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Lucinda, 19 years his junior, was the daughter of Conservative defence minister Lord Lambton. Two weeks earlier I had visited him with my son Nicholas, at his home in Buckinghamshire where he lived with wife Lucinda Lambton and devoted young Croatian carer Luca. Perry was brought into the garden, with its animal topiary, and we sat with him in the sun. From a newspaper perch, he championed the British “elite,” lamented the decline of “the gentleman” and made headlines himself with a word that can’t be quoted. Mr. Worsthorne’s parents divorced when he was 5, and his mother married Sir Montagu Norman, the governor of the Bank of England. Another charming and eloquent editor of my acquaintance, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, who was briefly editor of The Sunday Telegraph, has been in the news. It is probable that when I first met Perry Worsthorne I was wearing a dress, though thankfully I have no memory of the event. Mr. Worsthorne forecast public indifference, using a four-letter word that later crept into use on cable television and in some general interest publications, but which in 1973 was wholly forbidden. (Lucy was investigating cryogenics). You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy. Perry thought this bad form and dishonest; old age was awful, he claimed, as so many friends died or got ill. To be ashamed of that side of our national life is very sad.”. As a result, I shall be remembered, if at all, as the second person to say” — and here he said it again — “on British TV. The Court Circular is your inside track on the latest happenings in the Royal Family, covering the biggest stories shaping the monarchy right now. Chandler Tregaskes, The aristocrat who was ‘part country squire part man-about-town’ with an appetite in equal measure for women, horses and country sports, The last of JFK's siblings has died at the age of 92, By Peregrine Worsthorne died not too long ago, at a great age. I eventually braked outside the gates of Siena saying I couldn’t drive any further. “Like so many Britons of my generation, I am both racist and anti-racist, the former prejudice feeding, indeed causing, the latter,” he wrote. Mr. Worsthorne’s language caused a stir with both the BBC and the owners of the Telegraph newspaper group, very likely costing him any chance of becoming editor of The Daily Telegraph, the flagship of Conservatism at the time. It was a beautiful day and we arrived for lunch after a long drive. Sir Peregrine Worsthorne – known as ‘Perry’ to his friends – was only the second person ever to voice an expletive on live television. But it is his many kindnesses and gallantry that I shall remember most. TRIAL OFFER For an advocate of the aristocracy, Mr. Worsthorne’s second marriage created a cruel irony. He wasn’t expecting anything back for his kindness. Thank You. Perry was among the last of Margaret Thatcher’s honours, receiving a knighthood in the 1991 New Year honours list for services to journalism. Rebecca Cope, Jeremy Selwyn / Associated Newspapers / Shutterstock. LONDON — Peregrine Worsthorne, an arch-Conservative newspaper editor, contrarian columnist and defender of empire and aristocracy, died on Oct. 4. Nicholas, now 37, says: ‘There was a gentleness about him, but he wasn’t a frightened man. However, much of his life he was a contrarian who, besides huge loyalty and love for friends, could also have intense almost irrational dislikes. In that period he also performed military service with a clandestine reconnaissance unit known as Phantom. In 1999, in an article in the left-wing New Statesman magazine, he offered a more nuanced view of a lifetime in which the racial prejudices with which he grew up had gradually fallen away. Peregrine Worsthorne, a former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, who died last week aged 96, chose, it seemed to me, to live his life flamboyantly. Twitter; Facebook; Google+; Pinterest; LinkedIn; The Godfather. He was powerful, special, popular, intellectual. Contrarianism, he once remarked, was synonymous with “the pure pleasure and enjoyment of annoying people.”. Contrarianism, he once remarked, was synonymous with “the pure pleasure and enjoyment of annoying people.”, Eamonn McCabe/Popperfoto, via Getty Images. I enjoyed his sense of humour. “Foolhardiness, I suppose. He appeared regularly on television as an acerbic and iconoclastic commentator. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. His father was a Belgian expatriate, Colonel Alexander Koch de Gooreynd, who had changed his name to Worsthorne … “Perry”, whose column was once essential reading for Conservative Party members, passed away last week, aged 96. He was considered something of a flâneur and a bohemian, with his tendrils of white, curled hair growing collar-length in old age. Mr. Worsthorne was posted to Washington for The Times of London during the postwar era, when, he wrote, a new representative of that newspaper “was personally received by the president at a little ceremony in the White House, like a mini-ambassador.”. I enjoyed all these trips except the drive with Perry in 2006 to Lucy’s just deceased father’s house, Cetinale, where Perry didn’t know the way despite having been there 13 times. In 2013, Mr. Worsthorne publicly supported legal efforts by his wife and two of her sisters to secure a share of the legacy. He was unconditionally kind.’. His books include “In Defense of Aristocracy,” published in 2004, in which he bemoaned the exclusion of the British aristocracy from public life. Annabel Sampson. (When I’d mentioned the actress Moyra Fraser, an ex-girlfriend, he’d murmured: ‘She was very special’.). Back in England, he joined The Daily Telegraph and rose to editor of its Sunday edition, The Sunday Telegraph, from 1986 to 1989. Lucy sent us two on a group holiday to Venice where we drank prosecco and were shown palazzo gardens by stylish male twins, one blond, one dark. “It is because I am so aware of my racism that I feel obliged to be fiercely anti-racist.”. It is his many kindnesses and gallantry that I shall remember most. His death was confirmed by his onetime employer, the The Daily Telegraph, which did not say where he died. For decades he had praised the hereditary elite and its role in British history, culture, governance and public life. They were also friends with my ex-husband Andrew Barrow and his future wife Annabel Freyberg and my son first encountered the colourful pair with his dad and stepmother, reporting: ‘Lucy wants her head pickled in a jar’. Mr. Worsthorne enjoyed an upper-crust upbringing, attending the Stowe School and spending time as an undergraduate at both Oxford and Cambridge during World War II. Share. For many years before and after his editorship he wrote columns for the newspaper, into the late 1990s, surviving several changes of ownership and editors. In 1973, in what Mr. Worsthorne had described as a rehearsed and knowingly provocative episode, he appeared on British television and was asked to comment on the likely public reaction to news of a sex scandal involving a Conservative government minister, Lord Lambton, the Earl of Durham (who would, by coincidence, become his father-in-law). Sir Peregrine Worsthorne with his wife, Lucinda Lambton. Considered ‘wonderfully readable’, many believed his greatest writing was in his Spectator diaries where he could be as raucous as he chose, some of which were collected in Peregrinations, a book of selected pieces of journalism published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson (and one of his eight books). Despite Nicholas being sometimes aggressive, Perry wasn’t intimidated and good-naturedly gifted him his own exotic bathing trunks. Peregrine Worsthorne: I was the second person to use the four-letter word on British television and it almost cost me my job at the Daily Telegraph. Please refresh and try again. I told Perry she’d talked a lot and rather dominated the small gathering. The flâneur and bohemian was said to write as he dressed, with great style, By Tatler, Sir Peregrine was married to Claudie Bertrande Baynham until she tragically died of cancer in 1990, he went on to marry Lady Lucinda Lambton a year later (the much-loved, eccentric architectural writer, broadcaster and author of books such as Temples of Convenience, a history of the lavatory). His remark was long credited as only the second use of the word on British television after the theater critic Kenneth Tynan uttered it in 1965 in what became a cause célèbre in a national debate about public morality. Some memories of a Grand Innocent. He retired to an old rectory in Hedgerley, Buckinghamshire, where he died on October 3, 2020, aged 96.

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