Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon

Serena Alleyne Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon (née Stanhope; born 1 March 1970) is an Anglo-Irish aristocrat. She is the estranged wife of David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, who is the son of Princess Margaret and thus a cousin of King Charles III.


The Countess of Snowdon
BornThe Hon. Serena Alleyne Stanhope
(1970-03-01) 1 March 1970 (age 52)
Limerick, Ireland
Spouse(s)
(m. 1993; sep. 2020)
Issue
  • Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley
  • Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones
Parents
EducationSt Mary's School, Wantage

Early life and educationEdit

She was born The Honourable Serena Alleyne Stanhope[1] in Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of the then Viscount Petersham and his wife Virginia Freeman-Jackson, a debutante. Her parents divorced when she was 13 years old. She has one older brother. Through her father, she is a descendant of King Charles II of England's illegitimate child, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton.[2]

She spent most of her childhood between Chelsea with her father and her father's girlfriend (and later wife) Anita Howard, Countess of Suffolk, and Monaco with her mother.[3] She went to St Mary's School, Wantage, where she was described as being "more interested in lacrosse than Latin".[3] After leaving St Mary's School, she went on to study art in Italy. She also attended a finishing school in Switzerland.[4]

CareerEdit

In 1989, she joined Sotheby's as a trainee. She then worked as a publicist for Giorgio Armani until August 1993, two months before her wedding.[4] She subsequently had her own shop called 'Serena Linley Provence'.[5] The store closed in 2014.

Marriage and childrenEdit

On 8 October 1993, she married David Armstrong-Jones (then known as Viscount Linley),[6] the only son of Princess Margaret and a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. They had met when her father commissioned Linley to design a walnut dining table for his Chelsea house.[3]

There were 650 guests in attendance at the wedding, including Elton John, Jerry Hall, the Aga Khan, and Constantine II of Greece.[7] In addition, there were an estimated 5,000 spectators in the streets.[3] She wore a $9,000 dress designed by Bruce Robbins, noted for its resemblance to Princess Margaret's 1960 Norman Hartnell wedding dress, and the 'Lotus Tiara', which was on loan from her mother-in-law, Princess Margaret.[8] Her going-away outfit was designed by Robinson Valentine.[9]

They have two children together:

When Viscount Linley became the Earl of Snowdon on the death of his father in 2017, she became the Countess of Snowdon.[11]

In February 2020, she and the Earl of Snowdon separated, and a spokesperson confirmed they will be getting a divorce.[12]

Titles and stylesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Syal, R. (10 February 2002). "Children spent much of last years with mother". UK Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2019. He married the Hon. Serena Stanhope, the daughter of the landowner Viscount Petersham, in 1993
  2. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1796.
  3. ^ a b c d Green, Michelle. "Windsor Knot". People Magazine. Time Warner. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine. "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Serena Linley Provence Chelsea SW3". Jonathan Clark Architects. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b "No. 53385". The London Gazette. 28 July 1993. p. 12599.
  7. ^ "Serena Stanhope and Viscount Linley's wedding". Tatler. 10 January 1994. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Royal wedding dresses through the years". The Telegraph. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  9. ^ Rumbold, Judy (8 July 2007). "The sainted Valentine". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  10. ^ Walker, Tim (1 March 2012). "The Queen turns a page for Viscount Linley's son". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  11. ^ Colacello, Bob (10 March 2017). "How the Earl of Snowdon Turned His Heritage into a Lifestyle". vanityfair.com. Vanity Fair. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  12. ^ Mackelden, Amy (17 February 2020). "Princess Margaret's Son, the Earl of Snowdon, Is Getting Divorced". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 17 February 2020.

BibliographyEdit

  • Montague-Smith, P. (editor). (1979). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Ladies
The Countess of Snowdon
Followed by
Lady Sarah Chatto