Susan Barrantes

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Susan Barrantes (9 June 1937 Bramcote, UK – 19 September 1998 Buenos Aires) was an English aristocrat and the mother of Sarah, Duchess of York, and the maternal grandmother of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York. She was born Susan Mary Wright in Britain, the daughter of FitzHerbert Wright and the Honourable Doreen Wingfield. Her maternal grandfather was Mervyn Wingfield, 8th Viscount Powerscourt. Susan was the youngest of four children. She had two elder sisters, Brigid and Davina, and an older brother, Bryan. Brigid married Julian Salmond who was the son of Air Marshall Sir John Salmond and the Hon. Monica Grenfell. Davina married firstly Sir Richard Boughey,10th Bt and secondly Spencer Loch, 4th Baron Loch. Her brother rose to the rank of Major in the Blues and Royal. A self-confessed compulsive gambler he frittered away his father's fortune at the card tables of various casinos even resorting to selling family heirlooms.



Susan was born into privilege. The Wrights could be traced back to John Wright alias Camplyon of Stowmarket who made his will in 1557. His first son Captain John Wright was imprisoned in Newark Castle for eight years for his attachment to the Parliamentary cause. He later acquired estates in Nottinghamshire and Suffolk. Captain Wright's grandson Ichabod Wright was a banker who owned estates in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.He established Wright's Bank. His great-grandson Samuel Wright of Gunthorpe married a daughter of Lord Coventry. Samuel's brother John of Langar and Lenton Hall was a banker and principal proprietor of the Butterly Works.His granddaughter became the wife of the Earl of Buckinghamshire. From childhood, Susan's interests revolved around horses. She completed school and for a short time attended secretarial college. During the debutante season of 1954 Susan was presented to the Queen.


It was at a ball that she met the then Lieutenant Ronald Ferguson. On 17 January 1956 at the high society church St Margaret's ,Westminster, she married Major Ronald Ivor Ferguson (1931 - 2003), who later played Polo with Prince Philip and became Prince Charles's Polo Manager. Ronald and Susan had two daughters: Jane Louisa, born on 26 August 1957 and Sarah Margaret, later the Duchess of York, born on 15 October 1959.


Susan left her family and society she knew in 1972 to move to Argentina with professional polo player Hector Barrantes. It caused quite a stir in society circles and she was subsequently branded a "bolter". There was never any question of her daughters being allowed to go to Argentina; they were raised by their father Ronald back in England with the help of their extended family. Susan and Ronald Ferguson were divorced, and in 1975 she married Barrantes.


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