Bronwen, Lady Astor, who has died aged 87, was, as chatelaine of Cliveden in the early 1960s, a supporting player in the Profumo affair that came to be regarded as a turning point in 20th century Britain; a fashion model hailed as one of the great beauties of her day, she found herself ostracised in the wake of the scandal by many of the guests she had welcomed at her husband’s ancestral home.
She sought consolation in religion and, while repudiating the description “mystic”, admitted to various intense experiences of God. She went on to establish a charismatic religious community at her Godalming manor house and, when internal divisions caused it to collapse, to practise as a Christian psychotherapist and spiritual director.
Before her marriage, as Bronwen Pugh, she was the forerunner of modern supermodels. In the mid-1950s, she became muse to the couturier Pierre Balmain who, unable to pronounce...
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