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Roddy Llewellyn

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Roddy Llewellyn
Roderic Victor Llewellyn

(1947-10-09) 9 October 1947 (age 76)
Title5th Llewellyn Baronet
PredecessorDai Llewellyn
Tatiana Soskin
(m. 1981)

Sir Roderic Victor Llewellyn, 5th Baronet (born 9 October 1947),[1] is a British baronet, garden designer, journalist, author, and television presenter. He had an eight-year relationship with Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

Early life and education[edit]

Llewellyn was born in Crickhowell, Brecknockshire, the younger son of Sir Harry Llewellyn, 3rd Bt. (d. 1999), an Olympic gold medallist in show jumping, and his wife, the Hon. Christine Saumarez (d. 1998).[2] He was educated at Shrewsbury School and then received a National Certificate in Horticulture at Merrist Wood College. In 2009, he succeeded his elder brother, Dai, to the Llewellyn baronetcy.[3]

In 2012, Llewellyn discussed his early life at Gobion Manor and later, at Llanfair Grange, with some sadness. His parents were often away at equestrian events, and his nanny, Rebecca Jenkins, became his muse, encouraging the boy's gardening. By age 7, he was sent to Hawtreys, a boarding school.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Beginning in 1973, Llewellyn, then aged 25, began an affair with Princess Margaret, then 43.[6] They had met in Scotland at the Café Royal in Edinburgh in September 1973. Margaret's biographer Theo Aronson made this comment some years later, "He was well-mannered, well-spoken, and amusing; above all, he was very sweet-natured."[7]

In 1976, photographs of the couple in Mustique led to a scandal.[8] In the tabloids, he was referred to as her "toy boy". Llewellyn issued a public statement which said, "I much regret any embarrassment caused to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family, for whom I wish to express the greatest respect, admiration and loyalty".[9]

The much publicised eight-year relationship was a factor in the dissolution of the princess's marriage to the Earl of Snowdon.[10] After Princess Margaret's break-up with Llewellyn, she destroyed all of their correspondence, according to her then chauffeur, David Griffin.[11]

According to Anne Tennant, Baroness Glenconner, quoted in the 2018 documentary Elizabeth: Our Queen, the monarch discussed Llewellyn with her after Princess Margaret's funeral in 2002. She offered Lady Glenconner thanks for having introduced her sister to him because "he made her really happy".[12][13]

On 11 July 1981, Llewellyn married Tatiana Soskin, a daughter of film producer Paul Soskin.[14][15] The couple have three daughters, Alexandra, Natasha, and Rosie. Alexandra, the eldest, is a designer and artist.[9]



Llewellyn has said, "I have always been fascinated by plants...They give me an enormous amount of solace."[4]

It was apparently his nanny, Rebecca Jenkins, who introduced him to gardening. When the family removed to Llanfair Grange, Llewellyn said, "we had huge lawns and wonderful views. It was pretty had a big vegetable garden and fabulous trees."[4] Throughout Llewellyn always regarded himself as part of that rich Welsh heritage beneath the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Llewellyn runs his own company, Roddy Llewellyn's Garden Design.

He regularly lectures, appearing at venues including the Retirement Show at Olympia, Glasgow and Manchester (chairing question and answer sessions), Dobbies Garden Centre ("Inspirational Ideas for the Garden"), Hereford Cathedral ("Interesting Ideas for the Garden"), Malvern Spring Gardening Show ("Who are better Gardeners – Men or Women?"), Cotswold Wildlife Park (series, "An Evening with the Gardening Experts 2005–2006"), Cholmondeley Castle ("Amusing Ideas for the Garden"), and the ship the Crystal Symphony (on a garden design theme cruise giving "themed lectures").

His published books include Town Gardens, Beautiful Backyards, Water Gardens: The Connoisseur's Choice, Elegance & Eccentricity, Growing Gifts, Grow It Yourself: Gardening with a Physical Disability and Roddy Llewellyn's Gardening Year.[3]

Llewellyn was a patron at the Southport Flower Show.

Journalism and broadcasting[edit]

Llewellyn has written books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns on the subject of gardening. The magazines he has written for have included Heritage Homes in 2006, Country Life in 2005 and 2006, Country Illustrated in 2004 and 2006, Oxfordshire Limited Edition in 2006, The Lady in 2005, Eden Project Friends in 2004, and The Sunday Times in 2004. He wrote columns for the Daily Star from 1981 to 1985, and The Mail on Sunday from 1987 to 1999.

He presented The Home Show in 1990 and The Gardening Roadshow in 1992–93 for Thames Television, amongst several other programmes. He appeared on Gardeners' World in 2007.

Llewellyn was also Gardening Correspondent for The Mail on Sunday for 12 years.[16]


Llewellyn released a pop music album of standards in 1978, "Roddy", but found that the news media was interested only in his personal life. The album achieved little success.[9][7]


Llewellyn served as an assistant herald at the College of Arms and was noted as "liking to trace ancestries".[17]

In popular culture[edit]

Llewellyn is portrayed by Simon Woods in the 2005 film The Queen's Sister,[18] and by Harry Treadaway in the Netflix series The Crown.[19]


  • Llewellyn, Roddy (1986). Beautiful Backyards.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Elegance & Eccentricity. 1989.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Gardening in your face!. 1990.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Grow It Yourself. Gardening with a Physical Disability. 1993.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Growing Gifts. 1991.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Roddy Llewellyn's Gardening Year. 1997.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Town Gardens. 1981.
  • Llewellyn, Roddy. Water Gardens: The Connoisseur's Choice. 1987.


  1. ^ "Sir Roderic Llewellyn, Bt". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  2. ^ The Peerage.
  3. ^ a b Appleby, Matthew. "Interview: Sir Roddy Llewellyn, garden designer". Horticulture Week. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Wightwick, Abbie (26 March 2013). "Roddy Llewellyn, patron of Southport Flower Show". Wales Online. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Interview with Roddy Llewellyn, the son of show-jumper Sir Harry Llewellyn". People's Collection Wales. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  6. ^ Davies, Caroline (11 February 2002). "I followed my heart, says Llewellyn". The Daily Telegraph.
  7. ^ a b Miller, Julie (19 November 2019). "The Crown: Princess Margaret's Real-Life Affair With Roddy Llewellyn". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Margaret: Unlucky in love". BBC News. 9 February 2002. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Hallemann, Caroline (5 November 2019). "Who Was Princess Margaret's Much-Younger Boyfriend Roddy Llewellyn?". Town and Country. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Margaret: Unlucky in love"". BBC. 9 February 2002.
  11. ^ Gordon, Naomi (10 September 2019). "Princess Margaret and 'toyboy' Roddy Llewellyn: The true story behind the scandal". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  12. ^ Hallemann, Caroline (24 November 2019). "Princess Margaret's Relationship with Roddy Llewellyn, in Photos". Town and Country. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  13. ^ Fernandez, Cecilia (22 November 2019). "The True Story of Princess Margaret and Roddy Llewellyn's Headline-Making Affair". Oprah Daily. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Notices". The Telegraph. London. 13 July 1981.
  15. ^ Tatiana Soskin page at Lundy, Darryl. "p. 23017 § 230167". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
  16. ^ Guides & Experts
  17. ^ "The Voice That Enchanted a Princess". The Washington Post. 8 April 1978. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  18. ^ BFI Archive page for The Queen's Sister (2005) accessed 6 November 2020.
  19. ^ Chaney, Jen (4 November 2019). "The Crown Carries on Splendidly in Season 3". Vulture. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baronet
(of Bwlffa)