Posing on a Milan street in a vintage Yves Saint Laurent outfit she had picked up that week, Lady Eliza Manners looks every inch the well-heeled young British aristo – elegant, beautiful and, unquestionably, wealthy.
Yet just two weeks later Lady Eliza, 24, the youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, was convicted of a speeding offence – she was driving her Audi at 47mph in a 40mph zone – for which she received a reduced fine due to ‘financial hardship’.
The society beauty, whose family seat is Belvoir Castle, which served as a filming location for The Crown, allegedly wrote to Lavender Hill Magistrates Court in London asking for a reduction to the £100 penalty, claiming it would cause ‘cash flow issues’.
A quick glance at Lady Eliza’s Instagram account makes it difficult to believe she could not have afforded to pay the full fine.
The interior designer, who is dating jeweller Charlie Barron, enjoys nights out to the likes of Claridge’s or private members’ club Annabel’s and has jetted off on no fewer than two foreign holidays – to Greece and then Italy – since July.
Her Notting Hill flat, thought to be worth £700,000, also features in posts promoting her website, through which she offers her services as an interior designer and sells high-end furniture – including a set of brass bamboo effect cutlery for £700.
Jet-set: Lady Eliza, 24, the youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, was convicted of a speeding offence in October for which she received a reduced fine due to ‘financial hardship’. Just two weeks previously she jetted off to Milan (pictured) for a holiday
Struggling for cash? Eliza, whose family seat is the historic Belvoir Castle (pictured), which served as a filming location for The Crown, allegedly wrote to Lavender Hill Magistrates Court in London asking for a reduction to the £100 penalty, claiming it would cause ‘cash flow issues’
Blue-blooded pals: Once lockdown restrictions eased, Lady Eliza jetted off to Greece with boyfriend Charles and their close friends, George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, son of the 12th Duke of Marlborough, and his wife, Camilla, pictured together
London home: Eliza’s London flat, thought to be worth £700,000, also features in Instagram posts promoting her work as an interior designer. Pictured, the carefully curated living room
Brush with Hollywood: Matt Smith and Claire Foy filming season two of The Crown in one of the opulent rooms at Belvoir Castle, which stood in for Windsor Castle in series one
Just this week she joined her older sisters Lady Violet and Lady Alice – together once dubbed the ‘bad Manners sisters’ due to their hard-partying ways – to host a party for an Italian jewellery brand at exclusive London private members’ club Harry’s Bar.
The event was attended by D&G model Sabrina Percy, Tatler columnist Sabine Getty and Lady Tatiana Mountbatten, daughter of the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven.
Lady Eliza was born into extraordinary privilege.
She is the third daughter and middle child of David, the Duke of Rutland, and his estranged wife Emma.
The couple continue to live together at Grade-I Belvoir, on a sprawling 15,000-are estate in Leicestershire.
The grand stately home has formed the backdrop for scenes in Young Victoria in 2007, The Da Vinci Code and season two of hit The Crown – where Matt Smith and Claire Foy filmed in one of the opulent rooms at Belvoir Castle, which stood in for Windsor Castle.
Out on the town: Just this week Eliza (left) joined her mother (centre) and older sisters Lady Violet (right) and Lady Alice (second from right) to host a party for an Italian jewellery brand at exclusive London private members’ club Harry’s Bar
Daddy’s girl: Lady Eliza’s father is David, the 11th Duke of Rutland, pictured together
Life of luxury: Lady Eliza, whose circus-themed 18th birthday party featured in Tatler magazine, attended the £29,000-a-year Queen Margaret’s school in York, alongside her older sisters. Pictured, striking a pose in a plush bedroom (left) and at Belvoir Castle
Dashing: Lady Eliza is dating Charles Barron, a jewellery designer specialising in pearls
Greek getaway: Lady Eliza lounging on the deck of a boat during a day out in Greece in July
Soaking up the sun: Lady Eliza posed up a storm on a holiday to Mykonos in July
On the Duke’s death, his title and the estate will pass to Charles, Marquess of Granby, 22, owing to male primogeniture that means he will inherit it over his sisters. The couple also have a younger son, Lord Hugo, 18.
Lady Eliza, whose circus-themed 18th birthday party featured in Tatler magazine, attended the £29,000-a-year Queen Margaret’s school in York, alongside her older sisters.
THE UPKEEP OF THE ESTATE
The upkeep of the estate is no mean feat, and it was previously revealed that the Duke of Rutland was forced to send a painting in order to fund the maintenance.
Speaking previously, the Duchess of Rutland – who is CEO of Belvoir Castle – admitted it’s taken a while to get used to her title.
‘My background is I’m a farmer’s daughter from mid-Wales,’ she said in 2017.
‘I don’t ever think I’m really a Duchess… people say to me ‘your Grace’, and I think, actually, I’m Emma Watkins’.
But the Duchess said she’s determined to preserve the history of Belvoir while protecting its future, and told how it costs £500,000 a year ‘just to keep it rolling’.
She went on to study Business Management at Newcastle University. She inherited her entrepreneurial spirit for her mother, who oversaw the launch of Belvoir’s retail unit the Engine Yard, situated in what was once a saw mill, wagon making shop and a wheelwright’s shop.
Following a substantial £2.5million renovation completed in May 2018, it’s now a bustling hub of shops and outlets selling local food and ‘the best of country living’, with events such as cookery demonstrations, flower festivals, themed pop-up dinners and ‘foodie talks’ taking place.
The Engine Yard is also home to the Balloon Bar – where, naturally, the duchess’ latest endeavour, her Belvoir gin, is served. A 70cl bottle costs £39.95.
There’s also a wellbeing spa, a garden centre, a chocolatier and an outdoor play area for children.
With so much to offer, it is of little surprise Lady Eliza and the rest of the Manners brood retreated to Belvoir for lockdown.
The theme of the castle is classic opulence dating back to the 1700s when it was first restored, with the bedrooms boasting four poster beds, gold gilded portraits, rich tapestries, fur rugs and fireplaces.
Sparking no expense, the drawing room boasts silk wallpaper, luxurious furnishings and artwork dating back centuries.
And the opulent interiors don’t stop there, with bathrooms boasting marble tops, dressing tables, intricate wallpaper and the modern touch of his and hers sinks.
Dinner parties are fit for a king, taking place at tables stretching across a whole hall, surrounded by fireplaces, candelabras and giant portraits of ancestors.
A grand library, complete with oriental carpets, chaise lounges and chandeliers is described in one previous post by Emma as her ‘favourite afternoon spot’.
Well travelled: Lady Eliza poses on a balcony on her jaunt to Milan in September. The society beauty studied Business Management at Newcastle University and has an interior design firm
Sister, sister: Lady Eliza was joined in Milan by her older sister Lady Alice Manners, left
Videos and photos showed Lady Eliza, a talented singer, entertaining family with sing-alongs.
Once lockdown restrictions eased, Lady Eliza jetted off to Greece with boyfriend Charles and their close friends, George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, son of the 12th Duke of Marlborough, and his wife, Camilla.
The group spent time soaking up the sun on a private yacht and taking in meals in picturesque setting.
In September came another holiday, this time to Milan with her sister Lady Alice. The pair posed up a storm as they stayed in a luxury hotel and went shopping for second-hand designer clothes, with Eliza snapping up two box-cut designs by YSL.
When not busy travelling, Eliza runs her interior design service, Eliza Manners London. This grew out of a lockdown project that saw her sell table settings via Instagram, including pieces sourced from Belvoir’s own crockery stores.
Belvoir Castle: The grand stately home has formed the backdrop for scenes in Young Victoria in 2007, The Da Vinci Code and season two of hit The Crown – where Matt Smith and Claire Foy filmed in one of the opulent rooms at Belvoir Castle, which stood in for Windsor Castle
Lady Eliza dons a suit as she enjoys a drink in one of Belvoir Castle’s impressive rooms
Lady Eliza, a talented singer, kept the family entertained over lockdown with performances of the White Cliffs Of Dover and Lean On Me. Pictured, an Instagram snap of Eliza
Easter lunch was a formal occasion for the Manners, complete with a beautiful tablescape
Eliza shared this photo of one of the dogs on a sunny walk around the 15,000-acre estate
The Eliza Manners London website states: ‘Eliza has developed her own unique style that seamlessly seeks to interweave and pair antique pieces alongside modern and contemporary items – to create a space that defies times and exudes elegance.
‘Pragmatism and practicality are thought about throughout whilst understanding client’s requirements, to ensure the space is not only beautiful, but works with their lifestyles.
‘Variety being the spice of life, no project is too big or small. Eliza will approach each job with a hands-on and passionate resolve to meet the clients hopes and needs. Updates and alterations, through to a full home refurbishments are all a part of Eliza Manners London’s offering.’
It is not known how successful the business is, but Eliza recently shared a photo of one completed space on Instagram.
Apparently though it is not generating enough income to pay her speeding fine.
Lady Eliza was caught driving her Audi at 47mph in a 40mph zone of the M4 near the Grand Union Canal, Brentford in March. She entered her guilty plea online the following month, according to the Evening Standard.
She was sentenced on October 4 without the need for an open court hearing and reportedly ordered to pay £84 in court costs and fees, on top of her £50 fine, and was given three penalty points.
MailOnline has contacted Lady Eliza Manners for comment.