Hon. David Herbert

The Honourable David Alexander Reginald Herbert[1] (3 October 1908 – 3 April 1995) was a British socialite, memoirist and interior decorator.

Life and careerEdit

He was the second son of Reginald Herbert, 15th Earl of Pembroke.[1] He spent his first few years in Castletown, Ireland. At the age of four, he moved to the family home of Wilton, near Salisbury.[1] Attending Wixenford Preparatory School, he was later sent on to Eton. He had brief stints as both a film actor, appearing in 1930's Knowing Men, and as a cabaret performer. He briefly shared an apartment with Noël Coward in the East End, and was satirized by Lord Berners as the character Daisy Montgomery in his 1936 satiric novel, The Girls of Radcliff Hall.[2] He was also scathingly satirized as "Peter Barclay" in William Bayer's novel "Tangier."

Church of St. Andrew's, Tangier, Morocco

He spent almost fifty years in Tangier, Morocco where he was known for his vibrant personality, frequent lavish parties,[1] good taste, and ruthless snobbery.[3] He was referred to by Ian Fleming as 'the Queen of Tangier'.[4] He died of kidney failure in 1995 and was buried in the cemetery at Saint Andrew's Church. He had been a devout Anglican. On his tombstone was engraved, "He loved Morocco".

His books, with vitality and wit, recall his years in the company of such figures as Cecil Beaton, Lady Diana Cooper, Noël Coward, Paul and Jane Bowles, Cyril Connolly, Brian Howard, Barbara Hutton, Osbert Sitwell and Tallulah Bankhead. These include Second Son: An Autobiography (1972), which included a foreword by Paul Bowles and photographs by Cecil Beaton, Engaging Eccentrics: Recollections (1990), his second volume of autobiography, and Relations and Revelations: Advice to Jemima (1992), a book of memories and opinions written in the form of advice to his great-niece Jemima.


  1. ^ a b c d Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 392. ISBN 1-84854-195-3.
  2. ^ Hoare, Philip. Noël Coward: A Biography. Page 238. University of Chicago Press, 1938
  3. ^ O'Hagan, Andrew. "The Aesthetes". Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  4. ^ Carr, Virginia Spencer. Paul Bowles: A Life. Page 205. Simon and Schuster, 2004.

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