|Quite what Llewellyn did by way of a career was never entirely clear. He once described himself as a “a kind of upper-class redcoat” who “earned his living out of being Dai Llewellyn”. In practice this seemed to involve a bit of PR work, organising the odd celebrity party, and a lot of schmoozing of rich toffs in jet-set nightclubs such as Tramp and Annabel’s. “Dai Llewellyn’s London,” wrote one interviewer, “is a web of reciprocal favours, backhanders and feuds which require all his reputed Machiavellianism to manage.”
One feud was that with his younger brother Roddy, with whom he fell out in the 1970s after he spilt the beans in the press about Roddy’s relationship with Princess Margaret. Dai claimed that his indiscretion (“for which I have eaten humble pie ever since”) was merely a “pretty tame” section of a four-part autobiographical series about his own life, published when the affair with Princess Margaret was already “common knowledge”. Roddy Llewellyn, though, took a different view.
If truth be told, Dai’s appetite for humble pie had its limits. When Roddy Llewellyn told the Daily Mail in 2006 that he could not forgive his brother’s “betrayal”, Dai dismissed him, with characteristic insouciance, as a “snob and a resentful, chippy little twerp”, proclaiming that he had become “bored to tears by the little twit”. The brothers were reconciled shortly before Dai’s death.
|David St Vincent Llewellyn was born at Aberdare on April 2 1946, followed, 18 months later, by his brother. Their family were Monmouthshire yeomanry who found coal under the farm in the 19th century and then wangled a Lloyd George baronetcy. Their father, Sir Harry Llewellyn, 3rd Bt, would win a gold medal for showjumping at the 1952 Olympics on his horse Foxhunter. A second son, he had already been knighted for services to sport when he inherited the baronetcy from his elder brother, Rhys, in 1978. Dai’s mother was the second daughter of the 5th Lord de Saumarez and a descendant of Admiral Sir James Saumarez, second-in-command to Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. “I hardly had a relation who wasn’t titled,” Dai Llewellyn claimed.
After an early childhood spent at Gobion Manor near Abergavenny, the family moved to Llanvair Grange in Monmouthshire. Dai was sent to prep school at Hawtrees, and then to Eton, where his romantic inclinations were aroused by the custom of soliciting letters from girls at nearby schools. “All the letters that came back were put in a rack, and if the postmark said 'Ascot’ then you knew it was from a Heathfield girl; West Sussex was 'Southover’.” Unfortunately, Dai was a late developer. His voice did not break until he was 15, so the coveted letters never did arrive in his rack.
|He made up for lost time when he went to study Philosophy at the University of Aix-en-Provence. There he lost his virginity to an older, American woman “who smelt so disgusting that it put me off doing it again for several months”.
On his return to Britain, however, he “met someone wonderful and never looked back”. His career as a fully fledged cad and bounder had begun.
After Aix, Llewellyn got a salesman’s job with Qantas, ran a travel agency in Cardiff and moved for a while into advertising. Then, in the late 1960s, he was invited to lunch by Victor Lownes, who ran the Playboy Club and had recently bought the Clermont casino from John Aspinall and wanted Llewellyn’s advice. When Llewellyn suggested that it needed “more window-dressing to bring the Arabs in”, Lownes responded my making him the club’s “social secretary”. “Start on Monday,” Lownes ordered. “Double the salary.”
|According to Llewellyn, his job description was “to sit at a table, drink a lot of claret, eat a lot and have a simply lovely time”. Though he subsequently left the Clermont and opened Tokyo Joe’s in Piccadilly and Wedgies on the King’s Road (eventually resigning from both, “exhausted”), he continued to live the onerous life of a Mayfair boulevardier into the 21st century.
It was Nigel Dempster, in the early 1970s, who first noticed Llewellyn’s impressive track record in the bedroom and elevated him to the status of gossip column fixture: “There was no AIDS or anything — it was a marvellous time,” Llewellyn reminisced. Quite what Sir Harry Llewellyn made of his son’s chosen career is not recorded. While Dai admitted that his father would probably have preferred him to be “slightly more sensible”, he felt that his parents were at least relieved that he had not turned out to be a “pansy”.
Llewellyn claimed to have fallen in love three times, firstly with Lady Charlotte Curzon, to whom he claimed to have proposed 100 times in a single evening (she turned him down). In the 1970s he was engaged to Beatrice Welles, daughter of Orson, but their relationship became so tempestuous that people stopped inviting them to parties. Inevitably, he broke it off.
|In 1980 he married Vanessa Hubbard, the convent-educated niece of the Duke of Norfolk.
Signalling his determination to go on as if nothing much had happened, he reportedly rolled up at the wedding, reached out of the car and handed a near-empty bottle of champagne to a group of gawping youths. The couple had two daughters but divorced seven years later.
Other women in his life included the 1960s pin-up Annegret Tree, Tessa Dahl, daughter of Roald (“much prettier than Sophie”), Judith (now Lady) Wilcox and the Swedish-born interior designer Christel Jurgenson, to whom he was briefly engaged in 2006.
Llewellyn promised the (largely indifferent) Welsh people that he would return across the Severn Bridge only for his own funeral, but in 2007 he injected some excitement into the Welsh Assembly election campaign by announcing that he would fight the marginal Cardiff North seat for the UK Independence Party. Britain’s withdrawal from the EU was “the most important issue there is”, he proclaimed, and the Assembly was “a load of Horlicks”.
He never grew up. On a visit to South Africa aged 60, he claimed to have fallen through a bedroom floor into a cellar while “attempting to roger a girl called Nettie”, the girlfriend of a friend. “I wish I could tell you this was an isolated incident,” he told a journalist.
Sir Dai Llewellyn is survived by his two daughters and numerous former girlfriends. His brother succeeds him in the baronetcy.
|Photographs by THE DAILY MAIL.|