The f inal hu­mil­i­a­tion

Snow­don’s £3.2m will leaves noth­ing to the lovechild he ig­nored for decades

Scottish Daily Mail - - TERROR ON THE TUBE - By Tim Lam­den

IT WAS a so­ci­ety sen­sa­tion that would have rocked the Royal Fam­ily if it had come to light at the time.

But it seems that even in death Lord Snow­don re­mained in de­nial about his se­cret lovechild who was born while he was on honey­moon with Princess Mar­garet in 1960.

Pro­bate records show that Lord Snow­don, who died in Jan­uary aged 86, com­pletely cut his il­le­git­i­mate daugh­ter Polly Fry out of his £3.2mil­lion will, split­ting the es­tate mainly be­tween his four other chil­dren – in­clud­ing son Jasper Cable-Alexan­der who was also born out of wed­lock.

In 2004 Miss Fry per­suaded Lord Snow­don to take a DNA test af­ter per­sis­tent ru­mours that he – not his friend Jeremy Fry who had brought Polly up as his own – was her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther.

The saliva test con­firmed that he had fa­thered Polly with Jeremy’s wife Camilla. De­spite this Lord Snow­don, who had spent decades re­fus­ing to ad­mit the se­cret, showed no recog­ni­tion of his first-born child in his will signed in 2006. Miss Fry is not even men­tioned.

The high-so­ci­ety pho­tog­ra­pher born Antony Arm­strong-Jones, whose stormy mar­riage to Princess Mar­garet ended in 1978 and was dogged by tales of adul­tery, al­co­hol and drugs, left the bulk of his es­tate to his two chil­dren with the Queen’s sis­ter and his daugh­ter with sec­ond wife Lucy Lind­say-Hogg, Lady Frances Arm­strong-Jones.

Lady Frances, 38, Lord Snow­don’s only child from his mar­riage to Miss Lind­say-Hogg, was left all his per­sonal chat­tels. He also left a fund of £250,000 to make pay­ments to his youngest child Jasper, 19, un­til he is 25.

Jasper, born in 1998, was the re­sult of an af­fair with Me­lanie Cable-Alexan­der, an editor at Coun­try Life mag­a­zine. The rev­e­la­tion about the birth of the love child led to the end of Lord Snow­don’s sec­ond mar­riage.

The will splits shares in his com­pany Arm­strong-Jones be­tween David, now the 2nd Earl of Snow­don, and Lady Sarah Chatto, his chil­dren with Princess Mar­garet, and Lady Frances, a de­signer.

He also left a legacy of £25,000 to his one-time lover Emily Hirst, as well as a lump sum to Miss Lind­say-Hogg. This un­known amount was de­cided by a judge as part of their 2000 di­vorce. Lord Snow­don left the rest of his fortune on trust for chil­dren David, Sarah and Frances to share equally.

His old­est child Polly was born on May 28, 1960. Jeremy Fry, the man she grew up be­liev­ing was her fa­ther, was an in­ven­tor, en­gi­neer and mem­ber of the fa­mous Fry cho­co­late fam­ily.

In 1955 he mar­ried Camilla Grin­ling, a child­hood friend of Lord Snow­don, and when Polly was born the newly-en­no­bled earl ac­cepted the cou­ple’s in­vi­ta­tion to be her god­fa­ther.

Mr Fry had been due to be best man at Lord Snow­don’s mar­riage to Princess Mar­garet at West­min­ster Abbey on May 6, 1960, but pulled out at the last minute.

In 1967 the Frys di­vorced af­ter Camilla dis­cov­ered her hus­band had been hav­ing an af­fair with Frances Chadwick, wife of sculp­tor Lynn Chadwick.

Frances gassed her­self be­fore the di­vorce pe­ti­tion came to court. Camilla later mar­ried busi­ness- man John Fair­bairn and was granted cus­tody of the Fry chil­dren, in­clud­ing Polly.

She had a fur­ther set of twins by Mr Fair­bairn and set­tled in Sus­sex, where she died in 2000. Mr Fry died in 2005.

When Lord Snow­don fi­nally agreed to a pa­ter­nity test and ac­cepted he was Miss Fry’s fa­ther, he is un­der­stood to have in­vited her to call him ‘Pops’ but made clear their fu­ture re­la­tion­ship de­pended on her si­lence. This had re­port­edly left Miss Fry in tur­moil as she was des­per­ate to be of­fi­cially recog­nised as his daugh­ter and had hoped to grow closer to her half-sib­lings.

The 57-year-old, an in­te­rior de­signer and pho­tog­ra­pher, re­cently split from her hus­band of nearly 30 years Barn­aby Hig­son, 61, a busi­ness­man with whom she has five chil­dren.

For years, they had shared a sprawl­ing rec­tory in the Som­er­set mar­ket town of Frome but fol­low­ing their di­vorce, Miss Fry sold the ten-bed­room, £1.6mil­lion fam­ily home.

Writ­ing in 2008 about dis­cov­er­ing Lord Snow­don, not Mr Fry, was her fa­ther, she said: ‘Find­ing out at the age of 45 that the man I had idolised and put on a pedestal higher than Nel­son’s Col­umn since I was a small child was not in fact my fa­ther was a hard bur­den to bear.

‘Rather than be­ing twisted with guilt and shame at what I’ve done in un­cov­er­ing a se­cret that I should have been told long ago, I can just carry on be­ing lit­tle old me, the per­son I am to­day.’

‘She was left in tur­moil’

Call me Pops: Lord Snow­don with Polly Fry in 2006, two years af­ter the DNA test that con­firmed ru­mours he was her fa­ther

Hid­ing a se­cret: Snow­don with Mar­garet and their chil­dren in 1965

Recog­nised in the will: Son Jasper with his mother

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