Loelia Mary Ponsonby
6 February 1902
|Died||1 November 1993(aged 91)|
|Spouse(s)||Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster (1930-1947; divorced)|
Sir Martin Lindsay, 1st Baronet (m.1969)
|Parent(s)||Frederick Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby|
Victoria Lily Hegan Kennard
|Occupation||embroiderer, socialite, magazine editor|
Loelia Mary, Lady Lindsay, formerly Loelia, Duchess of Westminster, (née The Honourable Loelia Ponsonby (6 February 1902 – 1 November 1993), was a British socialite, needlewoman and magazine editor.
Family and first marriage
Lindsay was the only daughter of the courtier Sir Frederick Ponsonby, later 1st Baron Sysonby, and Victoria Lily (Kennard), Lady Sysonby, the well-known cookbook author. She spent her early years at St James's Palace, Park House at Sandringham, and Birkhall. One of the Bright Young People, she met the twice-divorced Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. They were married on 20 February 1930 in a blaze of publicity, with Winston Churchill as the best man, but were unable to have children. Her marriage to the enormously wealthy peer failed, and was described by James Lees-Milne as "a definition of unadulterated hell". It was dissolved in 1947 after years of separation.
Life after divorce
After her divorce, Loelia, Duchess of Westminster, established herself as a skillful hostess at Send, Surrey, occupying herself with needlework and gardening, passions she had inherited from her mother. Her needlework collection was bequeathed to the National Trust. During the 1950s she worked as a feature editor for House & Garden magazine, and covered the wedding of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly.
Lindsay is believed to have popularised the aphorism (falsely attributed to Margaret Thatcher): "Anybody seen in a bus over the age of 30 has been a failure in life", which appears to have been coined by poet Brian Howard.
Lindsay's second marriage, to the divorced explorer Sir Martin Lindsay, 1st Baronet, came as a surprise to her friends but was much more successful. The couple were married on 1 August 1969. Sir Martin, a devoted husband, died in 1981, and Lady Lindsay chose to spend her last years in nursing homes. Her memoirs, written in 1961 and titled Grace and Favour: The Memoirs of Loelia, Duchess of Westminster, are a significant record of aristocratic life between the First and Second World Wars.
- "Loelia" rhymes with "Delia"
- Lees-Milne, James (3 November 1993). "Obituary: Loelia Lindsay". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
- Anne Duchess of Westminster
- Lady Lindsay of Dowhill
- Panjwani, Abbas (26 April 2019). "Did Margaret Thatcher say bus users over the age of 25 were failures?". Full Fact. Retrieved 1 April 2020.