Christopher Shaw was married to Cressida Bonas’ mother for four years in the ’90s, during which time he was also one of the most generous party-throwers in all of London. Today he killed himself, and a lot of people care because his one-time stepdaughter is currently dating Prince Harry.
Here’s what you need to know aristocratic party monster and his demise:
1. He Was Terminally Ill
Taking some sadness out of the event, is the fact that he was reportedly on medication for chronic kidney disease, and had been told two years ago he might have only 18 months to live. It’s also rumored that Shaw was dealing with some financial problems, one friend telling the Sun “He enjoyed the high life and probably wasn’t able to fund that any longer.”
Shaw is believed to have died from an intentional overdose of pills. Police haven’t discovered any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
2. Friends Say He Was in Good Spirits
The Daily Mail reports that Shaw had just returned from a holiday in Cuba with his newest lady friend, and his friends thought that he seemed well.
3. He Was a Father Figure to Prince Harry’s Girlfriend
Shaw and Cressida’s mother Lady Mary Gaye Curzon were together from the time Cressida was 5 until she was 11. A friend of Bonas told the Daily Beast “He was regarded by Cressida as a father figure. He was married to her mum for the formative years of her childhood. She will be devastated by this news.”
Shaw and Mary Gaye lived together at the gaudy National Trust mansion “Hinton Ampner” in Hampshire. There they lived a modest life, attended by only eight servants and five gardeners. Hinton Ampner played host to romping celebrations for the .1%, featuring such guests as Sir Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch. Long-time friend David Wynne-Morgan tolod the Daily Mail:
“He decided at Eton that he wanted to live like a 19th-century landed aristocrat and he did just that.”
4. He Got Married a Lot
When Shaw marriage to Mary Gaye in 1994, it was the third marriage of each of their lives. Shaw had previously been tied in holy matrimony to Liza Gard, the niece of famed banker Loel Guiness, and then to some frenchwoman.
His last live-in lover was Eliza Dugdale. They were together for more than a decade before parting ways about 18 months ago.
5. Prince Harry Might Not Attend the Funeral
Although Harry and Cressida are still together, The Daily Beast speculates that Harry might be wary of the media circus his attendance would produce.