Ella van Heemstra

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Ella van Heemstra
Baroness van Heemstra
Born (1900-06-12)June 12, 1900
Velp, Gelderland, Netherlands
Died August 26, 1984(1984-08-26) (aged 84)
Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland
Spouse(s)
  • Jonkheer Hendrik Gustaaf Adolf Quarles van Ufford (1920-1925)
  • Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1926-1939)
Issue
Occupation Socialite and volunteer worker

Ella, Baroness van Heemstra, DStJ (12 June 1900 – 26 August 1984) was a Dutch aristocrat and the mother of the actress Audrey Hepburn.

Biography[edit]

Ella van Heemstra was a Dutch aristocrat and the third of five daughters of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, who was mayor of Arnhem from 1910 to 1920 and served as Royal Governor of Suriname from 1921 to 1928. Ella's mother was Elbrig Willemine Henriette, Baroness van Asbeck (1873–1939), who was a granddaughter of jurist Count Dirk van Hogendorp.[1] She spent much of her childhood at Huis Doorn.

Personal life[edit]

Van Heemstra was married and divorced twice, and had three children.

Aged 19, van Heemstra married Jonkheer Hendrik Gustaaf Adolf Quarles van Ufford (1894-1955).[2] They divorced in 1925. Van Heemstra had two sons from this marriage, both of whom were born in the Dutch East Indies:

  • Jonkheer Arnoud Robert Alexander Quarles van Ufford (1920–1979), married to Maria Margaretha Monné (1919-2006),[3] with issue:
  1. Michael Allan Quarles van Ufford (born 17 July 1945)[4]
  2. Evelyn Joyce Quarles van Ufford (born 2 August 1947)[5]
  • Jonkheer Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles van Ufford (1924–2010),[6] married to Yvonne Scholtens (1928-2000),[7][8] with issue:
  1. Audrey Yvonne Quarles van Ufford (born 10 May 1954)[9]
  2. Sandra Claire Quarles van Ufford (born 15 October 1958)
  3. Andrew Ian Quarles van Ufford (born 6 January 1967)

Van Heemstra married secondly Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889-1980) (later Hepburn-Ruston) on 24 September 1926 at Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies. They were divorced on 24 June 1939[10] and had one daughter:

  • Audrey Kathleen Ruston (born 4 May 1929 in Brussels), commonly known as Audrey Hepburn

Later life[edit]

In the early 1960s she lived in Los Angeles with her friend Leonard Gershe and then later in San Francisco where she did volunteer work for soldiers coming back from Vietnam. When she visited Los Angeles she was entertained by friends like George Cukor, Mrs. Mildred Knopf (wife of Edwin H. Knopf) and Veronique Peck. She spent the rest of her life in her daughter's house in Tolochenaz where she died in 1984.[11] Audrey accompanied her mother's body to the Netherlands for funeral.

Honours[edit]

Ella was named Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 September 1971.[12][13]


Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Segers, Yop. "'Heemstra, Aarnoud Jan Anne Aleid baron van (1871-1957)',". Historici.nl. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Jonkheer Hendrik Gustaaf Adolf Quarles van Ufford". The Peerage. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Audrey Hepburn. 1997. p. 163. ISBN 0 75281 540 7. 
  4. ^ Audrey Hepburn. 1997. p. 32. ISBN 0 75281 540 7. 
  5. ^ Audrey Hepburn. 1997. p. 163. ISBN 0 75281 540 7. 
  6. ^ "Ian van Ufford Quarles Obituary". The Times. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Audrey Hepburn. 1997. p. 164. ISBN 0 75281 540 7. 
  8. ^ "Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles". Genealogie Online. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Audrey Hepburn. 1997. p. 164. ISBN 0 75281 540 7. 
  10. ^ "Ella barones van Heemstra". The Peerage. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris. Google Books. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ [2]

External links[edit]