Cecil Everley (c.1910-1989)

Cecil Everley, Artist, of California & Cap d'Ail, France

He was a footman to the 7th Earl of Beauchamp when the Earl was publicly disgraced in 1931 when outed as a homosexual. Leaving his service, he worked in Lillywhites Department Store in London where he met the very wealthy and well-connected Franco-American, Count Cecil Pecci-Blunt. The Count gave him a house in California and another (La Rondine) at Cap d’Ail in the south of France, dividing his time between living with Cecil and his long-suffering wife who was now referred to as “La Reine des Deux Ceciles"! In 1953, Cecil began painting in California and benefitting from the Counts connections his works were added to the collections of the Aga Khan, Princess Grace and Princess Caroline of Monaco, Greta Garbo, Greer Garson, Estee’ Lauder etc. 

Despite his artistic talents and languid good-looks, the Count's friends found him insipid  and terribly boring. Cecil Beaton referred to him as, “a rather pathetic and silly chorus boy sissy” and exasperated by his lack of conversation when he asked Daisy Fellowes, “do you miss your yacht?” she retorted rather tartly, “do you miss your tray?”!
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 10/04/2021 and last updated on 14/04/2021.