Rosemary, Marchioness Camden, an artist, , who died in London, 27
February, 2004, was the first wife of Group Capt Peter Townsend, and
later wife [and widow] of the 5th Marquess Camden, JP, DL.
She was the former Rosemary Cecil [Rosie] Pawle, one of the two
daughters of Brigadier-General Hanbury Pawle, CBE, TD, DL [1886-1972],
of Ware, Hertfordshire, by his wife, the former Mary Cecil
Hughes-Hallett [d. 1971], and was a granddaughter of Norton Joseph
Hughes-Hallett [1854-1938], head of that landed family, by his wife
Alice Louisa Denton [a descendant of the Barons St John of Bletso].
Her first marriage was to Group Capt Peter Townsend, CVO, DSO, DFC.
Townsend had been appointed to the staff of King George VI early in
1944, when a new policy was introduced of honouring officers who had
distinguished themselves during World War II. Prior to this all the
sovereign's equerries had been chosen on a personal basis. The new
system catered for temporary appointments, originally intended to last
for three months.
"If you don't find the idea particularly revolting," Air Chief Marshal
Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, told Townsend, "I propose
recommending you..." Waiting outside the Air Ministry building in
Whitehall that day as her husband learned of his royal appointment was
Rosemary Townsend, who, according to Princess Margaret's biographer,
when told of Portal's proposal exclaimed: "We're made."
"It was natural... for her to be glad," Townsend wrote in his
autobiography 30 years later, "but how tragically mistaken she was.
For from now on we were destined, as a married couple, to be
"un-made". The "un-making" of the Townsend marriage effectively began
in March, 1944, when her husband arrived at Buckingham Palace to take
up his duties.
On 20 December, 1952, a brief notice appeared in some of the
newspapers: "Group Capt Peter Townsend...was granted a decree nisi in
the Divorce Court yesterday on the grounds of misconduct by his wife
Cecil Rosemary. John de Laszlo, an export merchant, and son of the
famous portrait painter, was cited as co-respondent..."
Townsends prolonged absences during the 8 years he had served George
VI and Elizabeth II had imposed an intolerable strain on the marriage.
Rosemary Townsend and de Laszlo married but later divorced [he died in
1990], and in 1978, she married as her third husband [and his third
wife], Henry, 5th Marquess Camden [1899-1983], Gold Staff Officer at
the Coronation of King George VI.
Rosemary Camden leaves two sons from her marriage to Townsend, Giles
and Hugo. Giles married a Craven-Smith-Milnes [of that landed family],
and Hugo [who was born in 1945] married, in 1994, Princess Yolande
Marie Gabrielle de Ligne.
Rosemary's death notice also says she is the mother of Charlotte and
Piers...children of her second marriage to Mr de Laszlo ?
The funeral service takes place at Chelsea Old Church, London SW3, on
Wednesday 10 March, 2004.
Post by Michael Rhodes
--- Michael [please delete x to e-mail me]