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GEORGE, 2nd MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN
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George was a very clever man, his brother Mountbatten said - "Georgie's brain power was astonishing".  His brain was essentially a mathematical one, and he would read books on calculus and work out the most complicated mathematical problems in his head, much to the consternation of his fellow officers.  Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) said of him recalling her time at the wedding of Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent, formerly Princess Marina of Greece & Denmark (1906-1968) in 1934 - "I only once talked to him for any length of time... when he found himself next to me at the wedding breakfast.  But I don't think I have ever enjoyed a meal so much.  He was one of the most intelligent and brilliant of people.  He spoke to children just as if they were grown up."  However George was not a great conversationalist and would often lag behind in the midst of a conversation.   Soon his technical knowledge came to good use and he became the Managing Director and Chairman of  The British Sperry Gyroscope Company, earning almost ten times his modest Naval pay.  He also served as a Director of other companies such as Electrolux and retailer Marks & Spencer.  On 6th November 1937, George was promoted on the Retired List to a Captain in the Royal Navy.

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A 1924  portrait of George by society artist Philip de László  ​

The 1924 portrait of George,

2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
by Philip de Lászlo

Nadejda (centre) with her two children David (left) and Tatiana (right) at their home Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire ​

ABOVE: Nada outside the family home

Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire

with her two children (left to right)

David, Earl of Medina

(later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven)

and The Lady Tatiana Mountbatten

LEFT: George & Nada whilst on holiday in Antibes

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Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire

 

 

George and Nada lived in Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire - not far from Windsor Castle. Dating from the 13th Century, Lynden Manor passed through many owners over the years, including The Crown in the 15th Century. Originally moated, the property was largely demolished in 1846, not long after the moat had been filled in and rebuilt shortly after.  Whilst living there, George became the guardian of his nephew - the young Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark, later 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021).  Philip's father - Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark (1882-1944) was living in Monte Carlo with his mistress, while his mother - the former Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885-1969) was in an asylum following a nervous breakdown.

In 1934, Nada became involved in scandal - involving the infamous high profile custody battle of Gloria Laura Vanderbilt (1924-2019).  The child was the daughter of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1800-1925) and during the 1930s, her mother - Mrs Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (1904-1965) and her aunt Mrs Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), who both sought custody of baby Gloria and control over her $5 million trust fund.  During the trail it was alleged that Gloria's mother had been involved in a lesbian relationship with Nada.  George's wife was forced to travel to New York to give evidence in the trial, stating that the allegations were "malicious, terrible lies" - despite rumours of her 'bohemian sex life' rife throughout French 'café society'.  Gloria's mother (who subsequently lost custody of her daughter) was the twin sister of Thelma Furness (née Morgan), Viscountess Furness (1904-1970), the one-time mistress of George's cousin ​- Prince Edward 'David', The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor.

Nadejda, Marchioness of Milford Haven ​

Nada, Marchioness of Milford Haven

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In the last year of his life, George suffered from sciatica and walked with a stick, but following a dinner with Mountbatten and Edwina at Brook House, Park Lane, London in December 1937, George fell over in the street and broke his thigh.  The bones refused to heal and he was in pain for many weeks and in late January 1938 he was diagnosed with bone cancer, but it was decided that he should not be informed of the details of his condition.  His mother said - "it is a mystery how a hitherto healthy man, one in whose ancestors and relations there has been nothing of the kind can have developed this."  His younger brother - Mountbatten, was in Jamaica captaining an English polo team in an international competition and wrote to their mother - "I can't get Georgie out of my mind night or day... and am utterly miserable and wretched to be prevented from returning at once... Mama dear, I've been just like a baby.  I cry myself to sleep almost every night, a thing I haven't done since Papa died."  George was moved to the Empire Nursing Home, Vincent Square, London and his mother spent many hours at his bedside, but despite amputation, being in constant pain and often becoming delirious, he remained cheerful until the end.  At midday on 8th April 1938, George died aged 45yrs.

George's cousins -  King George VI and his brother - Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent walking in George's funeral procession

ABOVE: King George VI and

Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent

in the funeral procession in April 1938

through the streets of Bray, Berkshire

(left to right): David, Earl of Medina (later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven) - acting as page to Nadejda, Marchioness of Milford Haven (seated) & George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven in Coronation Robers for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937

ABOVE: The Milford Havens in Coronation Robes

for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 -

(left to right) David, Earl of Medina

(later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven)

acting as a page to his parents;
Nada (seated) & George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

LEFT: Cousins at Lynden Manor in 1936 -

(left to right) Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark

(later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh);

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten & David, Earl of Medina
(later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven)

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The funeral procession of

George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
through the streets of Bray, Berkshire in April 1938

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The funeral procession of George,

2nd Marquess of Milford Haven -

behind a Royal Navy officer carrying George's

decoration  is (centre) David, Earl of Medina

(later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven)

and (right) Mountbatten;

followed by King George VI &

Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent

walking through the streets of Bray, Berkshire in April 1938

A funeral service for George was held on 13th April 1938, with full Naval honours.  King George VI (1895(1936-1952), accompanied by his brother Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent (1902-1942) joined George's 18yr old son and heir - David, Earl of Medina (who succeeded his father as the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven) and George's brother - Mountbatten, in the procession through the streets of Bray, Berkshire to his final destination of Bray Cemetery.  At the head of the procession was the Band of HM Royal Marines, Portsmouth, then followed George's coffin (draped in the Union Flag) on a gun-carriage, drawn by a crew from HMS Excellent. Meanwhile, a Memorial Service was held at The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London - where George and Nada were married in 1916.

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The burial of George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven at Bray Cemetery -

standing around the grave are (left to right) Mountbatten; David, Earl of Medina,

later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven; Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent; King George VI.

Far right in full mourning are Nada & Edwina

A short film (limited audio) by British Movietone about the funeral

of George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

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Following George's death, Nada, spent most of her time at her home in Cannes, France - 'La Villa Costalado', where she and George spent many holidays.  Tatiana - their only daughter, who suffered from severe mental illness was often left in the care of Nada'a sister - The Lady Anastasia 'Zia' Wernher, formerly Countess Anastasia de Torby (1892-1977) who was married to the millionaire industrialist and racehorse owner Major-General Sir Harold Wernher, Bt. (1893-1973).  George and Nada's only son David, succeeded as 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven and like his father and grandfather, served in the Royal Navy.  

LEFT: Nada,

Dowager Marchioness

of Milford Haven at her home

in Cannes, France

with her Chow Chow dog

BELOW: The graves of

George, 2nd Marquess

of Milford Haven (left)

and his wife

Nada, Dowager Marchioness

of Milford Haven

at Bray Cemetery, Bray, Berkshire

The joint graves of George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (left) & his wife Nadejda, Marchioness of Milford Haven (right) at Bray Cemetery  ​

 

Nada, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven had lived a rather hedonistic life but despite that, widowhood brought almost relative seclusion.  She died at home, in Cannes, France on 22nd January 1963, aged 66yrs.  Her funeral service was held on 26th January 1963 (having been in a coma for 9 days) at St Michael's Church, Bray.  Nada was interred alongside her husband at Bray Cemetery, Bray, Berkshire, not far from their home - Lynden Manor.

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