EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: ‘Highly acrimonious’ marriage split in one of Britain’s richest aristocratic families as Viscountess Cowdray leaves husband and £400mn fortune
A devotee of Silent Meditation and Qigong, artist and sculptress Viscountess Cowdray is so dedicated to well-being that she became an adviser to the Oxford Centre of Mindfulness.
So I am sorry to report that all is not well at Cowdray Park, where the viscountess, Marina, had a Buddhist temple built in the 17,000-acre estate in West Sussex.
Marina, 63, has separated from her husband, the 4th Viscount Cowdray, 79, after 36 years of marriage, and is being comforted by her chiropractor.
‘It’s highly acrimonious,’ claims a family friend. ‘Marina has walked out of the marriage. Michael [the viscount] is devastated. The New Age stuff has changed her.’
Viscount Cowdray and Marina Rose Cordle at Goodwood Festival of Speed on 15 July 2018
Lord Michael and Lady Marina Cowdray pictured together at the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup on 20 Jul 2014
Any divorce could be expensive as the Cowdrays are one of Britain’s richest aristocratic dynasties. Lord Cowdray, a former film producer, owns a significant chunk of the Pearson media empire and his fortune is estimated to be more than £400million.
The split is the talk of their social set and will have come to the attention of the Royal Family. King Charles’s goddaughter, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark, is the girlfriend of the Cowdrays’ son, Peregrine Pearson, 28, a property developer, who is heir to the viscountcy.
Lord Cowdray hosts the the annual Gold Cup at his Cowdray Park Polo Club, where Princes William and Harry have played. The Gold Cup is polo’s most prestigious European event.
When the couple’s eldest daughter, Eliza Pearson, 35, married Ned Rocknroll, in an open-air pagan ceremony led by a druid in 2009, Princess Beatrice was among the guests.
Ned, a nephew of Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson, changed his surname from Abel Smith by deed poll before the lavish wedding took place at Cowdray Park. After he split up with Eliza, he went on to marry Oscar winner Kate Winslet.
Lord Cowdray (L) and Lady Cowdray attend the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Polo Final at Cowdray Park on July 23, 2017 in Midhurst, England
Marina, the daughter of late Tory MP John Cordle, is Michael’s second wife. He was previously married to Fritzi (Ellen) Erhardt, the daughter of a German industrialist.
He has three daughters and two sons with Marina, as well as a son from a relationship with model Barbara Ray.
A spokesman for Lord Cowdray says he and his wife do not wish to comment.