Memoirs from the Hall:
I live here alone in what, when I was a girl, was used to be called the Hall. I suppose I am technically a dowager, though my son Rufus, the fourth earl, is not yet married. I love the country, it’s very peaceful here. I am surrounded by photographs of my past. On the piano I have a photograph of myself dancing with David, the Prince of Wales – later of course Edward the Eighth and subsequent Duke of Windsor. David was a very bad dancer, always trod on one’s toes, and I remember he once crushed the metatarsal bones in the foot of a girl-friend of mine – discreet lesbianism was fashionable at the time.
Here’s a photograph of Noel Coward – darling Noel as we always called him. He was a very witty man, you know – it’s a side of him not many people are aware of. I recall an occasion when I came onto the dance-floor of Mario’s in Greek Street wearing a very daring frock, a frock that revealed more of my decolletage than was then considered proper – now of course I dare say it would raise nothing more than an eyebrow – but at the time it was very wicked. I came onto the floor and darling Noel came up to me and said ‘Rosina’ – he always used to call me Rosina – it is my name, you must understand. ‘Rosina,’ he said in that voice of his, ‘Rosina, where did you find such an alluringly low-cut torso?’ This was Noel’s little way, you see.