Royal hostess dies in London
By the death of the Hon Mrs Ronald Greville which occurred in London on Tuesday, the district has lost a generous benefactor. It was early in 1908 that Mrs Greville and her husband, the Hon Capt Ronald Greville, came to reside at Polesden Lacey, the fine mansion at Great Bookham. Her husband died shortly afterwards.
She was one of the most famous of all hostesses and a close friend of the King and Queen. For many years she was hostess to generations of the Royal Family and it will be recalled that His Majesty the King and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon at Polesden. They were frequent visitors to the house and always enjoyed a short holiday at Polesden where the Christmas parties were social events for many years.
Although she received the DBE in 1922, she was never known as Dame Margaret Greville.
Apart from members of the Royal Family, prominent figures in the political and diplomatic worlds were her guests. Mr Winston Churchill, like many other statesmen in the last quarter of the century, had been a guest of Mrs Greville, who was one of the most vivid personalities of her day. She was a brilliant conversationalist and spent part of every year before the war travelling. She was also reputed to have one of the best chefs in the world.
Mrs Greville was closely associated with many local activities and many charities received her warm support and encouragement. In 1923 she laid the foundation stone of the new vestry at Great Bookham Parish Church.
Her death at the age of 75 breaks a link in the chain of the last century and leaves a gap in the district that will not be easy to fill. The funeral of Mrs Greville took place quietly at Great Bookham Parish Church on Friday. HM The King was represented by Sir Eric Melville and chief mourners were Lord Blanesborough and Lord Greville. Others present included the Belgian Ambassador, Viscount and Viscountess Simon, the Marchioness of Crewe, Mrs Roland Cubitt and Lord Beaverbrook.
Interment followed at Polesden Lacey.