Sonia Rosemary Keppel
Sonia Rosemary Cubitt, OBE, DStJ (née Keppel; 24 May 1900 – 16 August 1986) was the first wife of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe and, through her only daughter the Hon. Rosalind Maud Cubitt, maternal grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Sonia Rosemary Keppel was born on 24 May 1900, as the youngest child of The Hon. George Keppel (1865–1947), who was the son of William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle and his wife Sophia Mary Keppel (née MacNab), the latter of Canadian and American Loyalist descent. Sonia's mother was Alice Frederica Keppel (née Edmonstone) (1868–1947), who was the youngest child of Sir William Edmonstone, 4th Baronet and became a mistress of King Edward VII. Her only sibling was the English writer and socialite Violet Trefusis (née Keppel) (1894–1972).
Marriage and issue
On 16 November 1920, she married The Hon. Roland Calvert Cubitt at the Guards Chapel of Wellington Barracks in London. The Hon. Roland Cubitt was the son of Henry Cubitt, 2nd Baron Ashcombe. The couple divorced on 4 July 1947, just few months before Roland succeeded as the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. They had three children:
- The Hon. Rosalind Maud Cubitt (1921–1994) m. Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand and had three children:
- The Hon. Henry Edward Cubitt (1924–2013) (who succeeded as the 4th Baron Ashcombe on the death of his father) m. Ghislaine Alexander (née Dresselhuys, later the Rt. Hon. The Baroness Foley) (ex-wife of Denis Alexander, 6th Earl of Caledon)
- The Hon. Jeremy John Cubitt (1927–1958) m. Diana Edith Du Cane and had a child:
- Sarah Victoria Cubitt (b. 1953)
The Hon. Roland Calvert Cubitt became 3rd Baron Ashcombe on the death of his father Henry Cubitt, 2nd Baron Ashcombe on 27 October 1947. Sonia was never styled Baroness Ashcombe because by the time Roland succeeded as the 3rd Baron Ashcombe, they were already divorced. During her marriage she was styled as The Hon. Mrs. Cubitt.
Sonia died on 16 August 1986, aged 86, having long suffered from osteoporosis. She was survived by her daughter Rosalind, eldest son Henry and four grandchildren. Her youngest son Jeremy predeceased her in 1958.
Her granddaughter Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, became a member of the National Osteoporosis Society (the only UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis) in 1994 to help raise awareness of the disease. She became Patron of the charity in 1997 and was appointed President in 2001.
In 1958, Sonia wrote her memoir entitled The Edwardian daughter, in which she described what her childhood was like in the high-society of the Edwardian era. The memoir was dedicated to her daughter Rosalind.