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A gloomy meal for one but mischief for another

March 12, 2008 6:07 PM

Savoy HotelJust over 71 years ago, on 8 March 1937, Sir Thomas Jaffrey who was once a suitor to Frances Stevenson and had wanted to marry her, invited Miss Stevenson to lunch at the Savoy Hotel. Jaffrey's first wife had died in 1930 and he proposed marriage to Miss Stevenson the following year, when he was already 70 years old and Frances was 43. Despite being turned down by Frances, Sir Thomas plucked up the courage to propose to another lady and they married in 1932.

Perhaps this union was not working out, or maybe Sir Thomas still held a torch for Frances Stevenson but for whatever reason, he took her to lunch at the Savoy. As soon as the arrangement had been made, Lloyd George decided he too was hungry and he too wished to lunch at the Savoy. His secretary A J Sylvester made the booking and together with a couple of other members of LG's staff they all went to the Savoy Grill.

Sir Thomas Jaffrey and Frances Stevenson, although on the other side of the restaurant could not help but be aware of LG's presence. Jaffrey had his back to LG but Frances was sat opposite him and could see all through the meal LG lifting his glass to toast her time and again.

This completely ruined the occasion for Sir Thomas Jaffrey who was very upset and angry. No doubt LG had a lovely twinkle in his eye throughout.

This incident is noted in Sylvester's diary for 8 March 1937.