Sun Aug 25, 2019 London
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SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

The entertainers: theatre, television, film and music

Anna Chancellor

Anna ChancellorAn aristocratic actress, Chancellor is the daughter of the Hon. Mary Alice Jolliffe, a great-great-granddaughter of Herbert Asquith and a second cousin, once removed of Helena Bonham Carter. Born in Richmond, London, this star of the stage and screen is best known as “Duckface” in Four Weddings and a Funeral and as Juliet Shaw in Spooks. After Alan Rickman rushed to her rescue when she got meningitis whilst playing Tekla in Creditors in New York in 2010, she decided “life’s too short” and married her second husband, an Algerian former cab driver named Redha Debbah and of being remembered as “Duckface”, she told The Telegraph: “Someone once looked at me very intently when we met and said, slightly disappointed, that I didn’t look anything like a mallard in real life”.

Comments

3 comments on “Anna Chancellor”

  1. Can we please be a little more scrupulous in labelling people ‘aristocratic’?
    I see that even the Delavigne girls is described so even though the grandfather was a mere Liverpool engraver: nothing wrong with that, merely that hardly aristocratic. The same applies here. Asquith came from perfectly respectable middle class Yorkshire stock, but Matthew is being somewhat excitable if he thinks Miss C is thus aristocratic. My great uncle was a baronet but it certainly does mean I am an aristocrat!

    1. Pete: She is the great-great-granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham (a descendant of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter and William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley) also. Is that not enough for you?

      The class structure of Britain today, in my view, though, has collapsed into a hierachy of the elite (the super wealthy), the middle classes and the underclass. The old aristocracy is very much “middling” now as much as are ordinary working people.

      1. Well, I am a direct descendant of the last Duke of Bridgwater,but I am very far from being a member of the aristocracy. A friend of mine is Robert Cecil’s daughter and she often jokes that her famous ancestor started life in working in a pub as the accountant. The Cecils, later….. rather embellished their pedigree!
        In reality, it is virtually impossible for most families….aristocratic or not, to trace back more than 600 years. Pedigrees were the subjects of great flights of fancy….
        Back to Miss Chancellor….most of us if we work hard enough can claim tenuous links with old families, but that does not make us aristocratic.
        Now if you had told me she was the Duke of Beaufort’s daughter I would not be disputing with you!

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