Lord Dalmeny's future mother-in-law is a former beauty queen
8th August 2021

TALK OF THE TOWN: Art adviser set to marry Sotheby’s boss Lord Dalmeny is the daughter of a former beauty queen who once appeared as a ‘lager lovely’ on a beer can… and she’ll get her own Scottish castle

She is the well-connected art adviser who will become the chatelaine of a spectacular Scottish estate when she marries Lord Dalmeny, the head of auction house Sotheby’s, next year.

But such dizzying social ascents run in Harriet Clapham’s family. 

For I can reveal that her mother is a former teenage beauty queen whose colourful life has also included marriage to a millionaire.

Harriet’s mother is Mari Kirkwood who was crowned Miss Scotland in 1975 when she was just 19. 

Harriet Clapham’s mother is Mari Kirkwood who was crowned Miss Scotland in 1975 when she was just 19. Mari’s picture appeared on cans of Tennent’s beer during the 1980s as one of their ‘Lager Lovelies’ and she became a hostess on Jimmy Tarbuck’s ITV game show Winner Takes All. (Above, Mari in her 1980s’ game show days)


Harriet (left) is the well-connected art adviser who will become the chatelaine of a spectacular Scottish estate when she marries Lord Dalmeny, the head of auction house Sotheby’s, next year. (Right, her mother with host Jimmy Tarbuck on Winner Takes All)

The couple will marry next year at Harry’s ancestral home Dalmeny House (above), which has magnificent views over the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh

Her picture appeared on cans of Tennent’s beer during the 1980s as one of their ‘Lager Lovelies’ and she became a hostess on Jimmy Tarbuck’s ITV game show Winner Takes All.

She married and divorced a boutique owner, then got hitched to wealthy Glasgow property developer Barry Clapham, father of Harriet, 32, and her sister Amy, 36.

That, too, ended in divorce and Mari went on to have a fling with Gregory’s Girl star John Gordon Sinclair before becoming entangled with a conceptual artist nearly two decades her junior.


Lord Dalmeny (above) notched up five children from his first marriage to Caroline Daglish and who’s to say that more won’t follow with Harriet, whose work includes placing bids – often running into the millions of pounds – at art auctions on behalf of her clients. Right, his future mother-in-law as she appeared on a beer can, with a different spelling of her name

There’s a similar age difference between Harriet and 53-year-old Harry, Lord Dalmeny, albeit in the opposite direction. 

The couple will marry next year at Harry’s ancestral home Dalmeny House, which has magnificent views over the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, the main house is undergoing extensive renovation and Harry and Harriet may have to move into a cottage in the grounds while the work is done. 

He tells me: ‘Harriet and her mother visited with me to inspect the cottage and discuss what needs to be done – her mother will be very welcome to stay with us.’

Nor will 65-year-old Mari’s vibrant history abash Lord Dalmeny – who once conducted an auction in a suit which was cut away at the back to reveal suspenders and fishnet stockings to honour what would have been Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday.

He notched up five children from his first marriage to Caroline Daglish and who’s to say that more won’t follow with Harriet, whose work includes placing bids – often running into the millions of pounds – at art auctions on behalf of her clients.

A friend close to the couple spoke highly of Mari. ‘She’s still got it,’ the source said. ‘It’s difficult to believe that she’s in her mid-60s.’

Rather than being a discreet affair, I can reveal Boris and Carrie Johnson’s wedding reception featured some wild entertainment when the PM’s well-watered sister Rachel took to the floor to belt out Creep by Radiohead with the party band. 

Rachel confesses in The Oldie magazine that the do in No 10’s Rose Garden was a ‘raucous, drunken singalong’. 

She wanted to spread the word about the three-piece band but admits: ‘I was so drunk by the time I left, I’d forgotten the name.’ We’ve all been there, Rachel.

Rather than being a discreet affair, I can reveal Boris and Carrie Johnson’s wedding reception featured some wild entertainment when the PM’s well-watered sister Rachel (above, in June) took to the floor to belt out Creep by Radiohead with the party band

My lips are sealed, but… 

Which very rich married man encouraged young ladies in their twenties to dance topless around a fire pit during a birthday party… and then ended up in bed with the birthday girl? 

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