1973: Desmond Guinness. Diana Mitford. 1969 Flashback. Santa Barbara. Suzy Says.

LAT Oct 10 1973. Paige is the date of Desmond Guinness from Ireland.

Oct. 1973: Paige attended October 10, 1973.

October 10, 1973 LAT

What you see in the third column is the only mention of Paige Young in this article, besides her photo.

The rest of the article by Jody Jacobs, society writer for the LAT, (below) discusses the Santa Barbara society and VIPs who attended this party for Desmond Guinness.

I e-mailed with Beverley Jackson who is pictured to the left of Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss. Jackson was the new society writer for the Santa Barbara paper at that time.

The elderly Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss is probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ grandmother. Julia is famously from a wealthy Santa Barbara family.

Below is the remainder of the article.

Page 3 coverage of the Desmond Guinness parties in Santa Barbara.

6 months after this article appeared, Paige Young would be dead by suicide.

*Side note* Little Carmen Alexander, pictured above, grew up to work at the Santa Barbara Open Alternative School, where she was a beloved teacher. Sadly, she died of a sudden bacterial infection in 2012.

Who is this Desmond Guinness, usually written as “the Hon. Desmond Guinness.”

Let’s start with his family of origin:

Desmond is an heir to the Guinness brewery fortune. His father was Bryan Guinness, titled the 2nd Baron Moyne; he was also a poet and playwright.

His mother was the controversial Diana Mitford, from the equally controversial English society family with 6 eccentric sisters, parents and grandparents. There are several books published about the Mitford family, the sisters in particular.

Desmond and his brother didn’t grow up with their mother, Diana Mitford; she left her sons and their father when the boys were toddlers. Her reason for this action was to marry British politician turned extremist Oswald Mosley, in 1936.

Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF), after visiting both Mussolini and Hitler. Hitler attended the wedding of Mitford and Mosley and the reception took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels.

You can see why Diana Mitford is considered controversial, and she wasn’t the only Mitford sister who was acquainted with Hitler.

During WW 2, Mitford and Mosley were considered a threat and placed under British house arrest. 3 years in Holloway Prison.

I read that Desmond did visit his mother in prison, at least once.

Diana went on to have more more children: two sons with Mosley.

The couple lived out their years in France after the war; they were highly disliked in England.

Desmond Guinness grows up and in 1954, married the beautiful Hermione Maria-Gabrielle Von Urach, who had German royalty and titles on her father’s side. Her English mother was institutionalized when “Gabrielle” was only 6 years old. At age 18, Gabrielle became known as “Mariga.”

This beautiful, young and socially connected couple shared a love of architecture and history. They had no need to work for a living.

Desmond and Mariga purchased the decaying Leixlip castle of Ireland, restored it and made it their primary residence.

The couple founded the Irish Georgian Society in 1957/58, dedicated to preservation of Irish Georgian castles and Irish castles in general.

Mariga and Desmond restored several more castles in Ireland and wrote several books about their experiences.

The couple were known for giving fabulous parties in Leixlip Castle and had two beautiful children: Marina and Patrick.

Slim Aarons has taken an iconic photo of Desmond Guinness with Marina and Patrick; all three share the same icy-blue gaze.

I found in my research that Desmond toured the US extensively to fundraise for the IGS in the mid-60s, 1970s and 1980s. I read dozens of articles about his visits in the newspaper archives. Desmond was welcomed at numerous US society and historical gatherings, where he would present lectures, slideshows and promote his books about Irish architecture, history and design. His visits were covered by the local newspaper society columnists, who would write about all the VIPs who attended the lecture/party/luncheon/cocktail party/dinner, in honor of the Hon. Desmond Guinness.

Some great examples below from the year 1969.

I’m picking 1969 out of the many years Desmond travelled the US because it’s the same year Paige Young was touring the US for Playboy.

March 25, 1969

Desmond was visiting Richmond, Virginia just days before:

From the Palladium Item Richmond, Indiana March 16, 1969
the Miami-Herald April, 24, 1969

Miami in April.

This is from the Suzy Gossip column in the NY Daily News Nov. 1969.

“Suzy” aka Suzy Knickerbocker was a syndicated “society” columnist for over 50 years and worked for many different newspapers.

She clearly had a “specialty” for European society/royal types with a title. Suzy K. wrote adoringly about Desmond (mainly) and Mariga several times.

Here is an article about Suzy from March 15, 1969. Probably at the height of her clout (and salary) for writing about high society’s comings and goings.

More on Desmond Guinness in 1969

November 11, Philadelphia Inquirer
Ithaca, New York Feb. 21, 1969

Desmond visited towns one may not have expected, like Des Moines, Shreveport, Louisiana and the Corning Glass Center in Ithaca, New York.

Back to 1973 Santa Barbara

As we saw earlier, Paige was the date of Desmond at a “high society” party in Santa Barbara. It was described as a season of cloudy, grey and rainy weather.

This article was published in the LAT on October 10th; it probably happened a night or two previous.

I emailed with Beverley Jackson, her photo in the middle next to Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss. I emailed her this photo and article. She definitely remembered Desmond but did not remember Paige.

She wrote that Desmond was “always very discreet in these matters.”

This Suzy column below appears just 2 days later on October 12.

San Fran Examiner Oct. 12, 1973
OCT 12. 1973. Philadelphia Inquirer

I do not know if there is a connection, but it is interesting timing that Desmond is seen out with a date and his divorce is “announced” in these Suzy articles only two days later.

1973 cont. Desmond was busy travelling the USA fundraising and promoting his latest book as we see from these two Suzy columns.

March 21, 1973 Suzy column NY Daily News. Mariga is mentioned. Before separation announcement
From the Suzy column April 13, 1973 NY Daily News

Below is a Jody Jacobs LAT piece.

This places Desmond in LA a couple weeks before the Santa Barbara party where Paige was his date.

LAT Sept. 23, 1973

To be continued……

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