Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie

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The Countess of Airlie
GCVO, GBE, DStJ
Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie.png
Born Lady Mabell Gore
(1866-03-10)10 March 1866
Died 7 April 1956(1956-04-07) (aged 90)
Occupation Lady of the Bedchamber of Queen Mary
Spouse(s) David Ogilvy, 11th Earl of Airlie
Children Lady Kitty Vicent
Lady Helen Ogilvy
Lady Mabell Ogilvy
David Ogilvy, 12th Earl of Airlie
Hon. Bruce Ogilvy
Hon. Patrick Ogilvy
Parents Arthur Gore, 5th Earl of Arran
Hon. Edith Jocelyn

Mabell Frances Elizabeth Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie,GCVO, GBE, DStJ (née Gore; 10 March 1866, Mayfair, London – 7 April 1956, Paddington, London) was a British courtier and author.

Early life[edit]

She was born the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, Viscount Sudley and his wife, Edith, daughter of Robert Jocelyn, Viscount Jocelyn. Her mother died in 1871 and she and her sisters, Cicely and Esther, were raised by their maternal grandmother, Lady Jocelyn. The sisters were educated by governesses and made visits to the Duchess of Teck at White Lodge, where Mabell Gore met and befriended the Duchess's daughter, Princess May (later Queen Mary). When her grandfather, Philip Gore, 4th Earl of Arran died in 1884 and her father inherited the former's titles, she and her sisters were entitled to the nominal prefix of Lady.[citation needed]

Marriage[edit]

On 19 January 1886, she married an army officer, David Ogilvy, 11th Earl of Airlie at St George's, Hanover Square, becoming Countess of Airlie. They had six children:

On the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, Lord Airlie went with his regiment, the 12th Royal Lancers, to South Africa, where he was killed in action at the Battle of Diamond Hill in 1900. Lady Airlie then began to manage Cortachy Castle in Angus on behalf of her eldest son, David, the new earl. In December 1901, she became a Lady of the Bedchamber to her old friend, the Princess of Wales (as Princess May had become).[1] On the accession of King George V in 1910, Lady Airlie was retained at court as a Lady of the Bedchamber to the-now Queen Mary.[citation needed]

World War I[edit]

During World War I she supported the Red Cross and was appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 1920 civilian war honours list for her services as president of Queen Alexandra's Army Nursing Board.[citation needed]

However, she suffered losses in her family during the war: her son-in-law, Clement (the eldest son of Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale), was killed in action in 1915, her youngest son, Patrick, was also killed in action in 1917 and her daughter, Mabell, was killed whilst exercising army horses in 1918.[citation needed]

Literary works[edit]

When Lady Ogilvie's eldest son married in 1917, she moved from Cortachy Castle to Airlie Castle, where she began to edit family letters in her possession, for publication. In Whig Society, 1775–1818 (1921) and Lady Palmerston and her Times (1922) were based on the papers of her great-grandmother, Emily (the wife of Peter Cowper, 5th Earl Cowper, and later of Prime Minister Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston) and With the Guards We Shall Go (1933), which detailed her great-uncle, John Jocelyn, 5th Earl of Roden, through the Crimean War.

Later life[edit]

In 1953, the countess's employer and lifelong friend, Queen Mary, died, and Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) for her many years of service. She later moved from Airlie Castle to Bayswater Road, London in 1955. She died there a few weeks after her ninetieth birthday in 1956.

As a close confidante to Queen Mary, Lady Airlie was a close observer of the fluctuating relationships within the British Royal Family, and detailed her reminiscences about them in her memoirs, which were unfinished at the time of her death. They were later discovered by Jennifer Ellis,[who?] who edited and published them as Thatched with Gold: The Memoirs of Mabell, Countess of Airlie in 1962.

Styles[edit]

  • The Honourable Mabell Frances Elizabeth Gore (1866–1884)
  • The Lady Mabell Frances Elizabeth Gore (1884–1886)
  • The Countess of Airlie (1886–1900)
  • The Dowager Countess of Airlie (1900-1956)

References and Sources[edit]