman after her husband's death. In 1916, Philip Alexius de László painted her as a widow.[4] In 1917 (aged 38) she became the second wife of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston. In 1923, when Curzon was passed over for the office of Prime Minister partly on the advice of Arthur Balfour, Balfour joked that Curzon 'has lost the hope of glory but he still possesses the means of Grace".[5]

Curzon had three daughters from his first marriage to Mary Victoria Leiter, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston: Mary Irene, Lady Ravensdale in 1896; Cynthia Blanche (first wife of Sir Oswald Mosley), on 23 August 1898; and Alexandra Naldera, on April 20, 1904 (wife of Edward Dudley Metcalfe, the best friend, best man and equerry of Edward VIII). Despite fertility-related operations and several miscarriages, Lady Curzon was never able to give Curzon the son and heir he desperately desired, a fact that eroded their marriage, which ended in separation, though not divorce.[6]

In 1925, soon before she was again widowed, her portrait was painted by the American artist John Singer Sargent. This oil on canvas painting, which measures 129.22 × 92.39 cm (50.9 × 36.4 in), was Sargent's last oil portrait. The painting was purchased in 1936 by the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alabama; a Guide to the Deep South, Best Books on, 1941, p. 182, ISBN 978-1-62376-001-4 
  2. ^ Caroline Helen Rice, thepeerage.com, retrieved 30 August 2014 
  3. ^ "Wedding of Miss Caroline Rice", Dover Express (4811), 13 October 1950: 8 – via British Newspaper Archive, (subscription required (help)) 
  4. ^ "Grace Elvina Hinds (1877–1958), Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston". BBC Your Paintings. 
  5. ^ Blake, Robert (1997). The Conservative Party from Peel to Major (Third ed.). London: Arrow. p. 213. 
  6. ^ a b Currier Museum of Art, Currier Museum of Art, archived from the original on 28 September 2007