Barbara Cartland’s birthday is fast approaching, so we thought it would be a lovely idea to ask her son, Ian McCorquodale, to share his personal memories of his mother’s birthdays.
“My amazing mother’s birthday was July 9th 1901 and if she was still with us today she would be 117 years old. Just think how many more romances she could have written for her millions of fans all over the world.
Her long and fruitful life began six months after the death of Queen Victoria and she died on 21st May 2000. So her life extended for almost a full century and, as she said herself, “I went from the horse and cart to Concorde and a man on the moon”. And she much preferred her little pony to them all!
Birthdays were always an important event for Barbara and her family. The big ceremony was always at teatime. There would be a large iced cake made by her faithful Nigel Gordon, which was usually pink and always had the correct amount of candles. There were also lots of delicious cucumber sandwiches and chocolate biscuits.
There would have to be speeches, including a long one from my mother about how lovely I was. I was expected to reply though I often could only manage to blurt out, “thank you, Mummy,” and look embarrassed!
Then there were presents in the drawing room, which required quite a lot of unwrapping. They were always well chosen and kept and treasured for years.
My mother was a great believer that “a woman is beautiful at every age”. She certainly was herself and she strongly disapproved of botox and operations and injections to change the course of nature in a woman’s body.
So on July 9th please raise your glass to my mother, Barbara, who is still an inspiration to so many.”