Leonora (Laury or Lally) de Rothschild (1837-1911)
Leonora de Rothschild, born in London on 25 August 1837, was the eldest child of Lionel and Charlotte de Rothschild. She left London for Paris after her wedding at Gunnersbury to her cousin Alphonse on 4 March 1857.
On the rue Saint Florentin and at the races, Alphonse and Leonora were one of the most glamorous couples of their day. Considered by Queen Victoria to be one of the beauties of her generation, the 'lovely' Leonora had liquid almond- shaped eyes, the sweet complexion of a tea rose'. Her popularity in Paris never swayed her away from her Englishness. Her sister Evelina remarked, 'Laurie will be an Englishwoman wherever she is.'
Leonora's passion for the English countryside led to the formation of a stag hunt at Ferrières, but even this was no substitute for regular visits to England. She once crossed the Channel three times in one week in order to fit in a visit to her London dentist and still be by Alphonse's side at the races.
Social position and sophistication mattered a great deal to her. Her mother believed that she could never have married outside the Rothschild circle, to descend from the 'Rothschild throne'.
Leonora largely withdrew from society after Alphonse's death, but she regularly rode in the Bois de Boulogne. After one such outing, she contracted pneumonia which proved fatal on 6 January 1911.