20 November 2010


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.
Much love
(Letter from In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor)

"My Grandmother can carry anything off" - Stella Tennant


  1. sure reminds me of pukie whose emails are starting to sound like that: her chickens, her collection of eggs, gardening, making jam, hosting parties...

  2. Dear Beauty: Makes me jealous!