AS SEEN IN:
'Edward The King'
AS PLAYED BY:
Frederick Edward Grey Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby GCB GCVO PC (16 September 1867 – 20 October 1935), was a British soldier and courtier.
Ponsonby was the second son of General Sir Henry Ponsonby and his wife the Hon. Mary Elizabeth (née Bulteel). A member of a junior branch of the Ponsonby family, he was the grandson of General Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby and the great-grandson of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough. Arthur Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede, was his younger brother. Ponsonby was a Major and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in the Grenadier Guards and served in the Second Boer War and in the First World War.
He also held several court positions, notably as Equerry-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria from 1894 to 1901, as Assistant Keeper of the Privy Purse and Assistant Private Secretary to Queen Victoria from 1897 to 1901 and to Edward VII from 1901 to 1910; as Keeper of the Privy Purse for George V from 1914 to 1935, and as Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor Castle from 1928 to 1935. Already a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in the 1921 New Year Honours. In 1935 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Sysonby, of Wonersh in the County of Surrey.
Lord Sysonby married Victoria Lily, daughter of Colonel Edmund Hegan Kennard, on 17 May 1899. They had three children:
Victor Alexander Henry Desmond Ponsonby (19 June 1900–24 November 1900)
Hon. Loelia Mary Ponsonby (1902–1993), married 1st, as his third wife, the 2nd Duke of Westminster, and 2nd, as his second wife, the explorer Sir Martin Lindsay of Dowhill, 1st Bt., M.P.
Hon. Edward Gaspard Ponsonby (1903–1956)
Lord Sysonby died in October 1935, aged 68, only four months after his elevation to the peerage. He was succeeded in the barony by his surviving son Edward. Lady Sysonby died in 1955.
His autobiography "Recollections of Three Reigns" is full, frank and entertaining. Nancy Mitford wrote to Evelyn Waugh that there was "a shriek on every page".