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Tag: admired plunket

Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, recalled that following the 1936 Abdication – which resulted in her becoming Heiress Presumptive – Princess Elizabeth had prayed hard for a brother.

A brother who would have been king. 

Elizabeth never, had an actual brother  but one man filled this gap in her life and became her best friend, escort, confidante and protector.

Patrick, 7th Baron Plunket, had the credentials to be yet another chinless aristocrat in the Royal Household, but, as the art historian Roy Strong recalled: ‘he was an immensely beguiling man.’ 

The Queen and aide Lord Plunket at the polo in Windsor, 1957

The Queen and aide Lord Plunket at the polo in Windsor, 1957

Lord Plunket with Princess Margaret at the Epsom Derby in 1958

 Lord Plunket with Princess Margaret at the Epsom Derby in 1958

Tall and handsome, with a military bearing he was hugely charismatic and, according to Strong, was ‘one of the few who could give her a glimpse of the real world outside which he savoured to the full.’ 

One lady in waiting claimed that, ‘he was the only person who could talk to the Queen on equal terms’ and that his premature death at the age of 51 ‘was the greatest tragedy of the Queen’s life.’

Plunket was born in 1923, the son of Irish peer, Terence, 6th Baron Plunket and his wife Dorothé Lewis, who was the illegitimate child of the Hollywood star Fannie Ward (protégé of Cecil B DeMille and dubbed ‘the Eternal Flapper’) and the 7th Marquess of Londonderry.

The Queen’s parents were close friends of ‘Teddy’ and Dorothé Plunket during the 1920s and 30s. In February 1924 the Duchess of York lunched with Dorothé afterwards wrote: ‘I admired her baby.’

The Plunkets were tragically killed in 1938 in a private plane owned by William Randolph Hearst. 

The newspaper magnate had invited them to a party held in their honour and sent his own aircraft

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