Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: PRESTON, Alice Karslake 'Kiki ', Mrs

image of individualimage of individual

Nee: Gwynne, dau of Edward Erskine Gwynne Sr., cousin of Gloria Vanderbilt

Birth Date: 8 Oct 1895 Hempstead, New York

Death Date: 23 Dec 1946 Manhattan, New York, suicide, jumped from window

Profession: Socialite

Married: 1. 1919 Horace Ransom Bigelow Allen (1892-1961) (div.1924) 2. 1925 Jerome 'Gerry' Preston (1897-1934)

Children: Alice Gwynne Allen (Russell) (1921 Hempstead, New York-2003); Ethan Allen (4 June 1919 Biarritz-1944 in RCanadianAF, killed during Normandy landings)

Book Reference: Nellie, Markham, Mischief, Web

General Information:

Nellie - (1934) - 'Kiki and Gerry were finally too over-alcoholized to drive themselves away so flew to Naivasha.'  Markham - In London - Kiki Preston's suicide. Beryl Markham happened to be chatting to her at Claridges when she injected herself with heroin for the last time: "I saw her dying ....... I ran like a rabbit ..….. "   [this can't be true]
Mischief - one of Frank Greswolde Williams' clients for cocaine & morphine - a Whitney by birth, a beauty who often stayed with Idina. She had had many lovers including the 2 Valentinos, de Trafford and Lafone - and the late Duke of Kent. ...…
Cockie Hoogterp remembers her extraordinary performance with her silver syringe. 'She was great fun and very witty and never made any bones about morphine. She always looked marvellous. She would be quite open about it, digging the needle into herself while we sat up drinking whisky. She never went to bed until 4 am. Next morning we were always hung over and sleeping; but she was up at 8 am. beautifully dressed, and looking lovely, as if nothing had happened.'
Web - 'In addition to his legitimate children, the Duke {of Kent} is said to have had a son by Kiki Preston, nee Alice Gwynne (1898-1946)  an American Socialite whom he reportedly shared in a menage a trois with Jorge Ferrara, the bisexual son of the Argentine ambassador to the Court of St. James. Known as "the girl with the silver syringe", drug addict Preston, a cousin of railroad heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, was married first to Horace R.B. Allen and then, in 1925, to banker Jerome Preston. She died after jumping out of a window of the Stanhope Hotel in New York. According to the memoirs of a friend, Loelia Westminster, Prince George's brother the Duke of Windsor believed that the son was Michael Canfield (1926-1969) the adopted son of American publisher Cass Canfield and the first husband of Lee Radziwill.'
Web - Kiki Preston (nee Alice Gwynne) (1898-1946) was an American socialite ….. Daughter of Edward Erskine Gwynne Sr. and his wife, the former Helen Steele…. Her great-aunt was Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt, the wife of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and a grandmother of the socialite , artist and designer Gloria Vanderbilt.
Nellie - visited Nellie in late 1933 with Cockie Birkbeck. She was a heroin addict. 'She was very well here and had an egg for breakfast, which hasn't occurred for years.'

Back to search results