Her Grace Deborah Cavendish, The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire DCVO (1920 – 2014; née The Hon. Deborah Freeman-Mitford)

Duchess of DevonshireThe last surviving Mitford sister, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire was nicknamed “the housewife duchess” and made Chatsworth one of the most successful and profitable stately homes in Britain. This remarkable lady had tea with Hitler in 1937 (and “remember[s] thinking his set-up was very regular and somewhat haphazard for a head of state”), was painted by Lucian Freud and amassed a vast collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia. Known to her family as ‘Debo’ and a mother of seven, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire was a hardworking businesswoman and “extremely fond of keeping chickens”. She loathed “sloppy and sentimental modern culture”.

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire saved Chatsworth. She was an example to us all. She never rested on her laurels and she was kind and courteous. I found her amusing and charming. They don’t make them like her anymore.

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