In an article in the Daily Mail Weekend magazine Mary Green reviews a book by the former royal footman Guy Hunting who for a short time was an assistant secrtary to Noel Coward's secretary.
"Arriving at Coward's pink chalet in Switzerland, he was greeted by the Master - wearing his hallmark dressing gown and doing the Daily Mail crossword. Coward called the 6'4" footman Large Lord Fauntleroy. Hunting's task ws to copy his vast correspondence to, so the originals could be sent to a bank vault. 'There were letters from almost everyone in the world of literature,' he recalls. 'From Laurence Olivier and George Bernard Shaw, Lawrence of Arabia and Charlie Chaplin. Coward was 67, unwell, and spent much of his day in bed, smoking menthol cigarettes. He was struggling with a third volume of his autobiography - and depressed that he was no longer fashionable. He did no entertaining and seldom ventured out.
It was too sedate a life for a young man of 21. The chalet was a household of elderly homosexuals: Coward, his secretary Cole Lesley and Coward's great friend and lover Graham Payn. Cole and Graham were devotees of needlepoint; 'And they were so keen for me to get involved,' says Hunting, with horror."

 Copyright - The Noel Coward Society - May 2001