Thursday, 2nd October
The dowager (capital letter or not?) Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Vivien Cavendish, a Mitford Sister, or Debo to family and friends, was buried today in a wicker basket coffin, as a brass band played ‘New York, New York’.
‘Dowager’ is a strange word, I heard it twice this week, the other time being during a trailer for Downton Abbey.
It turns out, the widow of a peer may continue to use her title, if the peer’s successor has no wife. If there is a wife, then the widow has a choice:
1. She can place her name in front, e.g. Alison, Duchess of Bromley
2. She can place ‘doweger’ in front e.g. Dowager Duchess of Bromley
In short, it means that your highly titled husband is dead, you still want to be a duchess, but your son’s wife got in the way.
I hate titles, and hope that I would have the strength to turn it down in the unlikely event of receiving one.
I like what Danny Boyle said when he was offered a knighthood. He said he had enough trouble with people calling him Mr. Boyle, instead of just Danny.