HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Diana Mitford, born 17 June 1910
“I didn’t love Hitler any more than I did Winston [Churchill]. I can’t regret it, it was so interesting.”
Diana Mitford was the third of the famous and notorious Mitford sisters. She was the most beautiful – James Lees-Milnes said that “she was the nearest thing to Botticelli’s Venus” that he had ever seen. And she was scandalous.
Diana married Bryan Guinness when she was 18 – her parents opposed the match because Bryan’s family was so incredibly wealthy. However, Diana went into ‘non-speakers’ mode for months until they gave in and permitted the wedding. Then in 1932 she met and fell madly in love with Sir Oswald Mosley, left her husband and went to live with him. Mosley was married, but his wife conveniently died soon after and Diana was able to marry the man she adored in Germany, with Hitler as best man, and in the home of Herr and Frau Goebbels. As a result of her connection with Hitler and involvement in Mosley’s fascist party, Diana spent much of WWII in Holloway prison.
Like most of the Mitford girls, she was a writer. Her memoirs, A Life of Contrasts (1977) and Loved Ones (1985), she translated, edited, wrote book reviews and she wrote a biography of the Duchess of Windsor. Her diaries and letters have been published and are highly entertaining.
Diana Mitford died on 11 August 2003, aged 93.
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