1973 #2: Santa Barbara. Who Is Hon. Desmond Guinness? Diana Mitford. Oswald Mosley. 1969 Flashback. Suzy Knickerbocker.

LAT Oct 10 1973. Paige is the date of Desmond Guinness from Ireland at a party given in his honor by Santa Barbara society.
October 10, 1973 LAT

Hard to believe Paige had only 6 more months to live after this article appeared.

I e-mailed with Beverley Jackson who is pictured to the left of Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss above. Jackson was the new society writer for the Santa Barbara paper at that time. She remembered Desmond but not Paige.

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

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

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

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

Page 3 coverage of the Desmond Guinness parties in Santa Barbara. Carmen Alexander grew up to be a beloved teacher at a Santa Barbara Open Alternative school. Tragically she died of a sudden bacterial infection in 2012.

Who is this Desmond Guinness, Paige’s date in Santa Barbara, Oct of 1973

? I find his name most often written as “the Hon. Desmond Guinness.”

Usually written with the Hon. before his well known last name.

Let’s start with his family of origin.

Desmond is, of course, an heir to the Guinness brewery fortune.

His father was Bryan Guinness, titled the 2nd Baron Moyne; also a poet and playwright.

His mother was the controversial Diana Mitford, from the equally controversial English society family with 6 eccentric and beautiful sisters, their 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 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 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 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.

Evening Standard, London, Nov. 25, 1957 Body language!

This 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 historic castles in Ireland and published books on the topic.

The couple were known for giving fabulous high society parties in Leixlip Castle and produced 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 from about the mid 1960s through the 1980s. I read dozens of articles about his visits in the newspaper archives.

Desmond was warmly welcomed at numerous US high society and historical gatherings; he would present lectures, slideshows and promote his books about Irish architecture, history and design. His visits were covered by local newspaper society columnists, who would write about the VIPs who attended the lecture/party/luncheon/cocktail party/dinner, in honor of the Hon. Desmond Guinness.

I’m including a only a few newspaper examples from 1969.

From the Palladium Item Richmond, Indiana March 16, 1969

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

March 25, 1969
the Miami-Herald April, 24, 1969

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

Top of the Suzy column. A classic of the era.

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

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

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

November 11, Philadelphia Inquirer

More on Desmond Guinness in 1969

Ithaca, New York Feb. 21, 1969

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

Desmond Guinness had a schedule of traveling to fundraise for IGS for decades.

Back to 1973 Santa Barbara

Desmond had already been the houseguest of Douglas Campbell in Los Angeles for 2 week of weeks when:

Paige appeared as the date of Desmond Guinness at a high society party in Santa Barbara. It was described as a season of cloudy, grey and rainy weather.

This Suzy nationally syndicated column below, appeared just 2 days later on October 12.

San Fran Examiner Oct. 12, 1973

It is quite interesting timing; Desmond is seen out with a date Paige, and his divorce is “announced” in these Suzy articles only two days later.

Philadelphia Inquirer OCT 12. 1973.

I conjecture that Desmond was “feeling free” that evening knowing his pending divorce would soon be out in the open.

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
Suzy column April 13, 1973 NY Daily News
LAT Sept. 23, 1973 Desmond is a guest in the LA home of Douglas Campbell only two weeks before the Santa Barbara soiree. Did Desmond and Paige spend time in Los Angeles together at this time in Los Angeles?

See next chapter.

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