Audrey's childhood

 

Audrey’s father, Joseph, was an only child born in Onzic, Bohemia in 1889.  Audrey’s mother, Ella, spent her childhood with her four siblings at Huis Doorn, a country estate with more than fifty rooms and sprawling lush green acreage.  When Joseph and Ella met they had each already been divorced, an unusual occurrence for the time, and Ella had two sons, Alexander and Ian.

Audrey was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium, where the family first settled. At age five, Audrey was sent to boarding school in England, separated from her family for the first time. Ella arranged for Audrey to spend time in the English countryside and for her to begin ballet lessons. For Audrey, this ignited a passion for music and dance which never left her.  When England declared war on Germany in 1939, Ella sent for Audrey to return to Holland, a neutral country. Joseph, who had abandoned the family, was in England and put Audrey on one of the last planes out. On May 10, 1940 Germany invaded Holland and Audrey's childhood changed forever.  It would be nearly twenty-five years until Audrey saw her father again.


scroll up
scroll down
A WEBSITE OF THE AUDREY HEPBURN CHILDREN'S FUND © COPYRIGHT-ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
All Photographs: Copyright © Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti unless otherwise indicated