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The Lady Rose Mary Primrose McLaren (27 July 19191 November 2005) was a Britishmarker aristocrat, the fourth daughter of the 6th Marquess of Anglesey.

The Paget family (the Marquesses of Anglesey), who lived at Plas Newyddmarker and Beaudesertmarker in Staffordshire were a close-knit family particularly noted for the beauty of their daughters. Lady Rose's parents were famous and generous hosts and led an unstuffy life for the times. In her early years Rose's world (which was caught in her father's home movies) was one in which her nursery teas were served by white-gloved footmen.

Lady Rose Paget, as she was before her marriage, was the fourth of five daughters — her eldest sister Elizabeth was thought by many to be the most beautiful Englishwoman of her generation — and along with another sister, Caroline, shared the dark good looks of their mother (the former Lady Marjorie Manners, eldest daughter of the 8th Duke of Rutland). Her brother is the 7th Marquess of Anglesey. Another of Rose's sisters Mary, was brain-damaged, and Rose made herself responsible for her sister's welfare until her death in 1996.

In her younger days Plas Newydd played host to a lively artistic group; amongst these was Rex Whistler who was in love with Rose's elder sister Caroline. From 1936 – 1937, Whistler painted for her father, for the dining room of the house, an enormous mural (this was in fact, a wide painting which was painted on a single piece of canvas).

After being largely at educated home, Rose went on to live a varied and unconventional life, being at different times:

When she was sixteen, Rose fell hopelessly in love with the dancer Sir Frederick Ashton — something he discouraged — whilst later remaining friends with her. At one point he returned her letters to her — having first corrected her spelling!

Rose was twice engaged to the 8th Duke of Wellington; however it seems that he was rather too conventional for Rose's free spirit and in 1940 Rose married Squadron Leader The Hon. John Francis McLaren, the second son of the 2nd Baron Aberconway. The marriage was an open one, which ended with his untimely death in 1953. The McLarens had two daughters, Victoria & Harriet.

In her widowhood, Rose lived a full life and had many affairs. Through her friendship with the fabulously outrageous lesbian, Muriel Belcher (who George Melly called "a benevolent witch"), she was drawn into and became part of an artistic, but quite dissolute set who were habitués of Sohomarker and in particular the Colony Roommarker. It was here that she became friends with the artist Francis Bacon and his biographer Dan Farson.

At about this time she established her famous florist's business, which operated from the basement of her house in Chelseamarker. The business was successful and along with her partner, Pamela Forster (the daughter of Lord Forster of Harraby and a former employee of Constance Spry), they supplied the flowers for the wedding of her friend Princess Margaret in 1960.

Rose gave up the business in 1975 and returned to Wales, to Old Bodnod - a house on the Aberconway estate which had been given to her husband by his father; this house was later let for a short period to American actress Katharine Hepburn, who was at the time filming nearby.

In later life she threw herself into country life and amongst other things was:
  • County chairwoman of Macmillan Nurses
  • Vice-president of the Welsh Opera in north Wales
  • President of Conwaymarker's Churchill Club
  • President of her local agricultural club

Unlike her aunt, Lady Diana Cooper, she was a careful driver and even into her eighties was a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.


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