Consuelo (Yznaga) Montagu (1853-1909)

Lady Consuelo (Yznaga) Montagu, 8th Duchess of Manchester

Consuelo was one of the original Buccaneers and her life was the basis for her friend Edith Wharton's book of the same name. In New York, Consuelo was best friends with Alva Vanderbilt whose sister married her brother, Fernando. Consuelo met her husband, Viscount Mandeville, eldest son and heir of the 5th Duke of Manchester, at her father's country estate near Morristown, New Jersey. They were married in 1876 which tipped a much needed £200,000 ($1-million) into the pockets of her gambling-obsessed husband. They lived for the next fourteen years at Tandragee Castle in County Armagh before moving into Kimbolton Castle near Cambridge after her husband became the 6th Duke. They were favorites within the set of the Prince of Wales and indeed Consuelo became one of Bertie's mistresses. Aside from providing introductions for American heiresses into the highest echelons of London society, she dedicated herself to several charitable causes, notably in favor of the relief of poverty and improvements in health and education. The famous "Manchester Tiara" was created for her by Tiffanys and is now on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 1901, she was the sole benefactor of her brother's $3 million estate (he cut out his other two sisters) by which time she was living between Kimbolton and 45 Portman Square, London.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 15/10/2018 and last updated on 24/02/2023.