George Francis Child Villiers, 9th Earl of Jersey (15 February 1910 – 9 August 1998), was an English peer and politician from the Villiers family. He was the son of George Child Villiers, 8th Earl of Jersey and gave one of the family seats, Osterley Park, to the British nation in the late 1940s.
Marriages and issue
His first wife was Patricia Richards. They married on 12 January 1932, and were divorced in 1937. They had one child:
- Lady Caroline Child Villiers (b. 9 April 1934), now Lady Caroline Ogilvy, married firstly Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 6th Earl of Minto, and had issue. She married secondly on 23 September 1969 John Douglas Stuart, and married thirdly in 1980 The Hon. James Donald Diarmid Ogilvy, son of David Lyulph Gore Wolseley Ogilvy. She had no issue by her second and third marriages.
Lord Jersey then married American actress Virginia Cherrill on 30 July 1937, the ex-wife of Cary Grant; they were divorced in 1946, without having had issue.
His third and last wife was Bianca Luciana Adriana Mottironi (d. 2005), whom he married on 16 October 1947. They had three children: George Henry, Isabella and Charles. The elder son's elder son succeeded the 9th Earl in 1998.
- George Henry Child Villiers, Viscount Villiers (born 29 August 1948, died 19 March 1998 of a heart attack). Married on 22 December 1969 Verna P. Stott; divorced 1973. Married on 9 January 1974 Sacha Jane Hooper Valpy; divorced 1988. Married in 1992 Stephanie Louisa Penman.
- Lady Isabel Bianca Rosa Child Villiers (b. 11 October 1950), who married Peter Edward Harrison on 12 October 1974 with issue, one son (Matthew Alexander Charles Harrison, b. 16 April 1980) and one daughter (Alexandra Venetia Harrison, b. 29 April 1977).
- Hon. Charles Victor Child Villiers (10 January 1952 – 1991), married on 10 May 1975 Brigitte Elisabeth Germaine Marchand, divorced 1989. Lost his hearing suddenly and died, aged 40; they left issue, two daughters:
- Eleanor Monica Child Villiers (b. 1979)
- Barbara Beatrice Child Villiers (b. 1981)
The 9th Earl was responsible for the remodelling of the family seat, Middleton Park in Oxfordshire, and employed Edwin Lutyens as architect. When he tried to give Middleton to the National Trust, they refused on the grounds that the house had been remodelled by Lutyens – whose houses they now seek particularly. The 9th Earl gave Osterley Park in Hounslow to the nation in the late 1940s; he said of that house, "it took a trained staff of 12 to bring me a boiled egg in the morning, and the egg was always cold by the time it got to me!"
He moved to Radier Manor in Jersey shortly after, where he lived with Bianca until his death. Bianca died in March 2005.
Heir to the throne?
Under one legitimist theory, Villiers was the rightful King of England, as the ultimate heir to Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven. Due to disputes over legal standing (some of these theorists contend that since the person on the throne since 1603 has not been the rightful monarch, no laws have changed since then, including divorce laws), both his grandson (the 10th Earl) and his eldest daughter (Lady Caroline) are considered his legal heir, by different parties.