top of page
  • Writer's pictureLilium

Loelia Lindsay - Muses & The Beau Monde

Loelia Mary, Lady Lindsay of Dowhill, née Ponsonby, born 6 February 1902, was a British peeress, needlewoman and magazine editor.

Lindsay was the only daughter of the courtier Sir Frederick Ponsonby, later 1st Baron Sysonby, and Victoria Lily (Kennard), Lady Sysonby, the well-known cook book author.

She spent her early years at St James's Palace, Park House at Sandringham and Birkhall.

Rex Whistler, Stephen Tennant, Captain Crichton, Joan Thurston (later Joan Aly Khan) and Viscountess Camrose, Tanis Guinness (later Phillips) Zita Jungman and Loelia Ponsonby (later Duchess of Westminster) Photographed by Cecil Beaton

One of the Bright Young People, she met the twice divorced Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. They were married on 20 February 1930 in a blaze of publicity, with Winston Churchill as the best man, but her marriage to the enormously wealthy peer failed. Their marriage was described by James Lees-Milne as "a definition of unadulterated hell".

After her divorce, Loelia, Duchess of Westminster, established herself as a skilful hostess at Send, Surrey, occupying herself with needlework and gardening, passions she had inherited from her mother. Her needlework collection was bequeathed to the National Trust.

"Loelia's needlework, of which she was justly proud, was regarded by professionals as absolutely first-rate. She experimented with different stitches in minute petit point mingling beads and even hair with coloured silks and wools."

In the 1950s, she worked as a feature editor for House & Garden magazine, and covered the wedding of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly.

Her second marriage, to Sir Martin Lindsay, 1st Baronet, MP, traveller, Arctic explorer and leader of a gallant expedition to Greenland, came as a surprise to her friends but was much more successful. The couple were married on 1 August 1969. Sir Martin, a devoted husband, died in 1981.

Loelia died 1 November 1993 in Achfary, a hamlet in the Scottish Highlands.



Reading Recommendations & Content Considerations

Memoirs of The Albums of

Loelia Duchess of Westminster Loelia Lindsay


bottom of page