though the extraordinary, brave and uncompromising Tilda Swinton was practically born a dame, i shall nonetheless anoint her hitherto. born to a bourgeois family and graduated from Cambridge University at the top of her class, Tilda, a contemporary of Diana Spencer, was expected to marry well and carry on her family traditions. contrarily, she chose a life of independence in the theatre arts; a career with experimental roots in which she became known for her idiosyncratic performances, most notably Sally Potter's Orlando(1992), and her long-time association with the late filmmaker Derek Jarman.
she has become the muse of two painters, the first, John Byrne, 20 years her senior, to whom she has been married for 18 years and shares a home in the Scottish highlands with their twin children Xavier and Honor; the second, Sandro Kopp, 18 years her junior, her lover and travel companion. Tilda and Kopp have been together since 2004 and the relationship has Byrne's blessing. in an interview, Swinton commented on her domestic situation: "It’s the way we have been for nearly four years. I’m very fortunate. It takes some extraordinary men to make a situation like that work."