Charles Gordon Lennox moved to Goodwood House in 1967, when the sprawling 17th Century West Sussex property was a decaying wreck with a neglected 2,500-acre estate and racecourse.
It is now a magnificent stately home open to the public and hosts Glorious Goodwood, the sporting and social highlight of the flat-racing season, and the hugely popular Festival of Speed motoring event.
Until her death in 1939, No 1A had been occupied first by Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise, then by Victoria’s grandson, the Marquess of Carisbrooke, but by the time it was offered to Princess Margaret, it was semi-derelict and riddled with dry rot.
The renovation of the 57-room property, with its large south-facing walled garden, was a monumental task and, while a significant part of the eventual cost of £85,000 [approximately £1.5 million today] was to be financed from the government-run Grant in Aid and Charge to the Vote, the princess and her husband would be required to supply nearly as much again from their private income. ‘Is it not deplorable,’ cried the Labour MP Willie Hamilton, ‘that when there are thousands of homeless, this kind of money should be spent on this apartment?
In addition to the main reception rooms, there were three principal bedrooms and dressing rooms, three principal bathrooms, the nursery accommodation, nine staff bedrooms, four staff bathrooms, two staff kitchens and two staff sitting rooms. The drawing room became the showpiece, and here the look was Regency-style, then widely popular in the smartest homes, with richly draped curtains and neatly paired Georgian In the reworked entrance hall, the neoclassical theme was continued to dramatic effect with stage-set Corinthian pilasters and a chequered slate floor (a gift from Mr P Thompson, a Kentish Town stone merchant).
The house instantly became both a relaxed family home and the focus of one of London’s most exciting social worlds, where the charismatic Snowdons would invite a sizzling fusion of the arts and the establishment to black-tie dinner parties en famille.
It was a time of strong anti-immigration sentiment and interracial marriages were also frowned on.' The Duke had two other daughters – Elinor and Louisa – with his wife Susan.
The Duke left Oxford University to complete a course in accountancy so he would be better prepared to run the estate.
The 10th Duke is survived by his wife and children.
The princess’s was particularly carefully considered. Margaret wanted it clad in white marble with an ‘orchid’ sink, and both Her Royal Highness and her husband attended a meeting to discuss the correct positioning of the towel rail.
Lord Snowdon gave instructions about everything from the colour and positioning of the light switches (‘white/ivory’ and ‘as flat as possible’) to the shape of the fuse box.
II 'The tassel will be all right if it is in nylon and can be washed. III 'The marble in my bathroom must be white to match the marble ordered by Mr Toms - do get in touch Their new kitchen was to be significantly more substantial (350sq ft, plus a larder of 100sq ft) and the Snowdons wanted the latest look.
Peerless Kitchens (the ‘most fabulous kitchen you have ever seen’ ran their ads) were asked to supply sleek white units topped with Formica and teak.