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The Life and Secrets of Almina, 5th Countess of Carnarvon, of Tutankhamun fame

The Life and Secrets of Almina Carnarvon, 5th Countess of Carnarvon of Tutankham and Downton Abbey fame. Almina's secrets are revealed by her biographer William Cross, FSA Scot

Almina Carnarvon has left behind a curse as deadly as the one that overshadowed her legendry husband, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, co-discoverer with Howard Carter of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. She ploughed through a King’s ransom, inherited from one of the Rothschild family, leaving her playboy son enraged. In the Great War she reigned supreme as a Society leader who abandoned her comfy drawing room to treat wounded Officers at her own expense. Her later plush Nursing Homes served the rich, famous and privileged, earning her celebrity status She controlled men like a puppet master but she lost everything to bankruptcy.
This book offers insight into Almina’s life and times and discloses many secrets. The narrative reveals a riches-to-rags story over nine decades of the barely 5 feet high, Pocket Venus plunged into an artificial marriage with a boorish, craggy faced Earl, ten years her senior, a virtual invalid who failed her as a companion and a lover.
Almina reinvented herself several times, married twice, she lived with a business partner for 20 years, entirely undisclosed to her family, who walked in the highest echelons of Society, swindled her own son and ended her days in an ordinary terraced house in Bristol, perishing aged 93, in a horrendous “accident” in 1969. This is a tale to rock the old world Establishment.
Today Almina's biographer, William Cross, author of five books on the Carnarvons of Highclere reveals the secrets and mysteries about a remarkable woman.


mr William Cross | talks | www


Date and Time:

3 October 2016 at 10:00 am


2 hours



Woodland Road Sports Centre
Cwmbran, Gwent
NP44 2DZ

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Organised by:

William Cross, FSA Scot
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Who Is Almina, Countess of Carnarvon?
Almina was born in London on 14 April 1876, but her birth was not registered in England until four years later. Christened Almina Victoria Marie Alexandra Wombwell later Herbert, later Mrs Dennistoun, from 1923 she termed herself Almina, Countess of Carnarvon. Her mother was French, her father was probably English. Almina’s childhood was spent among the decaying vestiges of old French and Spanish aristocrats. Almina grew up in Paris, spoke fluent French and was later a debutante in the London Season of 1893. She lived and loved for nine decades – married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1895 and Lt. Col Ian Onslow Dennistoun in 1923. Lord Carnarvon died in 1923 (in Egypt). Ian died in 1938 (in London). Almina was chatelaine of Highclere Castle ( the back drop to TV’s Downton Abbey) from 1895 until 1923.
Almina made a major contribution to nursing the wounded in the Great War and ran a series of plush nursing homes in London and surrounds from 1914-1943. Here she pampered the rich, famous and many Royals. She spent a King’s Ransom: principally the legacies from her mother, Marie Boyer, who died in 1913, and from her godfather-guardian, Baron Alfred de Rothschild, who died in 1918. Almina also received the proceeds of the 5th Earl’s Will. Almina was made bankrupt in 1951 and died in Bristol on 8 May 1969, aged 93.

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