Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean’s Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA
Royal Burial Ground Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough, Berkshire, England
Lady Augusta Elizabeth Frederica Stanley (3 April 1822 – 1 March 1876), was daughter of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and Elizabeth Oswald, Countess of Elgin. Lady Augusta Stanley was the wife of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster. She was Lady-in-Waiting to the Duchess of Kent, mother of the future Queen Victoria, and later held the positions of Resident Woman of the Bedchamber from 1861 and Extra Woman of the Bedchamber from 1863 to 1876. In 1927, the Dean of Windsor wrote of the “warm tender love” the Duchess of Kent had felt for his aunt, Augusta Stanley, whose “passionate response” led to a “mutual love [that] spelt happiness in both lives.”
The marriage of Lady Augusta Bruce to Arthur Stanley, later Dean of Westminster, was thoroughly mediated by a female friend who colluded with Stanley’s sister to arrange the social call at which Stanley could propose: “My Dear Miss Stanley . . . Would it facilitate the first meeting if Dr. Stanley and Augusta came to lunch with me on the 4th. He would call upon me and would talk of his travels during the repast, and I would slip out (whispering ‘On, Stanley, on!’) and they then really ought to arrange everything in 5 minutes.” Arrange things they did, and Augusta, who before her marriage served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, explained, “One great value of Dr. Stanley to me would be that I might continually be talking to him of my darling [Queen Victoria], and teaching him to love Her!”
Augusta Stanley was brought up in Paris after her father died. She was lady in waiting to Queen Victoria. She met and later married Arthur P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster at the home of Mary Elizabeth Mohl in Paris. She unveiled Joseph Edgar Boehm's statue of John Bunyan in Bedford in 1874. She is buried alongside her husband in Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. A memorial to Lady Augusta, commissioned by Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, stands at Frogmore.
Some of Stanley's letters are published in Letters of Lady Augusta Stanley: A Young Lady at Court 1849-1863 edited by the Dean of Windsor and Hector Bolitho.
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