Deborah Vivien Freeman Mitford Cavendish, 90, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, at home at Chatsworth.She's grandmother of Stella Tennant, of course."Darling Paddy,
Stella came. We had to be together in a photo for Vogue's 90th birthday come Christmas. So one Mario Testino, famous photographer, came in a helicopter with a crew of makeup, hairdresser, “fashion editor”, etc from London.
I've got a really beautiful dress, grand evening, given me by Oscar de la Renta, so that was my kit. They bound Stella's legs, up to where they join her body, in tartan. A Union Jack flag hung from her waist & her top was what my father would have called meaningless.
Hair skewbald/piebald, all colours & stuck up in bits. THEN they produced “shoes” with 6 inch heels. More stilts - she could hardly put one foot in front of the other, wobbling & toppling.
We looked just like that Grandville drawing of a giraffe dancing with a little monkey. I was the monkey.
(Letter from In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor)
"My Grandmother can carry anything off" - Stella Tennant