Inside the £16m Hyde Park mansion where the real-life Cinderella’s wicked stepmother lived – My London



Standing on the edge of Hyde Park, by the Royal Albert Hall and Knightsbridge, is a stunning six-bedroom mansion complete with its own cinema room, gym and back garden as well as beautiful interior decor.

It’s such a beautiful building in a prime location with great facilities, who wouldn’t want to live there?

Known as Townhouse, the property is on the market for £16 million and is available via joint sole agents – the instruction is for sale through Beauchamp Estates and to let through Tunstall Property and Beauchamp Estates.

It appears that even the evil among us would have a love for this home, because it used to belong to the lady that the wicked stepmother in Cinderella was based off.

The Hyde Park Gate property was once the home of none other than Mary Caroline Blair, who was the Duchess of Sutherland from 1848 until 1912.

This Hyde Park home is pretty special (Image: AlexWinship Photography Ltd)

For more news and features about London directly to your inbox sign up to our newsletter here.

She helped to inspire Oscar Wilde’s novel, A Woman of No Importance, as well as the evil character of Cinderella’s stepmother in the well-known story.

In 1875, the house became the London home of Mary and her husband, Captain Arthur Blair.

The Blairs entertained lots of people at their Hyde Park home, including the third Duke of Sutherland and his sister, Constance, the Duchess of Westminster.

The property has six bedrooms (Image: AlexWinship Photography Ltd)

In 1882, Mary became the Duke of Sutherland’s mistress, sparking a lifetime of scandalous or negative news stories about her.

Mary’s husband died after a shooting accident in 1883, with some people at the time speculating as to whether it was suicide or murder, but the official verdict was accidental death.

Still Mary and the Duke continued their affair and then just four months after the Duke’s wife Anne died, they got married. It broke aristocratic convention that a widow should wait at least a year before remarrying and went against a special request from Queen Victoria, who was Anne’s friend.

There’s a pretty rear garden as well as a roof terrace (Image: AlexWinship Photography Ltd)

Then in 1892, the Duke died and left his entire fortune to Mary, instead of leaving his estate to his children from his marriage to Anne, his son Cromartie, fourth Duke of Sutherland, and his daughters, Lady Florence and Lady Alexandra.

In the end, the will was contested with the court case confused because Mary had arranged for the Duke’s will (containing provisions for his children) to be burnt.

Read More
Related Articles

Read More
Related Articles

Mary was imprisoned for a short time in April 1893, and sent to Holloway Jail for contempt of court.

Hence why it is said that Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, who treats her step-daughter Cinderella terribly, is based on Mary.

It is said Duchess Mary looked a bit like the wicked stepmother in Cinderella too

As if she couldn’t bare to live a moment of her life without drama, Mary married a third husband, wealthy shipping tycoon Sir Albert Rollit, was victim of a big jewellery robbery in which £30,000 of her jewellery was stolen, and then she died on May 27, 1912 in London.

Actress Kate Blanchett played the wicked stepmother Lady Tremainein in Cinderella Movie

The Hyde Park townhouse has, of course, been home to others since the wicked Mary died over a century ago.

Set over six floors, with a balcony on the first floor and large terrace on the second floor, there is a spacious dining room and family kitchen with French doors leading to the back garden.

Mary Blair entertained the Duke of Sutherland at the Hyde Park home then had an affair with him

There is also the first-floor reception room, where Mary would have done plenty of her entertaining, as well as a sitting room/study looking out over the garden.

The main bedroom takes over the entire second floor, with the main bathroom and the private roof terrace.

Three out of the five other bedrooms have an ensuite and the other two bedrooms share one family bathroom. The cinema room and gym are on the lower ground floor.

As if the home itself was not enough, the location of this property is outstanding.

It would be an amazing place to entertain guests (Image: AlexWinship Photography Ltd)

Located off Kensington Road, you are right in the heart of a hugely desirable part of London, with Knightsbridge and South Kensington close by, and Notting Hill over the other side of the park.

Hyde Park itself is a fantastic asset to have right on your doorstep with its many annual events and exercise opportunities.

You’re not even far away from the entertainment offered by Oxford Street, Mayfair and the West End.

And remember, if it met the standards of the wicked stepmother, then it must be pretty amazing.

Want more news? Head to the MyLondon homepage.