Who is Diana Mitford in Peaky Blinders season 6?
Meet Tommy Shelby's latest foe.
Note: This article contains discussion of subjects such as anti-Semitism that some readers may find upsetting.
For its sixth and final season, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has introduced a number of new faces alongside the old guard to spice up proceedings, such as Gina's (Anya Taylor-Joy) uncle, mob boss Jack Nelson (James Frecheville), and Line of Duty star Stephen Graham in a mystery role.
However, one major figure who is introduced in episode 2 'Black Shirt' is high-society figure Diana Mitford (Amber Anderson), the woman who became Sir Oswald Mosley's (Sam Claflin) wife and was a supporter of his political ideology.
So, just how close to the real-life figure is the show's version of Mitford and what happened to her?
Here is all you need to know about the historical figure and fascist Diana Mitford.
Who is Diana Mitford in Peaky Blinders season 6?
Mitford was the daughter of landowner David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale and Sydney Bowles, who was the first cousin to Clementine Churchill, a peer and wife of Winston Churchill. Bowles' father Thomas Gibson Bowles was the founder of the magazines The Lady and British Vanity Fair.
Mitford was born in Belgravia, London where she spent the first chunk of her childhood, before moving to family estates in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. She had five sisters, one of whom was the writer Nancy Mitford, whose semi-autobiographical 1945 novel The Pursuit of Love was adapted for the BBC last year.
The Mitfords were a source of fascination to many, with the sisters perceived as 'It Girls', or the period equivalent.
Mitford's first husband was Bryan Guinness, a novelist and poet who was heir to the brewing fortune. They married when she was 18. It was in 1932 when she had been wedded to Guinness for three years and had given birth to two sons, that she met Mosley. He was married to Lady Cynthia Curzon at the time.
"He was fascinating," said Mitford of her first impression of Mosley when she appeared on long-running BBC radio series Desert Island Discs in 1989.
He was in the process of establishing the British Union of Fascists when their paths first crossed.
Mitford eventually left her first husband but claimed that she "never dreamed of marrying Mosley," adding: "There was no question of it. He was very happily married, but nevertheless, I thought it was really better to make a clean break and live on my own, which I did subsequently."
Curzon died of peritonitis and four years later in 1936, Mitford and Mosley married in a civil ceremony in the home of the Nazi Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Adolf Hitler himself, who Mitford and Mosley had spent time with on a number of occasions, was also present and was said to have given them a framed photo of himself as a gift.
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It was her Mitford's sister Unity, who was "completed fascinated" by Hitler and "loved" spending time with him, who had introduced her to the Nazi leader.
Interestingly, their sister Jessica was a staunch communist.
Mitford said that Hitler had told herself and Mosley that war was inevitable one-month prior to the outbreak during a social engagement.
When Britain declared war on Germany, Unity was so distressed, given her attachment to both nations, that she attempted to take her own life and was left with extensive brain damage despite surviving.
Mitford and Mosley had two sons together, one of whom was ex-F1 boss Max Mosley who, in 2008, was involved in a scandal when the News of the World placed him on its front page alleging that he had engaged in a "Nazi orgy" with sex workers – an allegation that he vehemently denied. He went on to win in his privacy action against the tabloid.
During her appearance on Desert Island Discs, Mitford refuted the claim that her former husband was anti-Semitic and repeatedly defended his behaviour. When asked what she thought of Hitler, Mitford said: "He was extraordinarily fascinating and clever. Naturally you don't get to be where he was by being the kind of person people like to think he was. "
Mitford also said that she didn't regret her friendship with the Nazi: "All the well-known famous people I've known in my life, I couldn't regret having known them because for one thing, it's something to measure by the nonsense that gets written, and I suppose it will be until Doomsday because that is not only journalism, but I'm afraid it's human nature. If you don't like somebody, you attack them."
Mitford went on to say that she was "sure he [Hitler] was to blame for the extermination of the Jews'', adding: "He was to blame for everything, and I say that as someone who approved of him." But she expressed doubt that 6 million Jewish people had been killed in the Holocaust because "it's just not conceivable. It's too many".
She added: "But whether it's six or one really makes no difference morally. It's equally wrong. I think it was a dreadfully wicked thing."
Mitford and Mosley were both imprisoned for much of the Second World war – her in Holloway, him in Brixton. She believes one of the Labour party's conditions for joining a coalition government was to have both of them placed behind bars.
The pair were released in 1943, before being placed under house arrest until 1949. They moved to the outskirts of Paris in 1951, where they were neighbours and friends with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Mitford also published a number of books during her time in France.
Mosley died in 1980 at the age of 84, with Mitford remaining just outside of Paris, where she lived alone. She spoke highly of the French capital, unlike London, which she believed had lost its appeal. She died in 2003 at the age of 93 following a stroke.
"Had I had the slightest idea that I should be imprisoned, I would have never have touched– I would have given up going to Germany or whatever," she said on Desert Island Discs. "But first of all I hoped there was going to be peace... I hoped human reason would prevail.
"But had I known, I suppose I really would have felt that my duty was with my children [with whom she was away from for three and a half years]."
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