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Les Jolies Eaux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Les Jolies Eaux
ISS-47 Mustique Island, Grenadines.jpg
An aerial view of the Les Jolies Eaux villa located on the Southern tip of Mustique Island, Grenadines.
Geography
LocationCaribbean
Coordinates12°51′48″N 61°11′22″W / 12.86333°N 61.18944°W / 12.86333; -61.18944
Administration
Additional information
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Area10 acres (4.0 ha)

Les Jolies Eaux is a former royal residence on a headland on the 1,250-acre (510 ha) island of Mustique, St Vincent and the Grenadines. The villa is in a protected landscape, encompassed by the Caribbean seascape.

The native French name means 'Beautiful Waters' and sits on 10 acres (4.0 ha), given as a wedding present to Princess Margaret in 1959 by Colin Tennant, later Lord Glenconner. The main house, completed in 1972, was designed by the princess’s uncle-in-law Oliver Messel in a theatrical neo-Georgian style.[1] Messel incorporated natural elements of the island in his design. It has an open plan with 5 bedrooms and a drawing room. There are also two lodges, and 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land. This estate was the only property the princess ever owned and she visited regularly, with a range of aristocratic and Hollywood friends.[2]

The house was given to her son David in 1996 as a wedding gift. He subsequently placed it on the market; it sold in 1999 for a reported 2 million dollars.[3] Like most of the villas on Mustique it is now available for weekly rentals; tariffs range from $18,000 to $28,000 per week, depending on the season.[4]

Les Jolies Eaux has been referenced in 20th and 21st century media including Netflix's The Crown and BBC Two's series Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal.

Early history

Les Jolies Eaux is a villa situated at the southern tip of Mustique Island.[5] The villa's name is a French term which loosely translates to ‘beautiful waters’.[6]  This name was coined by locals as a result of the prime geological location of the property which overlooks the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic.[7] Mustique is located 18 miles south of St Vincent and sits in the northerly region of the Grenadines, placing the villa in the Caribbean province.[5] The Les Jolies Eaux villa takes up a small proportion of Mustique, measuring up to approximately 10 acres of land.[8]

The estate was given to the princess in 1959 by Colin Tennant, a British aristocrat and socialite, who had purchased the land in 1959 for around $120,000.[9] The land was a wedding gift, to commemorate her marriage to Lord Snowdown.[10] Tennant reportedly asked Princess Margaret whether she would prefer a ‘wrapped gift’ or land on Mustique.  He showed Princess Margaret a map of Mustique and pointed out the available piece of headland - located north of Gelliceaux Bay in the Bahamas.[11] Margaret had visited the spot when picnicking at Les Jolies Eaux with Lord Snowdon during their honeymoon in May 1960.[12]

Les Jolies Eaux
Alternative names'Beautiful Waters'
General information
TypeVilla
Architectural styleBaroque, Neo-classical, Theatrical
Town or cityMustique
CountrySaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Construction started1959 (1959)
Completed1972 (1972)
OwnerPrincess Margaret
LandlordLord Glenconner
Technical details
Floor area40,468.6 m2 (435,600 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectOliver Messel
Architecture firmThe Mustique Company
Website
www.mustique-island.com/villa/les-jolies-eaux/

Early ownership

Tennant gifted the land in a relatively undeveloped state,[13] although he undertook to clear out ‘the wall of undergrowth which blocked any sight of the sea’.[14] The Les Jolies Eaux headland was formally a sugar plantation, dating back to the 19th century.  It had been neglected over time, resulting in excessive amounts of overgrowth and soil erosion.[15] Princess Margaret stated, ‘this is my house’ and this island is ‘the only square inch in the world I own’.[16] It was this transition of ownership from Lord Glenconner to Princess Margaret which altered the architectural, aesthetic and historical landscape of the Les Jolies Eaux villa.[17]

The development of the estate was undertaken by the princess.[18]  Eight years after receiving the gift, she began construction.[19] Tennant, who acted as her lead architect, suggested Oliver Messel - uncle of Lord Snowdon and a leading set designer in Britain - to design the villa.[20]

Oliver Messel

Messel was a permanent resident of the Caribbean - due to health issues prohibiting him from travelling - allowing him to oversee the project,[21] and had already designed a number of other cottages and villas in Barbados.[22][23] Princess Margaret wanted the villa to complement and blend into the “magnificent views” .[11] Messel designed a villa with a close attention to detail,[24] synthesising traditional Caribbean architecture with 18th century European influences.[25]

Design

Les Jolies Eaux is a single-story stone villa with accommodation for ten guests.[26] Messel incorporated English Baroque elements including the convex courtyard.[27] The villa was designed around the pre-existing flora and Messel ensured that the decades-old cedar trees would encompass the villa, acting as a barrier against media intrusion.[28] Messel took advantage of the panoramic views of the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea by installing glass-panelled internal doors and windows in order to blend the interior and exterior environment. The design features large stained glass windows.[23]  Other than the living room, the four bedrooms and the kitchen integrated this Neo-Georgian style as they were organized to be separated into two corresponding wings, aligned on either side of the axis of the house.[29] Down through the terrace, Messel cultivated a garden full of calla lilies, oleanders, hibiscus and bougainvillea.[23] Adjacent to the lawn laid a pool, which allowed swimmers to be at eye-level with the horizon of the Caribbean Sea.[30]

Messel also had to take into account the tropical weather conditions. The roof was designed to be structurally sound against storms and to allow for rainwater catchments.  The flooring consists of decorative Caribbean ceramic tiles, in contrast with bamboo furniture pieces the princess imported from London. These combinations of styles were a deliberate artistic choice of Messel to create the Caribbean Messel architecture. In 2003, Tennant stated that the ‘house had considerable charm’,[31] noting Messel's influence, “Oliver had instilled the essence of the West Indies in a little cottage. It gave Princess Margaret the greatest possible pleasure not to be reminded of the grandeur of what she was”.[32] The princess was also involved in the interior design, choosing furnishings and decorations including Annigoni's portrait of her sister, the queen, which hung in the center of the house.[33]

Residents and Guests

Princess Margaret visited the villa frequently, beginning her affair with Roddy Llewellyn there.[34] She had met Llewellyn through the Tennants (the Glenconners). In 1976, paparazzi captured images of the pair creating a media scandal. Anne Tennant voiced her concerns to biographers about introducing the pair to each other after the affair was publicized stating, “heavens, what have I done?”.[35] The affair contributed to the, generally poor, press coverage the princess received. John Pearson noted in his biography of the royal family that many in Britain decried the expense of the princess’s holidays, which saw her described as a “royal parasite”.[36]

Later history

In 1996 Princess Margaret gave the property to her son, David Linley, as a wedding gift,[37] and perhaps partly to minimise death duties.[38] Linley subsequently sold the villa, reportedly to the distress of his mother.[39][37] The estate was sold to an America couple, with Irish links,[38] who simplified the interior design, introducing Irish cultural elements. The villa is available to rent.[37]

Media appearances

Les Jolies Eaux has been referenced in a number of television shows[40] including in the third series of the Netflix’s The Crown.[41][42] The set production designer, Martin Childs, consulted the archives of Oliver Messel in order to accurately represent the interior design of Princess Margaret's estate[43] and sought a similar structure for exterior shots[44] eventually settling on a villa in southern Spain.[45] Les Jolies Eaux was also featured in the second episode of the BBC documentary series, Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal.[46]

References

  1. ^ Messel, Thomas; Howgill, Emma (4 May 2018). "Three Views from the Oliver Messel Archive at University of Bristol Theatre Collection". Photography and Culture. 11 (2): 215–227. doi:10.1080/17514517.2018.1501192. ISSN 1751-4517.
  2. ^ Bishop, Matthew Louis (2010). "Tourism as a Small-State Development Strategy". Progress in Development Studies. 10 (2): 99–114. doi:10.1177/146499340901000201. ISSN 1464-9934.
  3. ^ "Mystique of the billionaires' island". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Les Jolies Eaux". Mustique. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b Joseph, Claudia. (2011). Kate : the making of a princess. New York: William Morrow. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-06-208229-9. OCLC 692291705.
  6. ^ Teeman, Tim (December 2019). "Princess Margaret's Love Affair With The Island Of Mustique".
  7. ^ "Les Jolies Eaux | Architectural Digest | OCTOBER 2003". Architectural Digest | The Complete Archive. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ Gerald, Clarke (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 229 – via Architectural Digest.
  9. ^ Joseph, Claudia. (2011). Kate : the making of a princess. New York: William Morrow. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-06-208229-9. OCLC 692291705.
  10. ^ Joseph, Claudia. (2011). Kate : the making of a princess. New York: William Morrow. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-06-208229-9. OCLC 692291705.
  11. ^ a b Aronson, Theo. (2013). Princess Margaret : a biography. London: Thistle Publishing. p. 339. ISBN 978-1-909609-20-4. OCLC 944958496.
  12. ^ Aronson, Theo. (2013). Princess Margaret : a biography. London: Thistle Publishing. p. 340. ISBN 978-1-909609-20-4. OCLC 944958496.
  13. ^ Aronson, Theo. (2013). Princess Margaret : a biography. London: Thistle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-909609-20-4. OCLC 944958496.
  14. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 230 – via Architectural Digest.
  15. ^ Geerligs, H. C. Prinsen (2009). The World's Cane Sugar Industry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-511-75107-3.
  16. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 229 – via Architectural Digest.
  17. ^ Glenconner, Anne (6 November 2020). "Lady Anne Glenconner: My life on Mustique in 12 photographs". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  18. ^ Teeman, Tim (December 2019). "Princess Margaret's Love Affair With The Island Of Mustique". Town & Country. p. 5.
  19. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 232 – via Architectural Digest.
  20. ^ Joseph, Claudia. (2011). Kate : the making of a princess. New York: William Morrow. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-06-208229-9. OCLC 692291705.
  21. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 260 – via Architectural Digest.
  22. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 249 – via Architectural Digest.
  23. ^ a b c Messel, Oliver. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. 2003.
  24. ^ Dempster, Nigel (1983). H.R.H. The Princess Margaret. London: Qaurtet Books. p. 70.
  25. ^ Aldrich, Robert; Wotherspoon, Garry, eds. (7 October 2020). Who'S Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History. Routledge. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-000-10075-4.
  26. ^ Bishop, Matthew Louis (2010). "Tourism as a Small-State Development Strategy". Progress in Development Studies. 10 (2): 99–114. doi:10.1177/146499340901000201. ISSN 1464-9934.
  27. ^ Drab, Theodore (2000). "OLIVER MESSEL: CREATING THE MYSTIQUE OF MUSTIQUE" (PDF). The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture: 4.
  28. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 227 – via Architectural Digest.
  29. ^ Adam, Robert (11 January 2017). "Neo-georgian architecture 1880-1970: a reappraisal". Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. 10 (2): 255–256. doi:10.1080/17549175.2017.1278815. ISSN 1754-9175.
  30. ^ Dempster, Nigel (1983). H.R.H. The Princess Margaret. London: Qaurtet Books. p. 88.
  31. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 120 – via Architectural Digest.
  32. ^ Clarke, Gerald (October 2003). "Les Jolies Eaux". Architectural Digest. 60: 290 – via Architectural Digest.
  33. ^ Lowenthal, David (1 April 2007). "Islands, Lovers, and Others". Geographical Review. 97 (2): 202–229. doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2007.tb00399.x. ISSN 0016-7428.
  34. ^ Blakemore, Erin. "When Princess Margaret's Affair Hit the Tabloids—and Torpedoed Her Marriage". HISTORY. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  35. ^ Teeman, Tim (16 November 2020). "Her Own Private Island: Why Princess Margaret Loved Mustique More Than Any Palace". Town & Country. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  36. ^ Pearson, John (2011). The Ultimate Family: The Making of the Royal House of Windsor. London: Bloomsbury Reader. p. 37.
  37. ^ a b c "Mystique of the billionaires' island". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  38. ^ a b Goldsmith, Margie. "Toucan Hill, Mustique: Fit For A Sultan And Sultana". Forbes. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Meet Mr and Mrs Linley, also known as the Glumleys". Evening Standard. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  40. ^ Whitlock, Cathy (17 November 2019). "On the set of Netflix's The Crown season 3". Architectural Digest Middle East. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  41. ^ Teeman, Tim (December 2019). "Princess Margaret's Love Affair With The Island Of Mustique". Town & Country. p. 6.
  42. ^ Lacey, Robert (2019). The Crown: The Official Companion - Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years That Defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977). 2. London: Crown Archetype. pp. 23–50. ISBN 9780525573371.
  43. ^ Whitlock, Cathy (17 November 2019). "On the set of Netflix's The Crown season 3". Architectural Digest Middle East. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  44. ^ "The extraordinary story behind the sets of The Crown season 3". House & Garden. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  45. ^ Meng, Bingchun (29 March 2019), "Mediatization and political scandal", The routledge companion to media and scandal, 1 Edition. | New York : Routledge, 2019.: Routledge, pp. 67–75, ISBN 978-1-351-17300-1, retrieved 19 November 2020CS1 maint: location (link)
  46. ^ "Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 12:10
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