Friday, 9 August 2013

Yvonne, Marchioness of Bristol

Lady Bristol: as pretty today as on her wedding day.
Another Eaton Square story that had the tabloids sending reporters to ring on doorbells and get "the scoop" was a little fracas between Lady Bristol and several other dog owners:

Lady Bristol sends dog owners barking ... | Mail Online

Let us get it out of the way so that we can move on to juicier gossip. This little tiff went down in 2010; Lady Bristol has since moved to another flat in the Square, her Boxers have passed on to be replaced by Lucas, as has beloved long-term resident Martine Fields.

Lady Bristol, then a relatively recent arrival in the Square, joined the Garden Committee and tried to enforce a long-ignored rule about dogs having to be on leads. Longer term residents objected, she in turn was a little too bossy with them. Rich dog-lovers with large egos, used to getting their own way, soon clashed and that story made the papers.

I brought up her name recently to a resident walking her dogs, and the reaction was: "oh God"

That sounds bad.

Then, after a pause, and frowning, she continued:

"It was a nonsense. Old story. She's actually very nice"

Not the sort of insider scoop we were hoping for.

In fact a little more digging suggests that Lady Bristol was going through some serious health issues, which might account for lack of tact at the time.

Worse, the couple who tattle-tailed to the press live off the Square, are not residents, and borrow a resident's key to the Gardens for their dog.

A "Lady Melanie" claims that Lady Bristol's Boxer attacked her little lap dog - but in fact Lucas is innocent of all charges. We are assured that the brutish Boxer in question was probably the unregistered Boxer from the North Side of the Square.

No matter how grand they are, and how much they pretend not to, residents of Eaton Square love to discuss a good scandal. This story is still talked about, but most are sympathetic to Lady Bristol. Women over 40 in particular remember the days when nice girls didn't go to university, but started their careers as secretaries - and they hate the snide remarks about her having been one. "We all were secretaries, darling, then we married".

The 6th Marquess of Bristol with his wife, Yvonne. Photo: GETTY

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