Scottish Daily Mail

Earl’s first wife rages over £10m castle sale to Prince


The earl of St Germans’ decision to sell his ancestral seat, Port eliot house, to the Prince of Wales looks set to spark the mother of all family disputes. As I reported yesterday, the curmudgeon­ly 10th earl, Peregrine, who has suffered recent bouts of ill health, is in negotiatio­ns to sell the historic castle to Prince Charles for £10 million.

But while the 75-year- old earl’s third wife, writer Cathy Wilson, some 30 years his junior, hailed the deal as ‘a terrific turn up for the estate’, her sentiments are not necessaril­y shared by the rest of the family.

For it will mean that the earl’s grandson and heir, Albert, ten, will be deprived of the magnificen­t ancestral home which has been in the family since the 16th century.

Albert’s grandmothe­r Lady Jacquetta eliot, the earl’s first wife, is apparently furious about the impending sale.

She is said to have told friends: ‘I can’t talk about Prince Charles, but the only thing I’ll say is: third wives with no children and eliots turning in their graves.’

Albert became Peregrine’s immediate heir following the death — at the age of 40 — of his father Jago, who suffered an epileptic fit in the bath. At the time of his death, Jago’s relationsh­ip with ‘Perry’ was said to be strained after his father had sold off a small farm on the estate to pay for a London townhouse for Cathy.

Just last year, Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall estate bought more than 800 acres of land at Port eliot for £4.7 million. Ironically, it was Jago who had introduced Cathy to his father during a visit to Cornwall.

Their relationsh­ip is said to have blossomed through a mutual love of literature and she helps organise Port Eliot’s annual arts festival.

Perry divorced Jacquetta, who was a society beauty and muse of artist Lucian Freud, in 1989.

When he married his second wife, photograph­er Li z Wil li a ms three years later, locals wore lapel badges saying: ‘ It was better with Jacquetta.’

Lady Jacquetta eliot declines to comment on the current tribulatio­ns.

 ??  ?? ‘Furious’: LadyJacque­tta Eliot with Jago. Right: Peregrine and his third wife Cathy
‘Furious’: LadyJacque­tta Eliot with Jago. Right: Peregrine and his third wife Cathy
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