Odo Russell was a nephew of the 7th Duke of Bedford, a grandson of the 6th, and a brother of the 9th. As the third son of a second son, there was little for him to inherit. He was created 1st Baron Ampthill in 1881 after years of service as a diplomat to Vienna, Constantinople, Rome, Berlin, and Washington. He had a domineering mother who would not allow her sons to sit down in her presence.

In the story... Odo meets Diana at her first London ball at Stafford House. She finds him charming and they become good friends. He accompanies her on outings to the Epsom Derby and the Henley Regatta, dances with her at different balls, and she is a frequent guest at Woburn Abbey, the seat of the Russell family. Odo’s mother would be indignant if she found out that Diana was formerly a housemaid at Chatsworth.