Lady Alexandra Curzon

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Lady Alexandra Curzon
CBE
Lady Alexandra Curzon.jpg
Cover of 'The Viceroy's Daughters ...' showing Lady Alexandra Naldera Curzon
Born Alexandra Naldera Curzon
20 March/April 1904
Died 7 August 1995(1995-08-07) (aged 91)
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Spouse(s) Edward Dudley Metcalfe
Children 3
Parent(s) George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston
Relatives Mary Curzon, 2nd Baroness Ravensdale (sister)
Lady Cynthia Mosley (sister)

Lady Alexandra Naldera Curzon, CBE (20 March/April 1904 – 7 August 1995),[1] was the third daughter of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston and Viceroy of India, and Lord Curzon's first wife, the American mercantile heiress, Mary Victoria Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston (née Leiter). She was named after her godmother, Queen Alexandra and her place of conception, Naldehra, India. She and her two older sisters were memorialized by Anne de Courcy in The Viceroy's Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters.[2]

Early life[edit]

Alexandra was conceived in July 1903 at Naldehra, 25 km from Shimla, perhaps after a game of high altitude golf,[3][4] and was named after that place. Her mother died in 1906 when Alexandra was only two years old. Her father's Indian servants called her "Baba Sahib", "Baby Master", and she was thereafter best known as "Baba". She and her sisters, Mary Irene and Cynthia, "Cimmie", were brought up in grand houses, Hackwood Park and Montacute; their London home, 1 Carlton Gardens in Carlton House Terrace, became a centre of elite social life after Curzon's second marriage to Grace Elvina Duggan in 1917. She was dubbed the "prettiest debutante of the 1922 season".[5]

Adulthood[edit]

She was the first love of Prince George, Duke of Kent. However, on 21 July 1925 she married Major Edward Dudley Metcalfe, the best friend and equerry of George's older brother, Edward VIII.[6] She was one of a handful of witnesses to Edward's marriage to Wallis Simpson. [7]

The Metcalfes had a son, David, and twin daughters, Davina and Linda.

She had affairs with Jock Whitney, Michael Lubbock, Walter Monckton, and Charles Duncombe, 3rd Earl of Feversham. Before World War II she earned the sobriquet Baba Blackshirt, and for a while played a murky role as a semiwitting go-between for Oswald Mosley and her other lover at the time, Dino Grandi, Benito Mussolini's ambassador to London, while simultaneously enjoying the romantic devotion of the foreign secretary, Lord Halifax, who was staying at the same Dorchester Hotel as Alexandra and her sister.[5]

Later life[edit]

The main thrust of Baba's later life was her tireless efforts for the Save the Children Fund, a commitment that lasted for more than 40 years. Lady Alexandra joined the Save the Children Fund in 1950 and was very active in fund-raising in London. In 1955, she and her husband divorced and she became a member of the fund's governing council. Later she would become chairman of the Overseas Relief and Welfare Committee, which controls all overseas work of the fund. In 1974 she was elected vice-president. She was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire for these efforts in 1975.[8][9][10]

Alexandra was portrayed in the 1980 seven-episode television mini-series, Edward and Mrs. Simpson, which won the 1980 Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series.[11]

She died on 7 August 1995 at age 91 at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire.

References[edit]

  • Sarah Bradford, (9 August 1995) Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, The Independent, London, retrieved 9 April 2007 Short Biography
  1. ^ Tompsett Brian C. (2005) Index to Royal Genealogical Data, retrieved 3/17/2007 Royal Genealogical Data
  2. ^ Anne de Courcy (2002), The Viceroy's Daughters: the Lives of the Curzon Sisters., Preview, New York: W. Morrow, ISBN 0-06-621061-5, retrieved 2011-01-31 
  3. ^ Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India – Other Activities/golf Wildflower Hall, Shimla
  4. ^ Cory, Charlotte (2002) Sunday Times, December 29th, retrieved 3/14/2007 "The Delhi Durbar 1903 Revisited",Delhi Durbar 1903
  5. ^ a b CARTER, MIRANDA (June 2, 2002) "Poor Little Rich Girls", New York Times – Books, retrieved Apr 4, 2007 "Poor Little Rich Girls"
  6. ^ Time Magazine, June 8, 1925f>Time
  7. ^ Bradford, Sarah (9 August 1995). "Lady Alexandra Metcalfe". Independent. London. 
  8. ^ 1977 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 31st Parliament, British Columbia, (MARCH 15, 1977) Official Report of DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (Hansard), retrieved Mar 15, 2007 1977 Legislative Session
  9. ^ de Courcy Anne (2001) The Viceroy's Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters Orion Publishing Group, London, ISBN 978-0-06-621061-2 ISBN 0-06-621061-5 The Viceroy's Daughters..., Abstract
  10. ^ Gilmour, David (Oct 28, 2000) "Washing one's mother's linen" a review of THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS: THE LIVES OF THE CURZON SISTERS by Anne de Courcy, The Spectator, retrieved 4/9/2007 a review of THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS
  11. ^ "Edward & Mrs. Simpson""Edward & Mrs. Simpson"