How Alva Vanderbilt conquered New York society – then Europe

Even after the Marlboroughs separated, when Consuelo lived alone in London for years, she never forgot her causes or the local charities she frequented. “She continued in the same vein as her mother did, focusing on women’s causes, those of single women, those of abused or jailed women.”

Although their paths don’t overlap much, Lady Henrietta remembers meeting Consuelo when she was very young. “She was an extremely elegant and well-spoken woman. She looked quite frail but was still impeccably dressed,” Lady Henrietta said. “She had a beautiful complexion and you wouldn’t have known if she was English, American or what. She just exuded style.

Lady Henrietta goes on to note that Consuelo was a wonderful mother and had a very close relationship with Winston Churchill (whose mother, Jenny Jerome, was also American). “She stayed in touch with the family throughout her life and I think the fact that she was buried in Blanton (the family cemetery) next to her husband and youngest son says a lot.” Lady Henrietta remarks: “She wanted to leave her mark on it.

There is not much written about Consuelo’s return to Newport, she died in Southampton in 1964. The undefeated Alva, after divorcing William K. Vanderbilt, remarried another Newport heir , Oliver Belmont, becoming chatelaine of the castle of Belcourt, before settling in France to get closer. to his daughter. She eventually sold Marble House in 1932 to my great-great-grandfather, Frederick H. Prince for only $20,000. He in turn donated it to the Preservation Society in 1962.

It’s always a great place to have a party. I got married there (photos were featured in this magazine) and some of my favorite memories of that evening dance wildly into the wee hours in that golden ballroom. I think even Alva would have approved.

The Gilded Age will air on January 24 on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.

Mary I. Bruner