Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston

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Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston, by Sargent

Grace Elvina Curzon (née Hinds, formerly Duggan), Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston, GBE (1879–1958) was a United States-born British marchioness and the second wife of George Curzon, British parliamentarian, cabinet minister, and former Viceroy of India.[1] She was a daughter of J. Monroe Hinds, former United States Minister to Brazil, and Lucy Trillia, from Montevideo, Uruguay.[2]

Personal life[edit]

First marriage[edit]

Born Grace Elvina Hinds in Alabama, she grew up in Decatur. Her first husband was Alfred Huberto Duggan of Buenos Aires, Argentina, with whom she had three children, including two sons – Alfred Duggan, historical novelist, and Hubert Duggan, later a British Member of Parliament. Her daughter Grace Lucille Duggan (Marcella Rice) (1907–1995) was mother of Caroline Helen Rice (b. 1931),[3] wife of Robert Windsor-Clive, 3rd Earl of Plymouth.[4]

Grace Duggan was a wealthy woman after her husband's death, inheriting large estancias in South America. In 1916, Philip Alexius de László painted her as a widow.[5]

Second marriage[edit]

Portrait by Laszlo before her 2nd marriage in 1916 in nurse's uniform

In 1917, aged 38, she became the second wife of Lord Curzon. 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".[6]

Curzon had three daughters from his first marriage to Mary Victoria Leiter, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston: Mary Irene, Lady Ravensdale on 20 January 1896; Cynthia Blanche (first wife of Sir Oswald Mosley), on 23 August 1898; and Alexandra Naldera, on 20 April 1904 (wife of Edward Dudley Metcalfe, the best friend, best man and equerry of King Edward VIII).[citation needed]

Despite her fertility-related operations and several miscarriages, the couple did not produce a heir. This eroded their marriage, which ended in separation but not divorce.[7] Letters from Curzon to Grace in the early 1920s indicate that they remained devoted to each other.[8]

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.[7]

Honours[edit]

She was named Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 1922 New Years Honours List for "services rendered during the War to the British Red Cross Society, and to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association, the Belgian -Soldiers' Club, and Queen Alexandra's Nursing' Association.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alabama; a Guide to the Deep South, Best Books on, 1941, p. 182, ISBN 978-1-62376-001-4 
  2. ^ Family trees of the Simons & Trillia families over five Generations, compiled by HGCL.
  3. ^ Caroline Helen Rice, thepeerage.com, retrieved 30 August 2014 
  4. ^ "Wedding of Miss Caroline Rice", Dover Express (4811), p. 8, 13 October 1950 – via British Newspaper Archive, (subscription required (help)) 
  5. ^ "Grace Elvina Hinds (1877–1958), Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston". BBC Your Paintings. 
  6. ^ Blake, Robert (1997). The Conservative Party from Peel to Major (Third ed.). London: Arrow. p. 213. 
  7. ^ a b Currier Museum of Art, Currier Museum of Art, archived from the original on 28 September 2007 
  8. ^ Reminiscences by the Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston. Hutchinson & Co 1955.
  9. ^ Notice of GBE honour, thegazette.co.uk; accessed 13 May 2016.