Variety Artiste Daisy Weston travels to Finland and Russia in 1911

Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

British passports were the only travel documents that didn’t physically describe its bearer. But Daisy’s passport had already a passport photo at a time when photos were not common nor mandatory. The passport photo was generally introduced in 1915. Daisy believed her 1911 passport issued at the British consulate in Copenhagen would benefit her in her travels to Finland and Russia when she added a passport photo. And it seems the British consul granted her this request. Or did she added the photo herself? I don’t believe that the 29 years old Variety performer would alter her travel document. It’s hard to say but this round photo with Daisy’s face makes this British passport unique. Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

The British ambassador to Denmark was then Sir William Conyngham GreeneGCMGKCBPC (29 October 1854 – 30 June 1934) who served also as minister to Switzerland, Romania and as ambassador to Japan. The passport has Greene’s printed signature and is hand-signed by his consul.

William Conyngham Greene was born in Dublin, Ireland and was educated at Harrow School and Pembroke College, Oxford.

Sir Conyngham Greene by Walter Stoneman negative, 1919 Given by Walter Stoneman, 1951 Photographs Collection NPG x65985 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Greene entered the Foreign Office in 1877, was posted as Acting Third Secretary to Athens in 1880, and acted as Chargé d’Affaires at Stuttgart and Darmstadt 1883–87. He transferred formally to the Diplomatic Service (then separate from the Foreign Service) in 1877 and was posted as 2nd Secretary at The Hague 1889–91 and at Brussels 1891–93. He was then promoted to be Secretary of Legation at Tehran in 1893 and promoted again to be “HM Agent at Pretoria with the rank of Chargé d’Affaires” in 1896. Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

Pretoria was then the capital of the Transvaal Republic, and on 9 October 1899, the Transvaal government handed to Conyngham Greene an ultimatum stating that if in 48 hours British troops did not retire from the border, a state of war would exist. The British government replied that the conditions imposed by the Transvaal were such that the British government could no longer discuss the subject, and the Second Boer War began on 11 October. On that day Conyngham Greene left Pretoria, and on his arrival at Cape Town a few days later he “was accorded a magnificent reception. A crowd of 3,000 persons who had gathered sang ‘Rule, Britannia’ and ‘God Save the Queen’.” 

In 1901 Greene was appointed Minister to the Swiss Confederation. While stationed in Berne he was treasurer of an Appeal Fund set up in 1904 for building a new church, which became the Anglican Church of Saint Ursula in Berne. He remained at Berne until December 1905 and was appointed Minister to Romania in January 1906. In January 1911 he was transferred to Copenhagen as Minister to Denmark where he stayed only two years. In December 1912 he was made a Privy Counsellor and posted as Ambassador to Japan. He was the King’s representative at the enthronement of the Taishō Emperor in 1915. Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

According to Greene’s obituary in the Times of London, “he remained in Tokyo until the end of the First World War and proved himself a great Ambassador. His open and genial manner won the confidence of the Japanese and retained it throughout all the vicissitudes of the War and in spite of certain difficulties with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. His departure in April 1919 was universally regretted.”Sir Conyngham (as he had become) and Lady Lily Greene were among the passengers who landed from the Aquitania at Plymouth on 10 May 1919.

Conyngham Greene was appointed CB in the 1897 New Year Honours. On his return from South Africa, he was knighted KCB in the 1900 Queen’s Birthday Honours – the list mentioned that he was “late British Agent at Pretoria”. While serving in Japan he was appointed KCMG. In 1917 he was made an honorary fellow of his old college, Pembroke College, Oxford.

In 1884, while at the Legation at Stuttgart, Conyngham Greene married Lady Lily Frances Stopford, daughter of the 5th Earl of Courtown. She died in 1950. They had four children.

Variety Artiste Daisy Weston

Frederic Leighton and his Travels in 19th Century


  1. The Daisy Weston passport is a real rarity because of the photograph but I have another observation: it is also in remarkably good condition. Have you ever noticed that most passports belonging to the fair sex tend to be in much better condition than those of their male counterparts? This could be because they take better care of things generally or maybe it is simply due to them travelling less frequently.

    1. Yes, even the photograph is not stamped to verify it was attached when the passport was issued and not afterward. But I don’t assume she altered her travel document. You might be correct on your assumption that women take better care of such things.

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