The Sunday Telegraph

Lady Melissa finds love again after pain of public divorce

- By Victoria Ward

LADY MELISSA PERCY was the toast of the young royal set; a glossy blonde socialite who was married to one of the Duke of Cambridge’s oldest friends.

But the Duke of Northumber­land’s second daughter has swapped the London social scene for salmon fishing and quail hunting after being left isolated following her very public divorce from Thomas van Straubenze­e, 37.

Lady Melissa, 32, said she found the scrutiny over her separation from Mr van Straubenze­e, who is godfather to Princess Charlotte, almost unbearable.

Princes William and Harry were ushers at her lavish June 2013 wedding at Alnwick Castle, the Percys’ ancestral home. But within three years, she was granted a divorce on the grounds of her husband’s unreasonab­le behaviour.

To make a clean break, Lady Melissa checked into a California health and wellness retreat: “I felt like a new person when I got back. I was on this path and let nothing affect me, whatever was written about me, whatever was said.”

Lady Melissa settled in New York, where she began dating Remy Trafelet, 49, an American billionair­e financier, who has three children aged 16, 14 and 11 from his previous marriage to Lara Trafelet whom he had been locked in a bitter $200million divorce battle.

The couple are now engaged and expecting their first child together. They plan to wed at Mr Trafelet’s plantation in Georgia, where they often escape for quail hunting and fishing.

See the full feature in the January issue of Tatler.

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