Jane and Victoria Ormsby-Gore were photographed by John d Green at his Kensington studios for Birds of Britaion on 29 September 1966.
The sisters are the daughters of politician David Ormsby-Gore, who served under Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government as British Ambassador to the United States during John F. Kennedy’s presidency. Although landed gentry – aristocrats and socialites – the family seemed to have suffered no shortage of tragedies. Their younger sister Alice became engaged to Eric Clapton in 1969 but, despite living together for five years, they never married. Alice died of a heroin overdose in 1995, the day before her 43rd birthday.
Their mother, Lady Harlech, was killed in a car accident on 30 May 1967. In 1974 their brother Julian was found dead from gunshot wounds, an apparent suicide at age 33. Their father was seriously injured, also in a car crash, on 25 January 1985, and died the next day, aged 66.
Widely perceived as a style leader of her generation, Jane Ormsby Gore worked for Vogue in the early 1960s and was involved in Hung on You, an avant garde men’s clothing shop in Chelsea owned by her then husband Michael Rainey. She has worked for antique dealer Christopher Gibbs, interior designer David Mlinaric (who designed the interior of Sibylla’s nightclub), and now runs her own interior design company, JR Design, based in London.
Victoria Lloyd Ormsby-Gore was close friends with the late singer songwriter Nick Drake. She says this of Drake: “Nick was a watcher. He was always just there, floating along on the fringe observing it all. And he had an ethereal quality to him; he was incredibly sensitive about how things were, the beauty of things: he was very gentle and looking to higher things.”