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Lady Alexandra Naldera Curzon, CBE (20 April 1904 - 7 August 1995)[1], was the third daughter of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston and Viceroy of India, and Lord Curzon's first wife, the American mercantile heiress, formerly Mary Victoria Leiter, Mary Victoria Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston. She was named after her godmother, Queen Mother Alexandra.

Contents

Early life

Alexandra was conceived in July 1903 at Naldehra 25 km from Shimla, perhaps after a high altitude game of golf.[2][3] Her mother died in 1906 when she was only two years old. Her father's Indian servants called her "Baba Sahib", "the Viceroy's baby", and she was thereafter best known as "Baba". She and her sisters, Mary Irene and Cynthia,"Cimmie", were brought up in grand houses, Hackwood Park and Montacute; their London home, in Carlton House Terrace, became a centre of elite social life after Curzon's second marriage to Grace Elvina Duggan in 1917. She was dubbed the "prettiest debutante of the 1922 season".[4]

Adulthood

She was the first love of Prince George, Duke of Kent but in 1925 she married Major Edward Dudley Metcalfe, the best friend and equerry of George's older brother, Edward VIII.[5] She had a son, David Metcalfe, and twin daughters.

She later became a mistress of Oswald Mosley, her sister Cynthia's husband, as did their stepmother, Grace.[6], [7] She had affairs with Jock Whitney, Michael Lubbock, Walter Monckton and Charles Duncombe, 3rd Earl of Feversham. Before World War II she earned the sobriquet Baba Blackshirt, and for a while played a murky role as a semiwitting go-between for Mosley and her other lover at the time, Dino Grandi, Mussolini's ambassador to London, while simultaneously enjoying the romantic devotion of the foreign secretary, Lord Halifax who was staying at the same Dorchester Hotel as Alexandra and her sister.[8]

Later life

The main thrust of Baba's later life was her tireless efforts for the Save the Children Fund, a commitment that lasted for more than 40 years. Lady Alexandra joined the Save the Children Fund in 1950 and was very active doing fund-raising in London. In 1955 she became a member of the fund's governing council. Later she became chairman of the Overseas Relief and Welfare Committee, which controls all overseas work of the fund. In 1974 she was elected vice-president. She was awarded Commander of the British Empire for these efforts in 1975.[9][10], [11]

Alexandra was portrayed in the 1980 7x50 min episode mini-series, "Edward and Mrs. Simpson", which won the 1980 Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series.[12]

add: [13]

Notes

  1. ^ Tompsett Brian C. (2005) Index to Royal Genealogical Data, retrieved 3/17/2007Royal Genealogical Data
  2. ^ Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India - Other Activities/golf Wildflower Hall, Shimla
  3. ^ Cory, Charlotte (2002) Sunday Times, December 29th, retrieved 3/14/2007 "The Delhi Durbar 1903 Revisited",Delhi Durbar 1903
  4. ^ CARTER, MIRANDA (June 2, 2002) "Poor Little Rich Girls", New York Times - Books, retrieved Apr 4, 2007"Poor Little Rich Girls"
  5. ^ Time Magazine, June 8, 1925Time
  6. ^ Davies Matt <Matt Davies@JSSGallery.org> (Mon, 18 Mar 2002) Grace Elvina Hinds Duggan Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston (1879-1958). Grace_Elvina
  7. ^ George Nathaniel, the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, John Singer Sargent -- American painter, 1914 Royal Geographical Society, England, Oil 100.3 x 77.5 cm (39 1/2 x 30 1/2 in), Friend of the JSS Gallery Royal Geographical Society Grace_Elvina
  8. ^ CARTER, MIRANDA (June 2, 2002) "Poor Little Rich Girls", New York Times - Books, retrieved Apr 4, 2007"Poor Little Rich Girls"
  9. ^ 1977 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 31st Parliament, British Columbia, (MARCH 15, 1977) Official Report of DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (Hansard), retrieved Mar 15, 2007 1977 Legislative Session
  10. ^ de Courcy Anne (2001) "The Viceroy's Daughters: The Lives of the Curzon Sisters" Orion Publishing Group, London, ISBN 9780066210612 ISBN 0066210615 The Viceroy's Daughters..., Abstract
  11. ^ Gilmour, David (Oct 28, 2000) "Washing one's mother's linen" a review of THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS: THE LIVES OF THE CURZON SISTERS by Anne de Courcy, The Spectator, retrieved 4/9/2007a review of THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS
  12. ^ "Edward & Mrs. Simpson""Edward & Mrs. Simpson"
  13. ^ BRADFORD SARAH (Aug 9, 1995) Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, The Independent, London, retrieved 4/9/2007 Short Biography
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