Monday 13 November 2017

"A fat slug filled with venom"

Hon Mrs Greville [1863-1942] was a Society Host who moved in the highest circles. She was on personal terms with the Royals of the day [she and her husband were known as The Grovels in some quarters] and the Queen Mother spent her honeymoon at Polesdon Lacey [now NT], her country pile in Surrey.

From the humble beginnings of being born out of wedlock [her parents didn't marry until she was 21] her father, William McEwan, made his millions from brewing. Upon his death and as his only heir, she inherited his extraordinary wealth and her meteoric rise continued when she married Ronald Greville, eldest son of the 2nd Baron Greville. Sadly she was widowed relatively young in 1908. Without children of her own and limitless funds at her disposal, she became famous for the lavish parties she threw. However, although loved and admired by many, the Hostess with the Mostest made arch enemies of some.

When asked by an opposite number if she would ever invite Mrs Ronnie [as she was known to her closest friends] for a meal she acidly replied
"I would prefer to have an open sewer in my drawing room".....

I have my Dad to thank for this little snippet which he passed on to me after a visit to the property earlier this week.


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