Three years after inheriting a £20 million estate on the death of Lord Glenconner, his manservant Kent Adonai has become something of a recluse, devoting himself to fishing off the island of St Lucia. But next week, Kent, 51, will put away his rod and line to step into the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, where he will be defending his hard-earned inheritance, Richard Kay reports for The Daily Mail.
The former valet, aide and finally carer to Britain’s most colourful — and temperamental — aristocrat faces a claim by Glenconner’s youthful grandson, Cody Tennant, the 4th Baron Glenconner.
Cody, 19, and other members of the family believe his grandfather, who was 83 when he died, was not entirely in a correct frame of mind when he left his estate on the island to his devoted Man Friday.
However, Kent will be vigorously defending the case, which was originally due to be heard in April.
Says a pal: ‘He will spare no expense and effort and has hired a top lawyer — Michelle Desir, the daughter of St Lucia’s prime minister, Kenny Anthony.’
Glenconner’s widow, Lady Anne, who lives in a farmhouse in Norfolk on the estate of her brother, the Earl of Leicester, tells me she won’t be going to St Lucia but she is very much supporting her grandson.
Kent meanwhile has been gathering as much evidence as he can to show that his boss was entirely of sound mind when he changed his will a few months before his death and that ill-health had not impaired his mental processes.
‘Kent is not planning to give up easily,’ says the friend. ‘Glenconner gave him his properties and land on St Lucia because he had worked for him for 30 years and because he was the person who was always there for him.’
Cody and his mother Sheilagh, the widow of Glenconner’s eldest son Charles Tennant, who died in 1996, are expected at the hearing.
They are both well acquainted with Kent.
He was at the family’s 5,000-acre Scottish estate, Glen House, at Innerleithen when Glenconner introduced his illegitimate son, Joshua, to the family, shortly before the bon viveur’s death.
‘Kent was there as a real member of the family,’ recalls a guest. ‘He dived into the nearby loch and had a swimming race with Joshua.
‘It’s going to make next week’s case all the more upsetting.’