Kiki Gwynne

I am becoming endlessly fascinated by the photo sections of Toronto Daily Star editions from the 1920s – there are so many stories there.

Here’s a photo from the September 16 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Alice “Kiki” Preston (1898-1946) endured upheavals when very young: her father, mentioned above, declared bankruptcy in 1902 and died of acute kidney problems in 1904.

She married Horace Allen in 1919; he became an executive in a plastics corporation. She filed for divorce in November 1924, on the grounds of desertion. In 1925, she married Gerry Preston, an investment banker, and they eventually moved to Kenya, becoming part of a group of expatriate aristocrats known as the Happy Valley Set. She became addicted to drugs, and had an affair with Prince George, the Duke of Kent, who became addicted as well.

Her life ended tragically: her husband died in 1934 and, after enduring the deaths of many of her friends and relatives, she jumped out of a window of her fifth-floor apartment in New York in 1946.