Just over a month ago, the London branch of the auction house Christie’s hosted a sale of some of the effects of a deceased Dowager Countess.
The artefacts listed in the catalogue included several Old Masters, items of furniture and various pieces of jewellery.
So far, so unremarkable. But the Countess in question was Gloria Bathurst and when her stepson, the current Lord Bathurst — the 9th Earl — heard about the sale, he was furious.
Old Harrovian Allen Bathurst, 59, branded Gloria — who was his father Henry’s second wife — ‘callous’ and spoke angrily of family treasures being