The Duff Gordons were travelling under the assumed name of Morgan to avoid publicity and so that they could have some privacy. Lucile was famous and hounded by the press (and loved every minute of it) but Cosmo would have nothing of it. He got to spend very little time with her owing to her busy career and did not want to share her with shipboard nouveau riches or tabloid reporters at dockside.
So she came up with the Morgan pseudonym as a sort of in-joke aimed at THE Mr. Morgan who was supposed to have been en route but decided against it - opting for a little frisky fun with his mistress. Lucile, being a close pal of Morgan's daughter, Anne Morgan, would have been well aware of this gossip.
PS) Its been discussed elsewhere here (though I can't remember the thread) about how she sometimes travelled under various aliases.
Good stuff, Randy. I knew that the link between the Morgan alias and J P Morgan had been theorised, but wasn't aware that there was anything more substantive to back it up until I read your post. As usual, you deliver the goods!
Well, I thought I was the one who first figured it out about the J.P. Morgan tie-in but then I read something about it in a book and thought well, I'm not needed afterall! It's much in keeping with Lucy's sense of humor, this habit of aliases and nicknames.
One little thing. If Lucille was trying to avoid attention, she had a funny way of showing it. Going under the name of a famous person, who would have been sought after doesn't seem to be a good idea to me. If J.P Morgan was expected to travel on the Titanic, press and passengers would have been curious as to the "Morgans" seen on the passenger list.
Morgan is a common enough name though using it was a bit of a teaser. That was part of the joke. Also I don't think the press always had a list showing which cabins people were in, so the Duff Gordons were pretty safe from reporters. Had the ship not sank I don't think there would have been any interest or confusion about the alias.
This got me thinking of the number of alias' on board: Thorne/Rosenshine, Navratil/Hoffman, Russell/Rosenbaum, etc., not to mention the misspellings and misinterpretations of many in steerage...seems if one wanted to, changing one's identity was comparatively easy back then!
And yes, Randy, thank you for the "Forgotten Three"! I'm just kidding- don't know who they are, but I am sure that these fine gentlemen made every attempt not to tread or otherwise mar Lucile's kimono!
One of the three HAS the kimono! So now you now the truth as to how it was acquired!
That's - L to R - Ben Holme, Phil Gowan (the kimono culprit), and Eric Sauder. And I believe either Jemma Hyder or Christine Geyer took the picture. (Somebody please tell me if I'm wrong on that and forgive me if I am)
It was forwarded to me by somebody else so I don't recall the name of the esteemed photographer who really deserves the credit for taking this historic image and thus finally clearing up the mystery!
So much was happening on that Sunday morning I got a job to remember myself. If the little grey cells serves me correctly, the photographer who is responsible for taking that shoot of Ben Holme, Phil Gowan and Eric Sauder, was Jemma Hyder.
Yours truly had the gift of showing others the exact whereabouts when the R.M.S. Queen Mary left Southampton back in 1967.