Former 'It girl' and art gallery owner Tamara Beckwith opened up for the first time about becoming a grandmother. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! in November 2018 about her grandchild, the 48-year-old - who describes herself as a "glam-ma" - shared: "Of course she's divine. She's only just arrived but so far she she’s been a little angel. As soon as I picked her up she fitted right in. She has brought us an extra bundle of joy." She was joined by her three children: her eldest daughter Anouska, and Violet and Vero, her two children with her Italian husband, Giorgio Veroni, and Anouska's baby daughter Luna, who was born in August. She added: "I don't want to be the granny you're a bit scared to visit. I hope to be the glam-ma who plays and has fun. I'd like to be hands-on and give big hugs so she feels safe."
"I left Luna with Muma for a little while and by the time I came back, she had learnt how to laugh," said Anouska, an artist, who is quieter, calmer and a little more circumspect than her mum. Anouska and her long-term partner Luke McSwiney, a breath-work therapist, had planned to have a home birth with a pool and doula Gabriela Teixeira on hand. However, after 72 hours of labour, she was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where she had a Caesarean. Gabriela had originally encouraged the parents to-be to keep the "birth party" to just the three of them, which had Tamara wondering about her role. "We went for a special babymoon in the New Forest and I kept thinking: 'Why hasn’t Noushy mentioned what I’m going to be doing? Will I be helping?'" she said.
Tamara Beckwith with her daughter Anouska and grandchild Luna
However, knowing Luke would be with Anouska was all the reassurance she needed. "He’s got her back," Tamara revealed. "If he was a regular guy in the rat race running around like a headless chicken, getting bombed at the weekends with his friends, maybe things would be different. But he takes life seriously." By her own admission, Tamara was young and quite selfish when she had Anouska (whose father is American Bill Gerhauser) but raised her with the help of her parents Peter, a property magnate, and Paula, who died from endometrial cancer in 2011.
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Over the years, the bond between mother and daughter has become closer, helped by the fact they’re both raising young children. Violet and Vero adore their baby niece and Anouska is delighted Luna will grow up alongside her aunt and uncle. "It’s not so abnormal in other cultures," Anouska explained. "Lots of people would be having children at lots of different ages and you’d all be joining in together and getting involved. I think it’s lovely as Luna will have a young and fully conscious grandmother the whole way through."
"Except possibly the odd Sunday lunchtime," added Tamara. Anouska hopes to pass on to Luna the lessons she has learnt from her own mother, which are: "To always accept yourself and never try to be something you’re not, and to always have a smile, even when things are tough. She’s an extremely positive person. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her having a bad day. Ever. She often has things thrown in her way and she always rides them out. And she’s never tried to fit me into a box, which I think is rather wonderful."
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"Well, life’s a big journey and the best lesson you can learn is if today is a disaster, you can start all over again tomorrow," noted Tamara. "I try and tell all of them: ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’" Anouska, she says, has taken to motherhood as "the most easy and natural thing for her in the world" and she and Luke are "very calm, very serene, very mañana – whereas I’m always on the hoof". She added: "I like living life at full throttle. My children wake up every morning in a mild panic saying: ‘Are we late?’ Their favourite expression is: ‘Chippity chop.’" Having once been told that "you get sent a child for as long as they need you and then you’re ready for the next one", Tamara believes that she has been a different mum to each of her three children. "During the school holidays, when it was just Noushy and me, there was a lot of whirlwind excitement," she said. "We could have probably done with a chaperone."
"Everything came to life when we spent time together," recalled Anouska, while Tamara noted: "Noushy was my wingman, that’s how I treated her. I’d always turn every trip into an adventure. If I had a sleepover at my girlfriend’s house, Noush came too. I was quite bohemian and it wasn’t so long ago that I’d been a child myself. It’s not as if I’d had a successful career in the City and had my first child at 45.
Tamara Beckwith with daughter Anouska
"Of course, as she got older there were certain things she didn’t find interesting, but she has always been a sensitive girl; a gentle soul who’s not interested in being fobbed off. Luckily, she’s very open. She likes to discuss things and if she has any grievances she’s good at making you confront them. I’m a bit more: ‘Let’s lie low for a bit and discuss it later.’ At the end of the day I’m still her Muma. If she needs me, she calls and I’ll answer the phone as if she was 12 again. We’ve got to a happy place where I respect her decisions and she respects mine. As you get older, you mellow. I’d like to think that some of life’s knocks have taught me something.
"I think I’ve become more compassionate and I understand that not everybody has to be like you or operate like you. I’ve learnt not to say what I feel just because I can; that sometimes it’s not appropriate or maybe no one wants to hear it." For now, Tamara is looking forward to fulfilling her duties as a grandmother and embracing the joy of a new baby. “We feel so extremely lucky to have another gorgeous little babybean to be part of our lives and make us see different things,” she shared, gently stroking Luna’s face. It’s the fabric of life."
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