Louise daughter of Karl August, Count von Alten married in 1852, the 7th Duke of Manchester and in 1892 she weds again, the 8th Duke of Devonshire, she was the famous hostess of the Devonshire Ball in 1897.
In 1893 in order to create the Lotus and Palmette Diamond Tiara Duchess Louise (the Double Duchess) had all the diamonds removed from the Devonshire parure and "In addition she dismantled all the other historic Devonshire jewels including the Garter Star to obtain no less than 1041 diamonds, from the heirloom.
In total 1907 diamonds are setted for the high all-around crown made by A E Skinner of Orchard Street London." Her intention was clear, she wanted to out-sparkle all other crowns - an ambition which this impressive showstopper successfully achieved.
From the news of thoose days...
....with special interest as in old days this first month of the year meant in your case a moment of much splendour and brilliant hospitality, for your January parties at Chatsworth will go down to fame in our social records. Nothing succeeds like success," and a lile history like yours affords ample evidence of the truth of this statement.
You are yourself a double duchess you were the mother of a duke and are the mother of a duchess and a countess, also the grandmother of a duke and a future duchess, and two of your daughters are, or have been, in the household of her Majesty Queen Alexandra.
When the nineteenth century was young you began life as the Countess Louise von Alten of Hanover, and in the far-off fifties married the 7th Duke of Manchester.
In those days your beauty was bad to beat you had a tall and stately figure, fine features, wavy chestnut hair, and a perfect complexion. But some folk- still remain who declare that you were perhaps less lovely than your sister, Countess Bludoff, who at that time reigned as queen in the smartest society in Europe.'
But you, dear duchess, had brains as well as looks and knew how to play your cards to the best advantage. In the early sixties you took front rank in what became known as the Marlborough House set, and from that time onward in fact, for more than forty years you held one of the proudest positions in the universe. Your domestic interests were also of im portance.
You had five children, the 8th and late Duke of Manchester, Lord Charles Montagu, Mary Duchess of Hamilton, Lady Gosford, and Lady Derby.
In 1890 you became a widow and lived in somewhat reduced circumstances in a corner house in Great Stanhope Street, but in two years fortune again smiled and you remarried as the wife of the late Duke of Devonshire and were for the second time a duchess.
As a hostess your triumphs have become historic in fact, you have been what we call top-hole in that capacity. Smartness is your watchword your parties are perfectly done and the guests cleverly assorted. And you have entertained royalty at Devonshire House, Chatsworth, Compton Place, and Bolton Abbey.
To my mind you reached your zenith as a hostess in 1897, the year of the Diamond Jubilee.
During that summer you gave a splendid fancy-dress ball at Devonshire House, which made its mark in our social annals and that has gone down to fame in Richard Whiteing's clever book, No. 5, John Street," and I, for one, never saw a more splendid vision than yourself in the guise of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra.
Then it had become fixed as fate that a brilliant political party should be given each year at Devonshire House on the eve of the opening of Parliament, and for a decade or more a smart dinner and dance have been arranged for Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria on the evening of Derby Day, to which his Majesty the King brought later on his guests from bis annual dinner to the members of the Jockey Club.
And the Christmas party at Chatsworth had become an institution also the above- mentioned big house party in January, when theatricals were the order of the night, and the guests of honour were King Edward and Queen Alexandra.
Then you, dear duchess, were for many years the recognised queen of the smart racing set, and often put in an appearance at each of the eight meetings at New market. The story goes that you still hanker after Beaufort House, so perhaps we shall even now see you reinstated in your former position, for it is an accepted fact that the reigning duke and duchess by no means belong to the racing frater nity.
And in London you and the late duke used to live a life of what Disraeli described as sustained splendour." The Devonshire state coach is a gorgeous affair in pale blue and primrose, with solid silver lamps and a blue velvet hammer- cloth, and this splendid equipage you and the duke always used for going to Court and for dining out in the season.
Your late husband was generous with jewels, and your rows of pearls and round crown of diamonds are of quite unusual magnificence.
In a word, you have made name and fame as a first-class social leader, and you do yourself well on principle the pride of life is portrayed to perfection by your grace of Devonshire. But no one must rush off with the idea that your mind is set on nothing but frivolity. This is by no means the case. Nature bestowed on you an ambitious soul and a subtle spirit you think deeply, dare much, and execute finely. Politics have been ever first in your thoughts, and your best energies have been used in this direction.
In the far-off seventies Benjamin Disraeli, that cleverest of social critics, predicted that if you ever became mistress of Devonshire House you would detach its master from his Liberal connections, and that as his duchess you would be the Lady Paramount of a Con servative party of the future, and events have justified his forecast.'
Also it is a well-known fact that you were never happy when the duke was out of office, and that the supreme wish of your life was to see him become Prime Minister. Ah, well, that is all over now, and your grace must needs settle down into a dignified dowagership.
By the way, we all of us get a set back, and yours has been that, oddly enough, you have never held office as Mistress of the Robes.
Now, all of us have a debit and credit side to our book of life our good qualities are a makeweight to our faults and failings. In your case, dear duchess, the last shall be first, but we will dismiss them in lenient fashion.
The uncc' guid are heard to declare that voui example has done much to encourage high play at cards and an undue keenness on racing among women in smart society. Certainly shilling points were not unknown at Chatsworth, and young matrons used to work with a will for invitations to your house at New market.
And the same stern critics declare that it has been your wont to go in too much for the strictly smart in social affairs, and that far too many Jews and Americans, racing men and financiers, were to be met under your roof both in London and the country in fact, that with you pleasure and not duty is the rule of existence. Well, life can be seen from several standpoints anyhow, it pleases me better to write of your gifts, graces, and kindly qualities.
That you have been and are a good wife and mother none will deny, also a loyal friend, and one who shows care for children, servants, and dependents. Year after year you used to gather around you the same circle of guests for your Christmas and New-Year parties at Chatsworth. Also you are one of our cleverest present-givers you choose the things yourself and can adapt the gift to the giftee in quite the kindest and most tactful manner.
And another pretty trait in your character is a fancy for friends who are much younger than yourself. For instance, among your intimates are such women as Lady Chesterfield, Lady Juliet Duff, Lady de Trafford, and Miss Muriel Wilson. Well, dear duchess, your glory may in a sense be departed, but you will, I trust have before you a happy and prosperous future.
Your friends are well aware that you have no great liking for Compton Place, Eastbourne, which the late duke left you for your lifetime -your interests centre in London, Newmarket, and the Riviera so you have acquired 44, Grosvenor Square, a fine mansion and a house with a history. A Cabinet dinner had been arranged there 011 the very night that the Cato Street conspiracy was discovered in 1820, and it was in the library of this same dwelling that the news of the victory of Waterloo was brought to Lord Harrowby. No doubt in the near future you will entertain there in your former brilliant fashion.
Sources:Tatler; Grandeur, Sentiment and Individuality: The Cavendish Jewels 1547 - 2017. Diana Scarisbrick. Found in House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth. Laura Burlington and Hamish Bowles.
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