Society’s Northern Powerhouse! Tatler reveals why Yorkshire is the new high society hotspot thanks to a smart set including uber hostess Alice Naylor-Leyland, Blanche Howard of the ‘real Bridgerton’ and Rishi Sunak
From the Cotswolds to Cornwall, stars and socialites have always needed the perfect bolthole where they can escape city living, and now it’s the turn of Yorkshire which is increasingly attracting power couples, designers and artists to the supposedly the sleepy dales and chic cities.
Tatler has produced a comprehensive list of the most glamorous Yorkshire dwellers from the rising sports stars mixing with well-established dynasties and the socialites who own the listed buildings featured in the nation’s favourite period dramas.
Making the cut is Princess Beatrice‘s old friend and ultimate hostess Alice Naylor-Leyland, wife of Tom Naylor-Neyland, who promotes the local gastronomical scene with his food festival, as well as Blanche Howard, the chatelaine of Castle Howard, which was featured in Netflix‘s raunchy hit Bridgerton last year.
While Ripon-born Caspar Jopling might not have been a recognisable name to those outside of the art world, his profile certainly soared after marrying pop sensation Ellie Goulding, with the pair opting for a ceremony at York Minster and a party at the aforementioned Castle Howard.
And while plenty of footballers favour Cheshire’s ‘golden triangle’ of affluent towns or swanky enclaves on the outskirts of London, Yorkshire can hold its own thanks to the presents of sportsmen like Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Harry Maguire, as well as England manager Gareth Southgate.
Lockdown has certainly accelerated the popularity of Yorkshire with people seeking an escape from urban life in big cities like London, and the landscape, coastline, a plethora of stately homes and a buoyant social and foodie scene is certainly a huge draw for the smart set.
In Richmond and the surrounding villages, property prices have rise almost 30 per cent in the past year, the second biggest increase anywhere in Britain, the most famous resident being Rishi Sunak who lives in a £2 million lakeside manor house in Kirby Sigston.
Alice Naylor-Leyland has packed an extraordinary number of accomplishments into her 33 years. Named a ‘society swan’ by Tatler in 2018, she has been a Vogue columnist, a model and a fashion muse. And now her latest venture, a tablescaping business, has seen her become one of Yorkshire’s most prized hostesses (pictured at the t The Fashion Awards 2021 at Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2021
Alice Naylor-Leyland, 33. is known as Yorkshire’s most celebrated hostess thanks to her tablescaping business, Mrs Alice. Pictured: Launching her partnership with Fenwick in May 2019
Alice and Tom own the 17th-century Talbot hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire, pictured, near their rented farmhouse home
Alice is also a close friend of Princess Beatrice. Pictured at a VIP dinner celebrating Mrs Alice for French Sole at The Connaught Hotel on April 25, 2017
If you’re planning on wowing you dinner guests, you could seldom do without the trained eye of Alice Naylor-Leyland, 33.
A long-time friend of Princess Beatrice who married the heir to the £176m Fitzwilliam fortune family, Alice has been a Vogue columnist, a model and a fashion muse.
And she’s now turning into Yorkshire’s most prized hostess thanks to her tablescaping business, Mrs Alice, which has been thriving in spite the coronavirus pandemic.
The mother-of-three, who was named as one of Tatler’s ‘society swans’ of 2018, regularly shares snaps of her glamourous life on Instagram
Yorkshire has its fair shared of famous names. Pictured 1, Robert Sheffield 2. Alice and Tom Naylor-Leyland, 3. Blanche Howard 4. Patrick Bamford. 5. Henry Ropner, 6. Rishi Sunak, 7. Willoughby Gerrish and Daisy Bell
And the socialite’s closet would make any fashionista green with envy, from Erdem to Gucci and couture accessories.
Alice is married to Tom Naylor-Leyland, who is heir to one of Britain’s land-owning dynasties. His family has historic land and property across the country.
He is the son of Baronet Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and the grandson of the late Lord Lambton and owns the 17th-century Talbot hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire near their rented farmhouse home.
She has links to the royal family too, and is close friends with Princess Beatrice.
Alice’s step-sister is the model Bea Fresson, who recently starred in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign alongside Lady Kitty Spencer.
REAL-LIFE DAPHNE BRIDGERTON
Heiress Blanche Howard, who grew up amid the splendour of Castle Howard, a 10,000 acre sprawling pile in the Yorkshire countryside, is currently a third year student at the Architectural Association in Bloomsbury
Lady of the manor! Blanche pictured enjoying a country walk in the environs of Castle Howard
A round-up of Yorkshire’s social set would be incomplete without heiress Blanche Howard, daughter of Hon Nicholas Howard and his wife Victoria Barnsley, OBE.
Blanche grew up in the sprawling 10,000-acre grounds of Castle Howard, which may be familiar to many as a location in Netflix show Bridgerton.
The 145-room country pile, which was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and built between 1699 and 1712, has been home to ten generations of the Howard family.
Growing up in such lavish surroundings inspired Blanche to choose a perhaps unexpected path in life. The 27-year-old is currently a third year student at the Architectural Association in Bloomsbury, the grandeur of her family home inspiring passion in her subject.
Blanche lives in the sumptuous Castle Howard, a stately home which featured in Netflix’ raunchy hit Bridgerton
In Bridgerton, Daphnee, centre and the Duke of Hastings arrive at Castle Howard, where they live, after their wedding and proceed to have sex in all the rooms
Blanche in a satin dress pictured with her boyfriend ahead of a dinner party with their society friends
Although while architecture may not be the expected career choice of a socialite, it shouldn’t be too surprising that she’s opted for profession which requires an eye for artistry.
After all, creativity seems to be in her blood: Blanche’s father Nicholas Howard is a highly-regarded photographer, who has photographed top artists including Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry.
Her mother Victoria, an entrepreneur and former publisher, was the CEO of HarperCollins for two decades, before turning her considerable skills to managing the Howard Estate.
Designer Matty Bovan, 31, is considered one of the most exciting talents in Britain. He graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear, having completed a four-year BA specialising in Knitwear (pictured at the Matty Bovan + Rottingdean Bazaar ‘Night of a 1000 Stars’ commissioned by Hoi Polloi at The Ace Hotel in February 2019 in London)
As well as his fashion success – which has seen the likes of Adwoa Aboah, Georgia May Jagger and Björk sporting his designs, Matty is a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. Pictured at the Fashion Awards in 2019 in London
The young designer, considered one of the most exciting talents in Britain, graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2015 with an MA specialising in Fashion Knitwear, having completed a four-year BA specialising in Knitwear.
Matty was widely praised for his graduate collection, which earned him the L’Oréal Professionel Creative Award, closely followed by the LVMH Graduate Prize 2015. He has picked up more prizes since, scooping the International Woolmark Prize and the Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation in 2021.
As well as his fashion success – which has seen the likes of Adwoa Aboah, Georgia May Jagger and Björk sporting his designs, Matty is a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University.
The success he has enjoyed shows that London is not the only creative hub in the UK. In fact, Matty has spoken about how much the rich history of Yorkshire has inspired his creations.
THE ARISTO AND THE POPSTAR
Caspar Jopling and Ellie Goulding
Pictured: Caspar Jopling and Ellie Goulding tied the knot in 2019 at the York Minster and went on to party at Castle Howard. Pictured in London in November
Every county needs its fairy tale, and LA singer Ellie Goulding provided one when she tied the knot with art dealer Caspar Jopling, from the ever connected Jopling clan.
The couple, who have been married for two years and share their eight-months-old son Arthur, currently live in Oxford, where Caspar is studying for a MBA.
However, they have a strong bond with Yorkshire, where Caspar’s grandfather Lord Michael Jopling, who sits in the House of Lords for the Conservative party, lives in Thirsk.
Baron Jopling was Minister for Agriculture in the Conservative Government led by Margaret Thatcher and dedicated his life to politics.
Ellie and Caspar had a grand wedding at the York Minster in 2019, pictured and had their reception at Castle Howard
While his father Nicholas is active within the conservative party, Caspar shares his interest in art with his uncle Jay Jopling, a famed contemporary art dealer and gallerist who used tot be married to the artist Sam Taylor-Wood.
And Caspar and Ellie contributed to putting Yorkshire on the map with their 2019 wedding, when they tied the knot at the York Minster and went on to party at Castle Howard with a host of society friends.
In July, the Harvard-educated consultant and his hitmaker bride were spotted rubbing elbows with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Prince William and Kate Middleton during the Euro semi-final in Wembley.
THE RISING STAR OF FOOTBALL
Professional footballer Patrick Bamford has embraced Yorkshire life since his move to Leeds United in 2018. Once described as ‘not your average footballer’, the sportsman is known for his musical talent and intellect, as well as his charitable work raising money for environmental causes. He lives in Bardsey with his girlfriend Michaela Ireland, both pictured during a holiday)
Patrick and Michaela are expecting their first child – a baby girl – for early 2022 and have thrown a baby shower in her honour, pictured
Professional footballer Patrick Bamford, who plays forward for Leeds United and the England national team is one of Yorkshire’s brightest sporting stars – quite an accolade, considering the county’s considerable sporting pedigree.
The 28-year-old resides in Bardsey, an idyllic village between Leeds and Wetherby, with his longterm girlfriend Michaela Ireland, a model and pastry chef.
Described as one of the new generation of Yorkshire footballers, Patrick is well known for his charitable work raising money for environmental causes and environmental educational initiatives.
While he may not have aristocratic roots, in the past, the sportsman has been mocked for his middle-class background, his musical talent (he plays the piano, violin, guitar and saxophone) and his ability to converse in French, Spanish and German.
Patrick has spoken about feeling like an outsider in his sport, and about how it was not until he moved to Yorkshire, that he finally felt at home.
THE ROYAL EX
Sir Henry Ropner
Prince William’s former Eton schoolmate is pictured with wife Natasha Sinclair and their children in Thorp Perrow Arboretum Wildlife Park
Henry is the custodian of UK Thorp Perrow Arboretum, an 85-acre woodland garden Arboretum near Bedale
Not many people can list the future Queen Consort among their exes, or the future King of England among their schoolmates, but shipping heir Sir Henry John William Ropner, 3rd Baronet, can lay claim to both.
The former Etonian, who graduated from Edinburgh University with a first class degree in civil engineering, is said to have made Prince William jealous when he dated Kate during one of their brief break-ups, back in 2007.
But Sir Henry, whose family own a £33.7million shipping management firm, is known for more than being a footnote in royal relationship history: a fully-fledged member of the Yorkshire set, he is currently the custodian of the Arboretum at Thorp Perrow in Bedale.
His grandfather Sir Leonard Ropner created the 100-acre Arboretum which is said to be the most important in the north of England. Sir Henry’s father Sir John took over custodianship until his death in 2016.
It is now home to Sir Henry, his wife Natasha Sinclair – who he married in 2011, in a ceremony just three months after Kate and William’s nuptials – and their children.
THE ART DEALER AND HIS ARTSY WIFE
Jay Jopling and Hikari Yokoyama
The notoriously publicity shy art dealer and gallerist Joy Jopling is from Yorkshire, and spent his school holidays away from Eton there. Pictured with his fiancée Hikari Yokoyama in London in 2018
Hikari, who is a Vogue contributor, shares glimpses into her and Jay’s life on her Instagram account
Jopling, 58, the owner of the White Cube Gallery in London, helped forge the careers of many young British artists, including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Antony Gormley and his former wife Sam Taylor-Wood, all of whom he managed.
The wealthy art dealer is believed to have amassed a personal fortune of more than £100 million, made largely from brokering deals between the artists and collector Charles Saatchi.
While he currently lives in London with his art curator wife Hikari Yokoyama, Jay is set to inherit the family home, Ainderby Hall, a sprawling, listed, red-brick mansion set in 500 acres near Thirsk.
The house, which dates from the mid-18th Century and is worth an estimated £5 million, has been in the family for generations and is where the young Jay spent his holidays from Eton.
THE CHANCELLOR WHO WON’T STAY AT CHEQUERS
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, with wife Akshata Murthy and the couple’s two daughters, is said to throw lavish parties for constituents and Tory party donors, at his Yorkshire mansion
The multi-millionaire Chancellor and his wife are to build a mini leisure complex in the grounds of their £2million manor house in Yorkshire
Even among the fabulously wealthy and successful Yorkshire set one name stands out: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who ditches London at the weekends and heads north to his £2 million lakeside manor house in Kirby Sigston, near his Richmond constituency.
Despite his middle-class beginnings in Southampton, Rishi now enjoys considerable wealth after his earlier career in hedge fund management, and his current role at the top of British politics. His net worth is said to be around £200 million.
His wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of the Indian billionaire businessman, has also enjoyed career success as the founder of fashion label Akshata Designs, and as director of a venture capital firm founded by her father in 2010.
The couple, who own a portfolio of homes in the UK and abroad, including their main Kensington Mews home, reportedly raised eyebrows recently after applying for planning permission to build a pool and tennis courts in the grounds of their 12-acre Yorkshire pile.
But the pair are said to have kept locals on side, throwing lavish parties for constituents and Tory party donors, with staff in full livery serving an endless stream of wine and canapés.
THE DYNAMIC CREATIVES
Daisy Bell and Willoughby Gerrish
Daisy Bell and her husband Willoughby Gerrish have been credited with turning Thirsk into a destination in its own right, after launching several creative projects at Thirsk Hall, a town house set in 20-acres of land, which has been in the Bell family for almost 300 years
The couple live at Thirsk Hall, a grade II listed three-storey town house built in 1723, which has been the Bell’s family home for almost 300 years
Socialite Daisy Bell, 37, and her husband Willoughby Gerrish, 36, have been credited with turning the previously inauspicious Yorkshire market town of Thirsk into a destination in its own right thanks to launching several creative projects in the area.
The couple are the current residents of Thirsk Hall, a grade II listed three-storey town house built in 1723, which has been the Bell’s family home for almost 300 years.
Thirsk has been described as a town the smart set would previously rush through while on their way to somewhere else.
But has been changing thanks to last year’s launch of the sculpture gallery and the inaugural Thirsk Hall Festival in September.
The artsy couple now has plans to open a contemporary art gallery in one of the property’s large barns, as well as a boutique glamping site within their grounds, making no secret of their desire to turn the area into an arts and culture hub .
THE EX-PM ENTOURAGE
Robert Sheffield and Ellen Francis-Gibbons
Robert Sheffield, 37, is the half-brother of Samantha Cameron (and the brother-in-law of former prime minister David Cameron), He lives in Sutton Park with his wife Ellen Francis-Gibbons and their daughter Clementine, pictured
Robert and Ellen live in the beautiful stately home of Sutton Park, a 1750 building created by the architect Thomas Atkinson
Robert Sheffield, 37, the half-brother of Samantha Cameron (and the brother-in-law of former prime minister David Cameron) is another Yorkshire-dweller with a fabulous English country home, around 10 miles north of York.
Robert, who owns the art agency Sheffield & Wang, lives in Sutton Park, a 1750 building created by the architect Thomas Atkinson, with his his model girlfriend Ellen Francis Gibbons and their daughter Clementine.
Sutton Park is a private home, but the house and gardens are open to the public for a limited period every year.
New dad Robert lives at Sutton Park with Ellen and their dogs, and loves to lounge in the stately home’s beautiful apartments
The couple christened their daughter in an elegant ceremony in the county last month and shared intimate pictures on Instagram.
Robert is the only son of Old Etonian landowner Sir Reginald Sheffield. He stands to inherit a £20million fortune and a 3,000-acre estate as well as his father’s title.
After fathering Samantha, 49, and Vogue deputy editor Emily Sheffield, 47, with It girl Annabel Jones, now Lady Astor, Sir Reginald went on to have Rob, Alice and Lucy with his second wife, Victoria.
Robert is known for his flamboyant sense of style and in 2014 he hosted a cross dressing party at London nightclub LouLou’s with rock star Bryan Ferry’s son Otis.
At the time, he donned a ‘Cher-inspired’ blue wig and silver mini dress to mingle with guests that included Prince Harry’s best friend Tom Inskip, Made in Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli and former Tory MP Derek Conway’s son Henry.
He was also spotted a few years back dressed as Ginger Spice while on a night out, including the famous Union Jack dress sported by Geri Halliwell in the 90s