The Connolly Guest Newsletter Series

With The Earl of Snowdon

Great friend of Connolly, furniture maker, and honorary chairman of the auction house Christie's UK.

1. What's new?
A new freedom for me is less travel, which I have done extensively with work. It is a great luxury to stay in London and explore such a lovely city.

In addition to this I have recently been appointed Vice-President of The Prince’s Foundation. And as part of the charity, we held the ‘Snowdon Summer School’ at Dumfries House in Scotland, a week-long course for 10 young furniture makers from the best colleges in England. The programme is being taught by two great furniture makers, one of whom started his business with a Prince’s Trust grant.

2. What's your favourite way to waste time?
Going shopping, wandering museums, looking at beautiful things in Christie’s and spending time with my children. Time, however, is so precious it is awful to use the word ‘waste’: these are simply things I enjoy spending time doing.

3. What do you tune in to on a car journey?
If I’m with my son I will listen to his selection of music. Sometimes I will listen to my god-daughter, Elisabeth Rice, who has a new album out, and finally BBC Radio 4.

4. What's your favourite road movie?
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 thriller ‘To Catch A Thief’ set in Monaco, and the sequence with Cary Grant being petrified by Grace Kelly’s driving skills. It is very chic. Additionally I love the first three minutes of the Italian Job; a fantastic driving scene!

5. Who is your ideal travelling companion?
I would like to have travelled with Thomas Chippendale, the very famous furniture maker. 2018 is his 300th anniversary and in his day he was a true ‘celebrity’ designer and great promoter of his own work.

6. What is your favourite view?
Very recently I was traveling through the south of France with George Bamford. We were both in Aston Martins near his parent’s Château Leoube. The view following George in the new Aston was breathtakingly good.

7. What is the fastest speed at which you have travelled on land?
Undoubtedly whilst I was landing in Concorde. The entire trip was one of the chicest things I have ever done. I was lucky enough to be upgraded when returning from New York and to visit the cockpit and watch it land.

8. If you could invent a motoring accessory, what would it be?
Probably something for winter motoring: a coat for driving in when the roof is down. Such a coat would cover your legs, and have a high collar to keep your neck warm.

9. When in London....
I will have lunch at the Wolseley, the only restaurant in town I know named after a car. I will then visit Leighton House, an arabesque studio and museum in Holland Park. The museum also has exhibitions of high Victorian art, and a wonderful cooling fountain as you enter. It really transports me to a different place. In the late afternoon I will visit The National Portrait Gallery, and its rooftop café. I like to finish the day off having drinks at Christie’s with my friends from all walks of life, mixing with people who otherwise might not have met.

10. Do you have a Connolly favourite?
Last year Carole Bamford gifted me the iconic wispy blue polka dot scarf. The piece changes my entire wardrobe. It really is a perfect accessory.