Saturday, November 21, 2009
Prince Philip conferred 'doctorate on the world-renowned mystic Countess of Shannon'
The Rt Hon the Countess of Shannon: "One of the greatest mystics of our age". Via husband the Earl of Shannon she is indirectly linked to former TV personality Katie Boyle, apparently
I am intrigued that the Duke of Edinburgh once conferred a honorary doctorate for literature (or "writings") on a woman who describes herself as "a Toltec three-pronged Nagual" - or put simply, "one of the greatest mystics of our time" or even "one of the most profound spiritual teachers of our age."
That at least is the claim of the woman in question - someone called the Rt Hon the Countess of Shannon aka Almine Barton. Her disciples know her simply as Almine. Quite what the Countess has written to warrant the Duke's interest when literary talents such as Martin Amis, Jeanette Winterson and Duncan Fallowell are left withering on the royal vine, I have no idea.
claim that Almine was once a belly dancer in Oregon cannot be true. It is entirely possible that the writer misunderstood the mystic's interest in the flamenco (see pic above).
Almine would appear to be a US citizen, born in South Africa, who gave up the British aristocratic life for her higher calling a few years back. Richard Bentinck Boyle, 9th Earl of Shannon, certainly took a third wife in 1994 called Almine, or Alamine de Villiers (daughter of Rocco Cotorsia de Villiers of Cape Town), depending on your source. The Earl's first wife was the TV personality Katie Boyle, former polyglot hostess of Eurovision. The precise state of Almine's union is unknown, but she doesn't name her husband in her literature. And in an interview on her site she describes herself as a "single mom".
Photos on her website reveal an elegant blonde at the very heart of the British government and royal life. I am beside myself that I have never heard of her. Not even in Tatler. The magazine must try to keep up.
The 9th Earl of Shannon (business woes)
As a global mystic, the Countess is up there with another goddess - the domestic one, Nigella Lawson. Almine has co-authored two cookery books, Cooking With Class and Memories and Meals. Curiously, at least one of the titles is presented with a commendation from the chairman of the vanity publisher Serendipity, Tony Clarkson.
A Google delve into the life of this extraordinary woman leaves one gagging for a lot more: it is Gatsby-esque in its glamorous murkiness, to say the least. Incomprehensible even.
"Death is optional" - a thought that may reassure the Duke ... (Click film once to play).
Her music (then click "Play all") is more to my taste - let's dance.
Another Almine site at Spiritual Journeys