Real Name: Scarlet
Name: Lady Susan Urquhart, Marchioness of Flintshire
Age: Early forties.
Character description: (Personality, beliefs, etc.) Lady Flintshire is at heart a snob, but that is not to say she’s any worse than the rest of her class. She is married to the nephew of the late Lord Grantham, who's younger sister married the Marquess thus supplied the Crawley family with connections to wealth and position, even if the children could not inherit.
Like Violet she comes from a background of impeccable breeding but potentially limited funds and feels a sense of entitlement to the title she has – needless to say she has never taken kindly to the influx of Americans who arrived when she was younger, making in more problematic for a English girl looking for a title. Through grit, determination and some artful seduction in the summer house Susan was able to secure the Marquess of Flintshire, a man with a Welsh country seat, and the pair spend most of the year in their London estate, much preferring the buzz of society to the boredom of North Wales. Unlike their cousins, they are not fond of the peace and quiet the country affords and as a result Susan is quite the don of English soceity, something that might prove troublesome for the girls.
Where you would like to take the character: Well primarily I intend to use her to cause some havoc during Mary’s season and after that who knows. She might prove a source of information for Vera, might hire any dismissed maids in the hope of gaining currency against Cora – her sworn enemy although Cora doesn’t know it – might have a catfight with Rosamund (though that would prove difficult!). What she will most definitely doing is being a nuisance and upsetting people.
Relationships: Cora and Rosamund – I imagine that during the years they were all newly married and not laden with children to look after there was a lot of rivalry over who could wear the most expensive, stylish looking thing.
Violet – They seem to have a reasonably cordial relationship given the way Violet speaks about her and the fact she’s the only relative of the Crawley’s really mentioned. She’s positively gleeful to have gossip about Mary so who knows what has led her to find the potential downfall of the Crawley’s a happy prospect.
Lord Flintshire – After having secured a titled man without really bothering to learn about his character Lady Flintshire’s affection for her husband was never on especially stable ground. However, over the years, as they have had their children and settled in London – she has rather enjoyed her role in society after all - they have settled into a fond familiarity. Whilst it would never be called a raging passion there is something identifiable as love underneath the sniping that marks them out to the world as an unhappy couple. Both of them being rather thick-skinned, and therefore never particularly insulted by each other, they do not understand this mantle.
With a roll of her eyes Susan’s gaze moved seamlessly from where her elder daughter was speaking to the young Duke of Crowborough - she mentally noted him down as a potential match even if he did have no money – to her oldest son, her pride and joy, who was currently speaking to a girl she scarcely recognised. She’d seen her around this season though so she simply had to be one of the new debutantes: not one that had been pointed out to her yet though. Honestly, didn’t these girls know who she was and how much her word could affect their future happiness?!
She glanced around the rest of the room, keeping one beady one placed firmly on the dark-haired youth who was smiling at her son with such charm that Susan would have been impressed had she been aiming her skill at another boy. At the far end the band were striking up again, playing something slightly saccharine and no doubt intended to encourage dancing amongst the young and at the other the Mothers and chaperones were chatting merrily. Amongst them Susan spotted someone that she had been anticipating – Cora Crawley – laughing gaily with her sister-in-law, both of them looking to Susan altogether too pleased with themselves. The smile though…
She looked back to the dark haired beauty who was now dancing with her boy and saw the same smile. Susan reached for the nearest glass available to her and drank from it in a most unladylike fashion, hiding slightly behind her tall husband to do so.
“What’s wrong dear?”
“My cousin,” she choked out, “is here and has already pushed her daughter towards Jonathan. I told you she’d be trouble.”
She glanced over at what had to be Mary Crawley and scanned the men around her. Quite apart from her Johnny’s attention, the younger Crawley girl was commanding looks from the Duke – dismissing her daughter in the process, Susan hadn’t liked him anyway – the Napier boy and at least half a dozen others. Cora was grinning and finally met her gaze, their eyes locked for a moment before Susan looked around the other assembled women with a sudden smirk. Oh she would make quick work of Mary Crawley, whether Cora, Rosamund or even Violet liked it. It was about time her cousins saw her in actions after all and took note of how important she really in the city. They weren’t in Yorkshire anymore. This was the London season and she was the Queen here.