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Separating Smurfit is a truly class act

While everyone will have been surprised by the announcement that Victoria Smurfit and her husband of 15 years, Doug Baxter, are separating, the lack of fanfare surrounding the news should not come as a shock.

Because in a world where nothing is kept to oneself any more, Victoria has always bucked the trend, refusing to boast about her success in the US, refusing to make a big deal about having a career while also being a mother to three young children and simply getting on with her life without feeling the need to share it with the public at large.

And even when she did the occasional bit of publicity, there was a mischievous, self-deprecating way about her. Pictured in VIP six years ago, in a rare photo shoot with Doug, Victoria took over the K Club - owned by her uncle, Michael Smurfit.

She posed as if mocking landed gentry, regally riding side-saddle, dancing on a dining table in a ball gown, all the while making fun of the perception of her as a rich kid when, in reality, she has refused all her life to take advantage of the privilege into which she was born, and instead has insisted on ploughing her own furrow.

The demise of her marriage reminds us all that very little in life is permanent, though in Victoria's case it does seem that there is one thing that will never die - a touch of class.