Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon

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The Right Honourable
The Countess of Snowdon
Born Serena Alleyne Stanhope
(1970-03-01) 1 March 1970 (age 48)
Limerick, Ireland
Title Countess of Snowdon
Spouse(s) David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon
Issue
Parents

Serena Alleyne Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon (née Stanhope; born 1 March 1970) is an Anglo-Irish aristocrat and the daughter-in-law of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and a niece-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Early life and education[edit]

Serena Alleyne Stanhope was born in Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of the then Viscount Petersham and his wife Virginia Freeman-Jackson, a debutante. Her parents divorced when she was 13 years old. She has one older brother. Through her father, she is a descendant of King Charles II of England's illegitimate child, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, which makes her a distant cousin of Diana, Princess of Wales, and of other members of the British royal family.[1]

Stanhope spent most of her childhood between Chelsea with her father and her father's girlfriend Anita Howard, Countess of Suffolk, and Monaco with her mother.[2]

She went to St Mary's School, Wantage, where she was described as being "more interested in lacrosse than Latin".[2] After leaving St Mary's School, she went on to study art in Italy. She also attended a finishing school in Switzerland.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1989, she joined Sotheby's as a trainee. She then worked as a publicist for Giorgio Armani until August 1993, two months before marrying Viscount Linley.[3]

The Countess, then Viscountess Linley, had her own shop called "Serena Linley Provence".[4] The store closed in 2014.[5]

Marriage and children[edit]

Stanhope married David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, son of Princess Margaret and only nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, on 8 October 1993 at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. They met when her father commissioned Linley to design a walnut dining table for his Chelsea house.[2]

There were 650 guests in attendance, including Elton John, Diana, Princess of Wales, Jerry Hall, the Aga Khan, and ex-King Constantine of Greece.[6] In addition, there were an estimated 5,000 spectators in the streets.[2] Her diamond engagement ring and wedding band are from Wartski.[7] She wore a $9,000 dress designed by Bruce Robbins, noted for its resemblance to Princess Margaret's 1960 Norman Hartnell wedding dress, and "The Lotus Tiara," which was on loan from her mother-in-law, Princess Margaret.[8][9] Her going-away outfit was designed by Robinson Valentine.[10]

The Earl and Countess of Snowdon have two children:

When Viscount Linley became the Earl of Snowdon on the death of his father in 2017, she became the Countess of Snowdon.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1796.
  2. ^ a b c d Green, Michelle. "Windsor Knot". People Magazine. Time Warner. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine. "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Serena Linley Provence Chelsea SW3". Jonathan Clark Architects. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  5. ^ Shakespeare, Sebastian. "Viscount Linley's wife shuts up shop on her French fragrance firm". Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Serena Stanhope and Viscount Linley's wedding". Tatler. 10 January 1994. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ "British engagement rings". The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Top 10 Best Royal Wedding Dresses: #6. HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon". The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Royal wedding dresses through the years". The Telegraph. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  10. ^ Rumbold, Judy (8 July 2007). "The sainted Valentine". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Queen Appoints Pages of Honour". Royal News. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  12. ^ Walker, Tim (1 March 2012). "The Queen turns a page for Viscount Linley's son". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b Unity Blott (16 January 2017). "The seldom-seen new Earl of Snowdon: How the Archers-loving furniture maker who likes to cycle around London is a world away from his society photographer father". MailOnline. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Zara Tindall
Ladies
The Countess of Snowdon
Followed by
Lady Sarah Chatto