Llewellyn in 1979
The British Press pays admiring tribute to Sir Dai Lewellyn, who died younger than most, not from the years but the mileage.
One-time debs’ delight Sir Dai Llewellyn, who has died aged 62, never did anything remotely useful in his career. Defying every known rule of moderation, he simply lived life to the full – and that cheered up a lot of people.
The 4th Bt, who died on Tuesday aged 62, became famous as a playboy, bon viveur and darling of the gossip columns, his reputation reflected in soubriquets such as â€œSeducer of the Valleysâ€, â€œConquistador of the CanapÃ© Circuitâ€, â€œDai ‘Lock Up Your Daughtersâ€™ Llewellynâ€ or simply â€œDirty Daiâ€.
The son and heir of the gold-medal-winning equestrian baronet Sir Harry â€œFoxhunterâ€ Llewellyn, and brother of Princess Margaretâ€™s one-time paramour Roddy Llewellyn, Dai Llewellyn was celebrated for his serial seductions of â€œItâ€ girls, models and actresses, his relentless appetite for partying and his outrageous indiscretions. …
He never grew up. On a visit to South Africa aged 60, he claimed to have fallen through a bedroom floor into a cellar while â€œattempting to roger a girl called Nettieâ€, the girlfriend of a friend. â€œI wish I could tell you this was an isolated incident,â€ he told a journalist.
Sir Dai, wracked by cancer, cirrhosis of the liver and anaemia, died in a Kent hospital where he had been receiving treatment for several weeks.
His death leaves a gap in London society that will be hard, if not impossible, to fill. Sir Dai was defined by a recklessness that belongs to another age.
He was 62, a child of the post-war era, but he lived like an Edwardian rake, strutting the boulevards with a wicked smile, never too far from another drink or a beautiful woman. …
As a young man, Sir Dai pursued a modelling career under the name David Savage.
Nicky Haslam, the interior designer and writer said: ‘When I first met Dai he was incredibly good-looking and well dressed. The girls fell for him like mad.’
Sir Dai assisted the process with relentless flattery and assiduous attention, but he always maintained that women loved a rascal, especially those who make them laugh.
But it didn’t work on one young beauty who, it is said, was the love of his life. …
His modelling career flopped and when he arrived back in London, two years later, she had married someone else.
Sir Dai threw himself with even more enthusiasm into the life that came to characterise him: parties, drinking and seduction.
Some detected a Celtic self-destructive streak and he was indeed a child of the valleys.
In an interview at the hospice last November he said he once drank eight bottles of wine, a bottle of rum, a bottle of port and a bottle of vodka in one night, yet in the morning he was perfectly lucid.
It was a tale that will pursue him to the grave.
Hat tip to John Brewer.