Roddy Llewellyn

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Sir Roderic Victor "Roddy" Llewellyn, 5th Baronet (born 9 October 1947)[1] is a British baronet and gardening expert. Despite his lengthy career as a landscape gardener, gardening journalist, author, and television presenter, he is generally best known for his eight-year relationship with Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

Early life and education[edit]

Llewellyn was born in Crickhowell, Brecknockshire, the younger son of Sir Harry Llewellyn, 3rd Bt. (d.1999), an Olympic gold-medalist in show jumping, and his wife, the Hon. Christine Saumarez (d. 1998).[2] He succeeded his elder brother, Dai, to the Llewellyn baronetcy in January 2009.

He was educated at Hawtreys and Shrewsbury School.

Personal life[edit]

Starting in 1973, Llewellyn, then 25, began an affair with Princess Margaret, then 43.[3] The highly publicized eight-year relationship was a factor in the dissolution of the Princess's marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.[4]

On 11 July 1981, Llewellyn married Tatiana Soskin, a daughter of the film producer Paul Soskin,[5] The couple have three daughters, Alexandra, Natasha, and Rosie. Alexandra, the eldest, is a designer and artist.

Career[edit]

Gardening[edit]

Llewellyn says "I have always been fascinated by plants...They give me an enormous amount of solace."[6]

It was apparently his nanny, Rebecca Jenkins, who introduced him to gardening in loco parentis. When the family removed to Llanfair Grange "we had huge lawns and wonderful views. It was pretty country...it had a big vegetable garden and fabulous trees."[7] Throughout Sir Roddy always regarded himself as part of that rich Welsh heritage beneath the Sugar Loaf mountain. In his twenties, Llewellyn studied horticulture at Merrist Wood Agricultural College in Surrey. Today, Llewellyn runs his own garden design company, Roddy Llewellyn's Garden Design.

He regularly lectures, appearing at venues including the Retirement Show at Olympia, Glasgow and Manchester (chairing question and answer sessions), Dobbies Garden Centre ("Inspirational Ideas for the Garden"), Hereford Cathedral ("Interesting Ideas for the Garden"), Malvern Spring Gardening Show ("Who are better Gardeners - Men or Women?"), Cotswold Wildlife Park (series, "An Evening with the Gardening Experts 2005-2006"), Cholmondeley Castle ("Amusing Ideas for the Garden"), and the ship the Crystal Symphony (on a Garden Design Theme Cruise giving "themed lectures" ).

Llewellyn was a patron at the Southport Flower Show in 2006.

Journalism and broadcasting[edit]

Llewellyn has written various books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns on the subject of gardening. The magazines he has written for have included Heritage Homes in 2006, Country Life in 2005 and 2006, Country Illustrated in 2004 and 2006, Oxfordshire Limited Edition in 2006, The Lady in 2005, Eden Project Friends in 2004, and the Sunday Times in 2004. He wrote columns for the Daily Star from 1981 to 1985, and The Mail on Sunday from 1987 to 1999.

He presented The Home Show in 1990 and The Gardening Roadshow in 1992-1993 for Thames Television, amongst several other programmes. He appeared on Gardeners' World in 2007.

Music[edit]

In the late 1970s, Llewellyn recorded an LP called Roddy. This was an album of standards.

Ancestry[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Beautiful Backyards. 1986.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Elegance & Eccentricity. 1989.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Gardening in your face!. 1990.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Grow It Yourself. Gardening with a Physical Disability. 1993.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Growing Gifts. 1991.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Roddy Llewellyn's Gardening Year. 1997.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Town Gardens. 1981.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Water Gardens: The Connoisseur's Choice. 1987.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Roderic Llewellyn, Bt". Debrett's. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.thepeerage.com/p8193.htm#i81925
  3. ^ Caroline Davies (February 11, 2002). "I followed my heart, says Llewellyn". Daily Telegraph. 
  4. ^ Margaret: Unlucky in love, bbc.co.uk, 9 February 2002
  5. ^ Tatiana Soskin page at thePeerage.com Lundy, Darryl. "p. 23017 § 230167". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  6. ^ Wales News Online, http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/welsh-homes/roddy-llewellyn-patron-southport-flower-2028428 26 March 2013, retrieved 21 August 2016.
  7. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/welsh-homes/roddy-llewellyn-patron-southport-flower-2028428

External links[edit]

Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Dai Llewellyn
Llewellyn baronets of Bwlffa
2009–
Succeeded by
Incumbent