George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood

George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood
The Earl of Harewood
Born George Henry Hubert Lascelles
7 February 1923(1923-02-07)
Chesterfield House, London
Died 11 July 2011(2011-07-11) (aged 88)[1]
Harewood House, Leeds
Title 7th Earl of Harewood
Tenure 23 May 1947 - 11 July 2011
(&1000000000000006400000064 years, &1000000000000004900000049 days)
Predecessor Henry Lascelles
Spouse(s) Marion Stein
Patricia Tuckwell
Issue David Lascelles, 8th Earl of Harewood
James Lascelles
Jeremy Lascelles
Mark Lascelles
Parents Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood
Mary, Princess Royal

George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, KBE AM (7 February 1923 – 11 July 2011[2]), styled The Hon. George Lascelles before 1929 and Viscount Lascelles between 1929 and 1947, was the elder son of the 6th Earl of Harewood (1882–1947), and Princess Mary, Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary. He had a younger brother, The Honourable Gerald Lascelles. Lord Harewood was the eldest nephew of King George VI and was a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He succeeded to his father's earldom on 23 May 1947.


Early life

George Lascelles was born at his parents' London home of Chesterfield House on 7 February 1923, the first child of Henry Lascelles, Viscount Lascelles and Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, and first grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, who stood as sponsors at his christening. The christening took place on 25 March 1923 at St Mary's Church in the village of Goldsborough, near Knaresborough adjoining the family home Goldsborough Hall a month later his uncle The Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. He served as a Page of Honour at the coronation of his uncle, King George VI, in May 1937. He was educated at Ludgrove School, Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, after which he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards. He rose to the rank of captain. During World War II, he fought in Italy. The Germans captured and held him as a prisoner of war in Oflag IV-C (Colditz) from 1944 to May 1945. In March 1945 Adolf Hitler signed his death warrant; the SS general commanding the camp, Gottlob Berger, realizing the war was lost, refused to carry out the sentence and released the future earl to the Swiss.[3] In 1945–46, he served as aide-de-camp to his great uncle, Lord Athlone, who was then Governor General of Canada. Lord Harewood served as a Counsellor of State in 1947, 1953–54, and 1956. On 7 February 1956 he took his seat in the House of Lords.[4]


On 29 September 1949, Lord Harewood married Marion Stein (originally called Maria Donata Stein when she was born 18 October 1926), a concert pianist and the daughter of the Viennese music publisher Erwin Stein. Their marriage produced three sons:

This marriage ended in divorce in 1967, considered a scandal at the time. Marion went on to marry politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Lord Harewood was married a second time on 31 July 1967 to Patricia "Bambi" Tuckwell (born 24 November 1926), an Australian violinist and sister of the musician Barry Tuckwell. The wedding took place at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut. A Time magazine article published at the time suggested that the choice of a wedding location outside of England was due to the Church of England's views on divorce.[5] They had one son:

  • Mark Hubert Lascelles (born 4 July 1964 in Marylebone, London). Because he was not born in wedlock, he is ineligible to inherit his father's earldom and not in the line of succession to the throne. He married Andrea Kershaw (born 16 June 1964 in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire) on 8 August 1992 in Harewood;[6] they have three children:
    • Charlotte Patricia Lascelles (born 24 January 1996 in Westminster, London)
    • Imogen Mary Lascelles (born 23 January 1998 in Leeds, West Yorkshire)
    • Miranda Rose Lascelles (born 15 July 2000 in Leeds, West Yorkshire)

The Queen gave her consent to the marriage of Mark Lascelles and Judith Anne Kilburn on 10 May 2011, and the two were married 16 July 2011.[7]

Opera and football

A music enthusiast, Lord Harewood devoted most of his career to opera. He served as editor of Opera magazine from 1950 to 1953 and as director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 1951 to 1953 and again from 1969 to 1972. He served as chairman of the board of the English National Opera (ENO) from 1986 to 1995; Managing Director of the ENO from 1972 to 1985; artistic director of the Edinburgh, Adelaide and Leeds Festivals; Managing Director of the ENO offshoot English National Opera North from 1978 to 1981. Lord Harewood served as a governor of the BBC from 1985 to 1987 and as the president of the British Board of Film Classification from 1985 to 1996. He was the author or editor of three books, Kobbé's Complete Opera Book (ed. 1954, now The New Kobbé's Opera Book, edited with Antony Peattie, latest ed. 1997), The Tongs and the Bones (an autobiography, 1981), and Kobbé's Illustrated Opera Book (ed. 1989). He was chairman of Historic Masters, an unusual vinyl record label dedicated to high quality issues of rare historic 78 rpm recordings of opera singers. He was a noted friend and colleague of the late opera diva Maria Callas and is featured in the 1968 EMI documentary The Callas Conversations Vol. I, during which he interviewed Callas at length concerning her career and ideas about opera.

His other interests included football: he served as president of Leeds United Football Club from 1961 until his death and was president of the Football Association from 1963 to 1972.

Official honours

Queen Elizabeth II created him a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1986. On 1 July 2010 he was appointed an honorary Member of the Order of Australia, "for service to the arts in Australia and to supporting Australia's artists in the United Kingdom".[8]




  • The Hon. George Lascelles (7 February 1923 – 6 October 1929)
  • Viscount Lascelles (6 October 1929 – 24 May 1947)
  • The Rt Hon. The Earl of Harewood (24 May 1947–1986)
  • The Rt Hon. The Earl of Harewood, KBE (1986 – 1 July 2010)
  • The Rt Hon. The Earl of Harewood, KBE AM (1 July 2010 – 11 July 2011)



The Tongs And Bones: The Memoirs of Lord Harewood, published by George Weidenfeld and Nicholson (1981), ISBN 0 297 77960 5 is George Lascelles' autobiography


External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Anthony Steel
Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts
Succeeded by
Clifford Hocking
Academic offices
Preceded by
Chancellor of the University of York
Succeeded by
Kenneth Clark
Media offices
Preceded by
The Lord Harlech
President of the British Board of Film Classification
Succeeded by
Andreas Whittam Smith
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Lascelles
Earl of Harewood
23 May 1947 – 11 July 2011
Succeeded by
David Lascelles

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