EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Why money can’t buy love for tragic hedge-fund king who has ‘£800million’ fortune – but just parted from his third wife
He has all the riches anyone could desire, including a private island off the north-west coast of Scotland, currently being transformed into what is promised to be a ‘global destination’, six years after he snapped it up for £1.7million – little more than loose change to someone with a reputed £800million fortune.
Yet hedge fund king Ian Wace, co-founder of Marshall Wace, which shared out £723million between its 23 partners in the last financial year alone, knows all too well that money can’t buy happiness.
As if to prove the point, the 60-year-old has, I can reveal, just parted from his third wife, willowy beauty Saffron Aldridge, 55, a friend of both the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex.
‘The marriage is over,’ a friend tells me. ‘It’s very sad, but the good thing is that they remain close.’
Indeed, Wace was prominently in evidence when Saffron’s son, Milo – whom the former model had while romantically entwined with Old Harrovian talent agent turned novelist Simon Astaire – married on the French Riviera two weeks ago. ‘Ian came to the wedding and gave a very moving speech,’ the chum adds.
Love: Hedge fund king Ian Wace (pictured with Saffron Aldridge), co-founder of Marshall Wace, knows all too well that money can’t buy happiness
Tragedy: Wace suffered almost unendurable loss in 1994 when his first wife, Joanne, and their two children, Guy, four, and Alicia, just 11 months old, died in a horrific accident
Saffron Aldridge, 55, is a friend of both the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex
Wace suffered almost unendurable loss in 1994 when his first wife, Joanne, and their two children, Guy, four, and Alicia, just 11 months old, died in a horrific accident after Joanne’s Range Rover smashed through the central reservation on a dual carriageway in Hampshire into the path of an oncoming lorry. Wace, driving ahead of them in his Mercedes, witnessed everything in his rear-view mirror.
Two years later, he married again, his new bride being Fiona Hardy – ‘a great girl’, says a friend – in the beautiful gardens of Rousham House, Oxfordshire. The couple had two children, but parted in 2010.
After another two year gap, Wace married Aldridge, a one-time ‘face’ of Ralph Lauren. After she split up with Astaire, she had married Toby Constantine, first cousin of TV presenter Susannah Constantine, with whom she had a second son, Finn.
She and Wace, who lived in Kensington, West London, had no children together, but shared a passion for helping children in need, which inspired Wace to co-found the charity Absolute Return For Kids (Ark), with fellow hedge fund bigwig, Arpad ‘Arky’ Busson.
‘The motivating force of my life was the accident,’ he reflected. ‘I can’t undo it, but a positive force did emerge, in Ark.’
The smart set’s talking about… The new Lady Chelsea
Society writer Davina Motion’s engagement to George Cadogan, elder son of Viscount Chelsea, and eldest grandson of Earl Cadogan, inspired a friend to say playfully that she had ‘hit the bullseye’.
Others were even giddier when the Tatler journalist, 26, married George, 27, last summer at St Luke’s Church — in Chelsea, of course. Afterwards, the celebrations continued dazzlingly at the Victoria & Albert Museum, scene of a sumptuous dinner and a dance routine by the bridal couple which left guests awed and ecstatic.
There will be no such jollity following the death this week of Earl Cadogan. But George, who now becomes Viscount Chelsea —the courtesy title previously held by his father, Edward, successor as 9th Earl — has experience in sombre circumstances like these.
Blinder: Society writer Davina Motion’s engagement to George Cadogan inspired a friend to say playfully that she had ‘hit the bullseye’
Last September, as an officer in the Welsh Guards, he was on duty for ‘Operation London Bridge’ following the death of Queen Elizabeth, taking part in the vigil, as well as in the procession on the day of her funeral. But, in due course, we can surely look forward to the dawn of a new ‘Chelsea Set’ — and a reprise of that wedding dance routine.
Boogie-woogie pianist Jools Holland was among the guests at a party to celebrate the launch of Superbears — The Story of Hesketh Racing, about Lord (Alexander) Hesketh’s 1970s foray into Formula One, with James Hunt in the driving seat.
‘Alexander was the first person to bring in track-side pavilions with uniformed butlers, lobsters and champagne,’ Jools says at the party held at the home of Lady Amabel Lindsay in Notting Hill, West London. Hesketh went on to become Tory treasurer and was known for filling the bath in his hotel suite with bottles of Pol Roger and crushed ice at his party conference bashes.
Sophie strips off on very hot Hirst date
Damien Hirst and his girlfriend, Sophie Cannell, demonstrated the art of stripping off in public after arriving for an alfresco lunch in Mayfair dressed for winter despite sweltering temperatures.
Britain’s richest artist, 58, turned up at Scott’s restaurant wearing a woolly hat and tracksuit, while Cannell, who’s 29 years his junior, wrapped up in a black top and trousers, plus a pair of furry slippers.
As the mercury soared, former ballerina Sophie stripped off down to her sports bra before they dined on oysters and ice cream.
The couple, who have been together five years, live at Hirst’s £36 million, 14-bedroom home in London’s Regent’s Park.
He gave her a £166,600 18-carat gold Rolex Pearlmaster studded with 713 gems in 2021.
Hot: Damien Hirst and his girlfriend, Sophie Cannell, demonstrated the art of stripping off in public after arriving for an alfresco lunch in Mayfair
Undress: Britain’s richest artist, 58, turned up at Scott’s restaurant wearing a woolly hat and tracksuit
Yum: Cannell, who’s 29 years his junior, wrapped up in a black top and trousers, plus a pair of furry slippers
Vera’s £7.7m windfall
Vera star Brenda Blethyn detects a huge fortune. I hear that the actress, 77, who plays DCI Vera Stanhope in the long-running ITV drama, is due to receive £7.7 million after putting her acting firm, Waltonmay, into voluntary liquidation.
Documents filed at Companies House by Blethyn and her husband, Michael Mayhew, an art director, reveal an expected surplus from the closure of £7.7 million.
Mayhew set up the business with her in 2010 after becoming her second husband. They report its nature of business as ‘performing arts, supporting activities to performing arts and artistic creation’.
Violin sensation Madeleine Easton reveals she made King Charles weep. Invited to perform at the Coronation, the Australian says the monarch sneaked in to the orchestral rehearsal. ‘He stayed for the whole time and at the end he had tears coming down his face,’ she recalls. ‘At the end, he got up and said, “Thank you, it was the greatest privilege to hear you play”.’ Easton repaid the compliment, describing the King himself as a ‘fine cellist’.
How a spurned suitor grassed up Sam Cam’s sister
David Cameron’s sister-in-law Emily Sheffield has revealed that the police raided her dormitory at boarding school after she was accused of being a drug dealer.
The journalist, 50, was expelled from £42,930-per-year Marlborough College, after drugs were found in her room.
‘I was removed for them finding half a spliff in my top drawer,’ the baronet’s daughter says. ‘That was breaking the rules and I deserved to be kicked out.’ She explains: ‘I always wondered why the sniffer dogs had come straight for my room.
‘It turned out there was a young man who had asked me on a date, and I had said no, very politely.
‘Apparently, he had gone to the head prefect and said I was a drug dealer, and this was why the school had got into a massive panic.
‘They literally tore that room apart.’
Raid: David Cameron’s sister-in-law Emily Sheffield has revealed that the police raided her dormitory at boarding school after she was accused of being a drug dealer
(Very) Modern manners…
On Blue Peter, he was a dab hand with sticky-back plastic. These days, Gethin Jones keeps busy using Instagram as a dating app.
‘I have gone out with someone who messaged me on Instagram, and it was really nice,’ says the Welshman, 45.
‘In some ways, Instagram becomes like a dating app where you can say “Hello”.’
Adieu to Sussex’s forgiving Duchess
Mention of the word ‘Duchess’ does not now always inspire thoughts of generosity of spirit and stoicism. But the Dowager Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, who died on Tuesday aged 90, embodied those qualities to the highest degree.
Susan Grenville-Grey was 18 when she married Charles Gordon-Lennox. After she’d had two children, they adopted two babies, Maria and Naomi.
‘My mother, the Duchess, always taught me that I “belong” only to myself,’ Naomi later reflected. Susan’s capacity for forgiveness was to the fore when Charles, the 10th Duke, admitted to an affair, prompting him to resign as Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex — and the Duchess to say that she would ‘continue to support her husband in every way’.
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