Welcome to part two of our stories of real life American Duchesses, rich stateside socialites who married into the British aristocracy. Today we have the Tale of Two Consuelos.
The first is Consuelo Yznaga, was born in New York to a Cuban father & American mother. Through her father there were close connections to Spanish aristocracy and a great deal of wealth. She married George Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, who later became the Duke of Manchester. Thus, Consuelo became the Duchess of Manchester. Consuelo was also one of the real "Buccaneers". She passed away in 1909.
|Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester, 1907, John Singer Sargent|
|Manchester Tiara, 1903, Cartier, V&A|
Consuelo Vanderbilt was born March 2, 1877 in New York, heiress to an immense railroad fortune. Her mother was apparently very controlling and manipulative, pressuring her to marry Charles Spencer-Churchill, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, by locking her in her room and pretending to be on her death bed. I feel bad for Consuelo - supposedly she was already secretly engaged to another man, but her mother won that battle of wills and she married the Duke in 1895. It wasn't too long before it was marriage in name only, and eventually they had the marriage annulled. Consuelo re-married for love to Jacques Balsan, a French textile manufacturing heir.
|Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, 1903, Paul César Helleu|
|Consuelo Vanderbilt, c. 1890 (?)|