Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Duchess of Manchester
24 July 1862

Volume 8, page 302, sitting number 10,828.

The following paean to the charms of 'the Double Duchess' appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette (18 July 1911) shortly after her death.

'The ex-Empress Eugénie is the one great lady still among us who can recall, from very intimate knowledge, the late Duchess of Devonshire at the height of her beauty and charm. As long ago as the winter of 1857 the then Duchess of Manchester was a guest at the Imperial Court at Compiègne. A fellow-guest was the once-famous Comtesse de Casiglione; and, according to a contemporary letter from the Marquise de Contades to the Marquis de Castellane, it was the former whose charm was the more radiant. "She is as beautiful as daylight," it was exclaimed; "she quite surpasses  Mme de Castiglione ... She has a profile like an antique cameo, and it is quite a treat to look at her." Such praise from another woman was high indeed.

'Princess Catherine Radziwill records that "when I was introduced to the Duchess of Manchester, now the Duchess of Devonshire, she struck me as the loveliest creature I had ever set my eyes upon. Indeed, I have only met in my experience three women who could be compared to her; they are the Duchess of Sermoneta, Countess de Villeneuve, and a Russian lady, Mme Kitty Tolstoi." This opinion is endorsed by Princess Caroline Murat, who comments on the description generally accorded to the Comtesse de Castiglione of "the loveliest woman in Europe" as rather too flattering.'


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Duchess of Manchester, Luise von Alten, the Double Duchess, Camille Silvy, Silvy