Sonia Rosemary Keppel

Sonia Rosemary Cubitt, OBE, DStJ (née Keppel; 24 May 1900 – 16 August 1986) was the first wife of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe and, through her only daughter the Hon. Rosalind Maud Cubitt, maternal grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.


Sonia Rosemary Keppel was born on 24 May 1900, as the youngest child of The Hon. George Keppel (1865–1947), who was the son of William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle and his wife Sophia Mary Keppel (née MacNab). Sonia's mother was Alice Frederica Keppel (née Edmonstone) (1868–1947), who was the youngest child of Sir William Edmonstone, 4th Baronet and became a mistress of King Edward VII. Her only sibling was the English writer and socialite Violet Trefusis (née Keppel) (1894–1972).[1]

Marriage and issue

On 16 November 1920, she married The Hon. Roland Calvert Cubitt at the Guards Chapel of Wellington Barracks in London. The Hon. Roland Cubitt was the son of Henry Cubitt, 2nd Baron Ashcombe. The couple divorced on 4 July 1947, just few months before Roland succeeded as the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. They had three children:[1]

m. The Hon. Virginia Carington (daughter of Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington)
m. Mary Elizabeth Dent-Brocklehurst (née Chipps) (widow of late Mark Dent-Brocklehurst)

The Hon. Roland Calvert Cubitt became 3rd Baron Ashcombe on the death of his father Henry Cubitt, 2nd Baron Ashcombe on 27 October 1947. Sonia was never styled Baroness Ashcombe because by the time Roland succeeded as the 3rd Baron Ashcombe, they were already divorced. During her marriage she was styled as The Hon. Mrs. Cubitt.[2]


Sonia died on 16 August 1986, aged 86, having long suffered from osteoporosis. She was survived by her daughter Rosalind, eldest son Henry and four grandchildren. Her youngest son Jeremy predeceased her in 1958.[3]

Eight years later, in 1994 her daughter Rosalind died from the same disease.[4]

Her granddaughter Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, became a member of the National Osteoporosis Society (the only UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis) in 1994 to help raise awareness of the disease. She became Patron of the charity in 1997 and was appointed President in 2001.[4]


In 1958, Sonia wrote her memoir entitled The Edwardian daughter, in which she described what her childhood was like in the high-society of the Edwardian era. The memoir was dedicated to her daughter Rosalind.[3][5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sonia Rosemary Keppel". The Peerage. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  2. Brandreth 2007, p. 67.
  3. 1 2 Brandreth 2007, p. 75.
  4. 1 2 "Camilla's dearest cause". The Daily Telegraph. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  5. "Edwardian Daughter". Kirkus review. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
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