Friday, 22 September 2017

World's richest woman Liliane Bettencourt dies aged 94 / VIDEO:Liliane Bettencourt, l'héritiere l'Oreal est decedée - Une Querelle fami...

World's richest woman Liliane Bettencourt dies aged 94
Daughter announces death of heir to French L’Oreal empire, who was world’s 14th richest person

Angelique Chrisafis
Thursday 21 September 2017 17.39 BST Last modified on Thursday 21 September 2017 23.11 BST

Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the French L’Oreal hairspray empire and the world’s wealthiest woman, who was at the centre of a long-running French courtroom saga over alleged hangers-on who took advantage of her frailty to elicit money and gifts, has died aged 94.

Bettencourt, whose net worth was estimated at about €33bn (£29bn) this year, was the face of one of France’s biggest cosmetics conglomerates and had once captured the public’s imagination as the nation’s poor little rich girl.

She was the daughter of Eugène Schueller, a chemist and one-time Nazi sympathiser who made a fortune as the inventor of modern hair dye and founder of L’Oréal. Her mother died when she was five, leaving her alone with Schueller whose company she inherited.

Bettencourt hit the headlines in 2007 when members of her entourage were charged with exploiting her failing mental health – leading to a vast inquiry that threatened to engulf the then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
When Bettencourt’s husband, the politician André Bettencourt, died in 2007, their daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, decided to take legal action against her mother’s eccentric best friend, François-Marie Banier. The dandy photographer, artist and one-time society golden boy was accused of taking advantage of Bettencourt’s frailty to accept almost €1bn worth of gifts, including paintings, life insurance policies and a salary from L’Oreal.

Shocked domestic staff at Bettencourt’s mansion west of Paris whispered how the flamboyant Banier would pee in the flowerbeds, lie on Bettencourt’s bed with his shoes on and make requests for money.

Banier denied the allegations, but it was just the start of a multi-layered legal inquiry that became the nation’s soap opera.

The saga resulted in not only a public family feud but a major political scandal and courtroom drama when the investigation was extended to look at whether Sarkozy and other figures in his party had also taken advantage of the elderly Bettencourt, asking for money from her after it was declared that she had dementia.

The money, alleged to have been given in brown envelopes, was said to have funded Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.

The “Bettencourt affair” tarnished the latter half of Sarkozy’s presidency, and when he lost the 2012 election he was placed under formal investigation for illegal campaign financing and taking advantage of Bettencourt. But the charges against Sarkozy were dropped in October 2013 due to lack of evidence.

In 2015, the photographer Banier was convicted of exploiting Bettencourt and sentenced to three years in jail, fined €350,000 and ordered to pay €158m in damages. He appealed and last year received a suspended prison sentence and a fine but did not have to pay the vast damages.

In the meantime, other cases had opened around the affair, including a court case over the publication of secretly recorded conversations between Bettencourt and her wealth manager which were taped when her butler hid a recorder in her mansion.

Bettencourt had been declared unfit to run her own affairs in 2011 after a medical report showing she had suffered from “mixed dementia” and “moderately severe” Alzheimer’s disease since 2006. She was rarely seen in public after leaving the L’Oreal board in 2012.

“Liliane Bettencourt died last night at home,” her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers said in a statement. “My mother left peacefully.”

Photographer jailed for multi-billion euro Bettencourt exploitation
François-Marie Banier has been sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay back €15m to L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her family

 Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Thursday 28 May 2015 17.34 BST Last modified on Friday 29 May 2015 00.00 BST

A French celebrity photographer has been found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for exploiting the mental frailty of Liliane Bettencourt, the ageing L’Oréal shampoo heiress, who showered him with gifts including Picasso paintings, life insurance funds and millions of euros in cash.

François-Marie Banier, who had befriended Bettencourt, 25 years his senior, arguing that he was the only person who made her laugh, was given a three-year sentence – six months of which was suspended – and ordered to pay a fine of €250,000 and pay back over €15m to the Bettencourt family.

But judges cleared Eric Woerth, a former minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s government and campaign treasurer for his 2007 presidential campaign. He was acquitted of charges of exploiting Bettencourt’s frailty by taking an envelope of cash from the weak and elderly billionaire who suffers from dementia.

Woerth was also cleared of charges of influence-peddling. He had been accused of using his position of influence to secure favours from Bettencourt’s financial manager – urging him to employ his wife in exchange for receiving the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration. The court acquitted him of all charges.

The Bettencourt saga began in more than seven years ago as a family feud between mother and daughter in one of the richest families in France, but it sparked a political scandal as well a raft of judicial investigations including on tax evasion and illegal party funding.

In 2007, Bettencourt’s daughter began legal action claiming that Banier, a Paris socialite and photographer, befriended her ageing mother and taken advantage of her frail state of mind to persuade her to give him more than €1bn in artworks, insurance policies and cash. The long-running case gripped France and sent shockwaves through the political class, tarnishing Sarkozy, who was placed under formal investigation for illegal campaign financing and taking advantage of Bettencourt after being voted out as president in 2015. Those charges against Sarkozy were dropped in October 2013 due to lack of evidence.

Banier, now 67, who first met Bettencourt, 92, when he photographed her for a magazine, presented himself in court as a rich and well-connected celebrity photographer, a charming eccentric who did not need the money.

Bettencourt, who is estimated to be worth €33bn (£24bn) by Forbes magazine, was alleged to have found a new best friend in the outrageous and eccentric Banier. She showered him with so many gifts that even his own lawyer admitted in court that he had been “drowning in gold” and briefly made him her sole heir.

The court had heard how Bettencourt had been suffering from increasing dementia and, by 2011, was unable to tell what year it was.

From 2006 to 2010, Banier received gifts from Bettencourt worth €414m, including life insurance policies, paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Mondrian, manuscripts and cash. In court, Banier conceded that just hearing the figures sparked “an enormous vertigo”. But he said Bettencourt chose to bestow the gifts, it “gave her immense pleasure to do it” and she had been of sound mind. He said she got angry if he tried to turn down gifts. Most of the value of the gifts was paid back before the court case.

Patrice de Mestre, Bettencourt’s wealth manager, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for exploiting her frailty, as was her former lawyer. Martin d’Orgeval, Banier’s partner, was found guilty on the same charges and received a suspended sentence.

Banier and de Mestre will appeal against the verdicts

Bettencourt scandal: Key players
7 October 2013

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It started out as a dispute between the heiress to a cosmetics fortune and her family. Then the row over Liliane Bettencourt's finances escalated as far as the former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The case against him has now been dismissed, but others are still facing prosecution.
The affair remains a tangled saga of names, connections, claims and rebuttals. The BBC News website profiles key players in the political drama that has gripped the French public.

Liliane Bettencourt
Reports say Bettencourt mother and daughter are not on speaking terms
The story starts with Liliane Bettencourt, now 87, and the richest woman in France.
She is the heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune and holds a 27.5% stake in the company.
Her total wealth is put at about 17bn euros ($21bn; £14bn).
Twenty years ago, she befriended the society photographer Francois-Marie Banier, 62.
Over the years, she gave him gifts worth around 1bn euros. These included cash, life insurance policies and artworks by Picasso and Matisse.
Her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, took the matter to court.
She said Mrs Bettencourt was mentally incompetent and had been exploited by Mr Banier.
Mrs Bettencourt said she was a free woman, in full control of her faculties, and her daughter would just have to accept it.
But the dispute has now widened far beyond its origins.
In 2010 prosecutors opened a separate investigation into Mrs Bettencourt's tax affairs after secret recordings of conversations between the heiress and her wealth manager came to light.
The recordings, made by Mrs Bettencourt's butler, were passed to the police by her daughter.
Transcripts published by the news website Mediapart appear to refer to undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland and the Seychelles.
Mrs Bettencourt admitted tax evasion and promised to put her affairs in order.
But Mrs Bettencourt's political connections came under the spotlight.
Prosecutors began a separate inquiry into Mrs Bettencourt's donations to Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, the UMP.

Nicolas Sarkozy
The Bettencourt affair contributed to negative publicity for Mr Sarkozy
The criminal investigation into the former French president for allegedly receiving illegal funding from Mrs Bettencourt has been dropped.
He lost his presidential immunity from prosecution in mid-June 2012, after his election defeat, and in July of that year, police carried out searches at his Paris home, offices and a law firm in which he owns shares.
It had been alleged that tens of thousands of euros were allegedly funnelled to Mr Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign by Mrs Bettencourt's office.
Individual campaign contributions in France are limited to 4,600 euros (£3,700) annually.
Mr Sarkozy had consistently rejected all accusations of impropriety.

Eric Woerth quit Mr Sarkozy's government in 2010 over the Bettencourt affair
The former French labour minister was also treasurer for the UMP for eight years.
He ran the party's finances at the time of the presidential election in 2007, when Mr Sarkozy was elected.
Mrs Bettencourt's former accountant Claire Thibout has accused Mr Woerth of taking delivery of undeclared campaign donations from the L'Oreal heiress. She says he received 150,000 euros in cash for the UMP in March 2007.
Mr Woerth has vehemently denied the accusations, saying he never received a single illegal euro. But the Bettencourt affair drove him to resign in 2010.
He said he was the victim of a witch hunt by the left because of his responsibility for pension reform and his plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
But in February 2012, he was put under criminal investigation for influence peddling - accused of securing France's highest award, the Legion d'honneur, for Mrs Bettencourt's financial manager, Patrice de Maistre.
In his previous role as budget minister, Mr Woerth had responsibility for pursuing tax dodgers.
Questions have now been raised about whether he turned a blind eye to Mrs Bettencourt's tax evasion.
A prosecutor says he informed the budget ministry of his suspicions about Mrs Bettencourt's tax affairs in January 2009. Mr Woerth denies having blocked an investigation.
He is expected to face trial for his alleged role in the affair.

Florence Woerth
To complicate matters still further, Mr Woerth's wife used to work for Mrs Bettencourt as an investment adviser.
She was employed by Patrice de Maistre, Mrs Bettencourt's wealth manager, but resigned in 2010 after she and her husband were accused of a conflict of interest.
In the secret tapes, Mr de Maistre says clearly that he gave the job to Mrs Woerth after being asked by Mr Woerth to employ her.
So far Patrice de Maistre is the only one of the suspects to have been detained

Patrice de Maistre was Mrs Bettencourt's wealth manager. His company, Clymene, had as its sole function the investment of the estimated 278m euros that Mrs Bettencourt drew annually from her stake in L'Oreal.
He was detained by Bordeaux police for 88 days in early 2012. He was released after posting bail of 4m euros.
He denies accusations by Claire Thibout, who says he asked her for 150,000 euros, which he promised to give "discreetly" to Eric Woerth at a dinner.
In the tapes recorded by Mrs Bettencourt's butler, he is heard to tell the heiress that Eric Woerth is "very nice, and also he's the man who is in charge of your taxes... He's a friend."
Investigators are interested in 4m euros which he allegedly transferred to France from a Bettencourt bank account in Switzerland in 2007-2009.
Mr de Maistre was awarded the Legion d'Honneur. Eric Woerth denies it was in return for employing his wife.
Mr de Maistre is also expected to face trial for his alleged role in the affair.

Claire Thibout says Mr Sarkozy received envelopes of Bettencourt cash before becoming president
Ms Thibout was formerly Mrs Bettencourt's accountant.
She told prosecutors that in March 2007, she had been involved in withdrawing 150,000 euros in cash from Mrs Bettencourt's accounts.
She said she herself took out 50,000 euros - the maximum she was authorised to withdraw - and handed the money to Patrice de Maistre.
Police have checked bank records and have confirmed the withdrawal.
The money was to be given to Mr Woerth in plain envelopes as a donation for the UMP, she said.
Ms Thibout admitted she herself had not witnessed the handover.

Francois-Marie Banier allegedly received expensive gifts from Mrs Bettencourt
Described as an aesthete, Francois-Marie Banier made his name as a photographer. His work has been published in Le Figaro and the New Yorker.
In his youth, Francois-Marie Banier was the friend of 1960s cultural icons like Salvador Dali and Samuel Beckett.
But his friendship with Mrs Bettencourt angered her family. Mrs Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, called him "the predator".
In December 2009, a court ruled that Mr Banier did have a criminal case to answer for "abuse of mental fragility".
Mr Banier went on trial in July 2010, but the case was quickly adjourned. He denied all the charges, saying he did not take advantage of Mrs Bettencourt.
In December 2010, he made an out-of-court settlement with Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, under which he will not benefit from her mother's fortune.
But he remains under investigation by the authorities, and is expected to face trial for his alleged role in the affair.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Snowshill Manor Gloucestershire Near Broardway In The Costswolds

Snowshill Manor
The property is located in Snowshill. It is a typical Cotswold manor house, made from local stone; the main part of the house dates from the 16th century. It is a Grade II* listed building, having been so designated since 4 July 1960. Also listed are the brewhouse, the dovecote, some of the garden buildings, the wall and gate-piers, and the group of four Manor Cottages.
Snowshill Manor was the property of Winchcombe Abbey from 821 until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539[3] when the Abbey was confiscated by King Henry VIII, who presented it to his last queen, Catherine Parr. Between 1539 and 1919 it had a number of tenants and owners until it was purchased by Charles Paget Wade, an architect, artist-craftsman, collector, poet and heir to the family fortune. He restored the property, living in the small cottage in the garden and using the manor house as a home for his collection of objects. By the time of his death he had amassed over 22,000 objects. He gave the property and the contents of this collection to the National Trust in 1951.
The house contains an eclectic collection of thousands of objects, gathered over the years by Charles Paget Wade, whose motto was "Let nothing perish". The collection includes toys, Samurai armour, musical instruments, and clocks. Today, the main attraction of the house is perhaps the display of Wade's collection. From 1900 until 1951, when he gave the Manor to the National Trust, Wade amassed an enormous and eclectic collection of objects reflecting his interest in craftsmanship. The objects in the collection include 26 suits of Japanese samurai armour dating from the 17th and 19th centuries, bicycles, toys, musical instruments, and more.
Wade was an eccentric man and lived in the Priest's House while housing his collection in the manor. It is said to be haunted by a monk, and by the ghost of a young woman forced in 1604 to marry against her will in one of the upstairs rooms.

The garden at Snowshill was laid out by Wade, in collaboration with Arts and Crafts movement architect, M. H. Baillie Scott, between 1920 and 1923. Their elaborate layout resembles a series of outside rooms seen as an extension to the house. Features include terraces and ponds, and the gardens demonstrate Wade's fascination with colours and scents. As well as formal beds, the gardens include an ancient dovecote, a model village, kitchen garden, orchards and small fields with sheep.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Remembering ... Ten Dukes gathered together.

Ten dukes-a-dining: Gathered together over lunch for a unique picture, the grandees with £2bn and 340,000 acres between them

At first glance, it might resemble the board meeting of a firm of auctioneers or a convention of prep school headmasters.
On closer inspection, it is actually a remarkable portrait of the grandest club in Britain, a super-elite who account for some 340,000 acres, more than £2billion and 4,505 years of aristocratic moving and shaking.
Some owe their fortunes to bravery in battle, others to royal philandering or political chicanery. But they are all distantly related to each other and they are all addressed in exactly the same way: Your Grace.
Outside the Royal Family, dukedoms have only ever been granted to a handful of men of power and influence.
Dukes are just one rung down from royalty in the social pecking order and enjoy a special status way above the rank and file of the aristocracy. As peerages go, it's the jackpot.
Today, there are just 24 non-royal dukes in existence, down from a total of 40 in their Georgian heyday. And it's fair to say that no modern monarch or government is likely to create any more.
So, to celebrate its 300th birthday, Tatler magazine decided to invite this dwindling band of mega-toffs to a ducal lunch. The result was the largest gathering of dukes since the Coronation of 1953.
Some were too frail to attend. Some live abroad. But ten of them gathered for oysters and Dover sole in London's clubland. And the result is this intriguing study of 21st century nobility.
'After 300 years, we wanted to recapture the spirit of the original Tatler, and what better than a room full of dukes,' says Tatler editor Catherine Ostler.
Once, the holders of these titles would have been the A-list celebrities of their time. Today, most people would be pushed to name a single one of them.
With hereditary peers cast out into the political wilderness, dukes might seem little more than a comic anachronism in modern Britain. While they retain their rank and social clout, their only power is financial.
In the case of, say, the Duke of Bedford, this amounts to £500million in art, London property and a large slab of Home Counties commuter belt. As for the Duke of Leinster, whose grandfather ran a teashop, it is next to nothing.
Yet many dukes still play an active part in public life. The Duke of Norfolk, as hereditary Earl Marshal, is still responsible for organising the State Opening of Parliament and any coronations which should occur.
The Duke of Northumberland runs several public bodies across the North East while his wife is the local Lord Lieutenant.
The very first dukedom was a royal affair. In 1337, Edward III created his son, the Black Prince, the Duke of Cornwall. The title derives from the Latin dux - leader - and, throughout history, fewer than 500 British men have held the rank of 'Duke'.
The last non-royal dukedom was created in 1900 for the former Earl of Fife, who was upgraded to Duke following his wedding to Queen Victoria's granddaughter.
There might have been a new one in 1955 when the Queen offered one to Churchill, but he declined, preferring to die a commoner.
The only non-duke at the Tatler gathering was historian Andrew Roberts, invited to chronicle the event.
'They're all related and they all stick up for each other,' he recalls.
But he fears that dukes could become an endangered species. 'Not long ago, two important dukedoms - Newcastle and Portland - became extinct,' says the historian.
'So, my parting plea to the dukes was simple, even if it startled some of them. I simply said: 'Keep procreating!'

The assembled: (from left to right) 1. James Graham, 8th Duke of Montrose; 2. David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland; 3. John Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset; 4. Ralph Percy, 12th Duke of Northumberland; 5. Andrew Russell, 15th Duke of Bedford; 6. Edward Fizalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk; 7. Torquhil Campbell, 18th Duke of Argyll; 8. Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Duke of Leinster; 9. Murray Beauclerk, 14th Duke of St Albans; 10. Arthur Wellesey, 8th Duke of Wellington. See list below for details

A very special edition: The picture appears in the November issue of Tatler magazine

1 James Graham, 8th Duke of Montrose
Age: 72.
Title created: 1707. Other titles include Viscount Dundaff and Lord Aberuthven, Mugdock and Fintrie.
Seat: Auchmar, a modest estate near Loch Lomond.
Wealth: A high-ranking, but lower league landowner with 8,800 acres valued at around £1 million in 2001.
History: The dukedom was awarded for supporting the Act of Union in 1707. The sixth Duke helped to invent the aircraft carrier during World War I. The present Duke spent part of his childhood in a mud hut in Rhodesia (where his father was building a farm). Instead of the usual Eton education, he attended Loretto School in Edinburgh - just like the Chancellor, Alistair Darling.

2 David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland
Age: 50.
Title created: 1703. Other titles include Marquess of Granby and Baron Roos of Belvoir.
Seat: Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire.
Wealth: Ranked 474th in the latest Rich List, he is valued at £115 million. Estates across Leicestershire (12,000 acres), Derbyshire (10,000 acres), Cambridgeshire (4,000 acres) and Lincolnshire (2,000 acres).
History: While the main seat, Belvoir, is a magnificent 365-room pile with an underground railway and £100 million of art, the family also owns Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, widely recognised as one of Britain's finest medieval and Tudor manor houses. A previous Marquess of Granby (later the third duke) was a popular soldier and helped many of his men with their retirement, hence the number of pubs called the Marquess of Granby.

3 John Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset
Age: 56. Title created: 1547. His other title is Lord Seymour.
Seat: Maiden Bradley, Somerset.
Wealth: Around 5,000 acres of Somerset, including several villages.
History: He is a descendant of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife. The first Duke of Somerset, Edward Seymour, was Jane's brother.
The family owns the fourposter oak bed in which Edward VI is said to have been conceived.
Having rented out his main house at £50,000 a year, the Duke runs the estate from a smaller house in Devon.

4 Ralph Percy, 12th Duke of Northumberland
Age: 52.
Title created: 1766. Other titles include Earl Percy, Earl of Beverley, Baron Warkworth.
Seat: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.
Wealth: With 132,000 acres, Syon Park in West London and a substantial art collection, he is valued at £300 million and ranked No. 178 on the latest Rich List.
History: Part of the original Norman Conquest gang, the Percy family have been dominant in their part of the country for centuries. Alnwick Castle is the authentic knight-in-shining-armour fortress and has featured in Blackadder and the Harry Potter films. The present Duke recently sold a Raphael painting to the nation for £22 million, a deal which attracted controversy because of the use of Lottery funds. The newly-refurbished Alnwick Garden is a major tourist attraction.

5 Andrew Russell, 15th Duke of Bedford
Age: 47.
Title created: 1694. Other titles include Marquess of Tavistock and Baron Howland
Seat: Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire
Wealth: Valued at £489million. Owns 23,000 acres and prime central London real estate.
History: The first Duke fought on both sides in the Civil War and was ennobled after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The family has made Woburn Abbey a major tourist attraction and the present Duke is busy refurbishing much of the London estate (significantly smaller than it once was after much of it became part of London University).
The family were stars of the BBC's Country House series.

6 Edward Fizalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk
Age: 53.
Title created: 1483. Other titles include Earl of Surrey and Baron Maltravers.
Seat: Arundel Castle, West Sussex.
Wealth: Half his 30,000 acres are in leafy West Sussex, while the family also owns a ten-acre parcel of London valued at £100 million in 2001.
History: As England's senior duke, Norfolk carries the hereditary title of Earl Marshal. As such, he plays an important role in running state occasions. The family's royal links stretch back centuries and the present Duke's wife, Georgina, stands in for the Queen at rehearsals of the State Opening of Parliament. The Duke's eldest son and heir, Henry, the Earl of Arundel, 21, is a promising Formula Three driver.

7 Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll
Age: 41.
Title created: 1701. Other titles include Marquess of Kintyre and Lorne, Viscount Lochow and Glenilla and Lord Morvern.
Seat: Inveraray Castle, Argyllshire.
Wealth: Family owns 60,000 acres of Scotland, valued at £12.5m in 2001.
History: The dukedom comes with plenty of baggage, including the hereditary posts of Master of HM's Household in Scotland and Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland.
The family suffered serious scandal in the Sixties, when the divorce proceedings of the 11th duke unearthed a famous photograph of his soon-to-be former wife with a mysterious naked man. The present duke, when not working in the whisky trade, is captain of the Scottish elephant polo team.

8 Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Duke of Leinster
Age: 61.
Title created: 1766. Other titles include Marquess of Kildare and Earl of Offaly
Seat: Formerly Carton House, Co. Kildare. Now a farmhouse in Oxfordshire.
Wealth: No landholdings of any note, the Duke works as a landscape gardener.
History: The FitzGeralds assisted Edward I in his battles against the Scots. The family fortunes declined in the 20th century after the 7th Duke sold his interests in the family estates and was then declared bankrupt. His fourth wife, with whom he opened a teashop in Rye in 1965, was the caretaker of the block of flats in which he lived. Educated at Millfield, the present Duke is president of the Oxfordshire Dyslexia Association.

9 Murray Beauclerk, 14th Duke of St Albans
Age: 70. Title created: 1684. Other titles include Earl of Burford, and Baron Heddington.
Seat: A terrace house in Knightsbridge, London.
Wealth: Never a great landowning family, the Beauclerks were said to own 4,000 acres, worth £12m, in 2001.
History: The first Duke was the illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn. Though the present Duke is a Tonbridge-educated chartered accountant, an eccentric strain still runs through family.
His heir, the Earl of Burford, has long campaigned to prove his ancestor, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the works of Shakespeare. In 1999, the young Earl was forcibly expelled from the House of Lords for jumping on the Woolsack and accusing the Government of treason in its expulsion of hereditary peers.

10 Arthur Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington
Age: 94.
Title created: 1814. Other titles include Prince of Waterloo, Duke of Vittoria and Earl of Mornington.
Seat: Stratfield Saye House, Hampshire and Apsley House, London.
Wealth: 7,000-acre Hampshire estate, 20,000 acres of Belgium and Spain. Thought to be worth £50m in 2001.
History: Like the original Iron Duke, the present Duke had a long Army career, winning the Military Cross and reaching the rank of Brigadier. In later life, he has devoted himself to his estates and charities, coming top in Country Life's 'Good Duke Guide' in 1991. His heir, the Marquess of Douro, is a former Tory MEP while his daughter, Lady Jane Wellesley, was once talked of as a bride for the Prince of Wales. More recent beaux include Melvyn Bragg and Loyd Grossman.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ralph Lauren working on memoir / 50 years anniversary of Polo Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, one of the giants of modern American fashion,
is working on his autobiography.
Simon & Schuster will release the book in fall 2017,
in conjunction with his company's 50th anniversary. The book is currently
Famed for his company's polo-pony motif, the 76-year-old
Lauren has combined Americana, ruggedness and refinement to create an upscale
look and a lifestyle known worldwide. He has risen from an immigrant household
in New York City to founding an iconic brand that made him one of the world's
richest men.
Lauren stepped down as chief executive in 2015 and was
succeeded by Old Navy President Stefan Larsson.

Simon & Schuster to Publish Ralph Lauren Memoir in Fall of 2017

New York, NY, September 21, 2016— Ralph Lauren, the legendary founder of the company that brought American style to the world, will publish his autobiography with Simon & Schuster in the fall of 2017. The work will be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio editions by Simon & Schuster in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and India.

“Ralph Lauren is a true American original who has built one of the world’s greatest, most iconic fashion brands and lifestyle empires,” said Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster. “His style is instantly recognizable to even the most casual observer, a triumph of business savvy and aesthetic sensibility that is unmatched anywhere.  We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring his fascinating story to readers worldwide.”

Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s publisher, said: “How Ralph Lauren’s business became the epitome of American style is one of the great cultural stories of our time.  We are honored that he has chosen Simon & Schuster as his publisher.  We expect this to be one of the most avidly read books of the year.”

World rights were acquired by Priscilla Painton, Vice President and Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster, through Lauren’s outside counsel, Robert B. Barnett of Williams & Connolly. Lauren began conversations with Painton four years ago about telling his story of rising from the Bronx to become one of the world’s most admired and well-known businessmen with a brand that is enduring and recognized everywhere. Lauren has given few in-depth interviews in his long career and decided to open up about his extraordinary life in time to celebrate his company’s 50th anniversary next year.

Simon & Schuster, part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. It has been the publisher of books by Bruce Springsteen, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and David McCullough. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at


Cary Goldstein, VP/Executive Director of Publicity, 212-698-1122

​The book will be released next year to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary
By Ella Alexander
22 September 2016

Ralph Lauren is writing a memoir that will chronicle how his business became the "epitome of American style".

The book, published by Simon & Schuster, will be released in autumn next year to coincide with the brand's 50th anniversary.

"His style is instantly recognisable to even the most casual observer, a triumph of business savvy and aesthetic sensibility that is unmatched anywhere," the Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy said.

Many designers have an interesting story to tell, but Lauren's life is more colourful than most. He was born in the Bronx in New York to Jewish immigrants and his first job was in the US Army. He left to become a sales assistant for Brooks Brothers and eventually ended up setting up his own brand from a drawer in the Empire State Building, taking rags and turning them into ties.

Soon after, Neiman Marcus bought 1,200 of Lauren's ties and the rest, as they say, is history. He resigned as chief executive of his hugely successful brand in 2015.

“Seeing as Ralph Lauren’s empire is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, we’re promised at least four books about the brand (including Ralph’s autobiography in 2018) on the horizon. Rizzoli has got a couple planned, including the Ralph Lauren: 50 Years of Fashion retrospective in association with WWD and a third version of the 2007 monograph, which will be expanded with more imagery and coverage of the last ten years.”