Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Notes from a life: the earl of Harewood


The announcement was made late on the evening of February 7, 1923:  "The King and Queen visited the Princess Mary (Viscountess Lascelles) and the Viscount Lascelles at Chesterfield House.  Their Majesties are gratified to announce that the Princess Mary gave birth to a son this evening."  

A bulletin was issued from Chesterfield House shortly after midnight:  "Her Royal Highness the Princess Mary Viscountess Lascelles gave birth to a son at 11:15 p.m., Wednesday, February 7.  Her Royal Highness and son are doing well."

A second bulletin was issued from Chesterfield House on the 8th:  "Her Royal Highness Princess Mary has passed a comfortable night, and her condition this morning is quite satisfactory."

The Lord Mayor of London sent conveyed his congratulations to the King and Queen on behalf of the citizens of London.   The King replied:  "The Queen and I thank you for the kind congratulations which have sent us in the name of the citizens in the birth of our first grandchild. It is gratifying to know that their thoughts are with his on this great occasion in our family."

Princess Mary's son, who was sixth in line to the throne at the time of his birth, was baptised on March 25, 1923, at St. Mary's Church, Goldsborough.   The baby was baptised on Palm Sunday.

The service was performed by the Archbishop of York, Dr. Cosmo Lang.   The infant was given the names George Henry Hubert.  The godparents present for the ceremony were the King and Queen, the Countess of Harewood and Mr. G.R. Lane-Fox (Minister of Mines,) who stood as "the representative of very old Yorkshire friends of Lord Lascelles' family.   Others at the christening stood as proxy:  For Queen Alexandra, the Countess of Harewood; for Lady Patricia Ramsay, Lady Mary Trefusis; for the Earl of Harewood (who was ill), his son, the Hon. Edward Lascelles; and for General Sir George Higginson (the oldest living officer of the Grenadier Guards, in which Viscount Lascelles served), Prince George.

According to the Times, the "child wore a christening gown of beautiful old lave, reputed to have been used at the christening of his great grandfather, King Edward the Seventh."  The future earl "cried loudly" throughout the service.

A "small family party" was held at Goldsborough Hall.  In the afternoon, each of the four godparents planted a lime tree in commemoration of the baptism.

The Prince of Wales did not attend his nephew's christening. He "witnessed" the British Army v French Army Rugby football match at Twickenham.

Princess Mary and her husband and two sons spent Easter at Windsor Castle with the King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family, apart from the Prince of Wales, who was on a hunting trip [not for a wife!].  The Duke and Duchess of York were accompanied by their daughter, Princess Elizabeth, who would celebrate her fourth birthday on Easter Monday.

In January 1931,  Viscount Lascelles was a page at the wedding of the Hon. Gustavus Russell and Miss  Joan Verney.   It was announced on May 6, 1932, that Viscount Lascelles would attend Ludgrove School, Cockfosters, Hertfordshire.

During the 1930s,  Lord Lascelles and his young brother, the Hon. Gerald Lascelles, accompanied their mother or both their parents to official events and engagements.

On March 1, 1934,  Lord Lascelles was operated on in London for an "abscess on the neck."  
An official announcement was made:  "Following a streptococcal infection of the throat, Lord Lascelles developed enlarged glands of the neck, one of which has caused an abscess.  This abscess has been opened, and steady and complete recovery is expected."

In May 1934, it was announced that "negotiations are in progress for the disposal of Chesterfield House, Mayfair."  It was assumed that the "famous mansion" would not be demolished and replaced with flats.  The house was sold in 1919 by the Dowager Lady Burton to the then Lord Lascelles (the 6th Earl of Harewood).

In December 1934,  the Duke and Duchess of Kent treated their nephews, Viscount Lascelles and the Hon. Gerald Lascelles to lunch during a visit to Trent.  Both sons of the Princess Royal were at school at Cockfosters

At the Coronation of George VI and Elizabeth in May 1937, Lord Lascelles and his cousin, Alexander Ramsay of Mar, were among the Pages "to bear the King's Train.

Lord Lascelles was confirmed at Eton by the Bishop of Buckingham on December 3, 1938.  The Princess Royal was present for the ceremony.

At the Duke of Kent's funeral, which was held at St. George's Chapel, Windsor," the King and Queen, Queen Mary, the Duchess of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Harewood and the Viscount Lascelles were Chief Mourners."

In July 1944, The Times reported that Viscount Lascelles was twice wounded, and "progressing after operation.   Lord Harewood told the Times: "I understand  that there had been a minor German counter-attack about that time, which resulted in the capture of my son and the three men who were with him, also the ambulance driver and stretcher-bearer."

On August 15, 1944,  it was announced that the Princess Royal and Lord Harewood received a son from their eldest son, Viscount Lascelles, who was being held as a prisoner of war in Germany.  "Her Royal Highness and Lord Harewood have reason to believe that Lord Lascelles wounds are healing rapidly and that the state of his health is entirely satisfactory."

Lord Lascelles and the Master of Elphinstone, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth, "who were liberated from a German prisoner-of-war camp a few days, arrived in England on May 7, 1945.  In the evening, they were "welcomed home" by the King and Queen and Princess Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace

In November 1945,  Lord Lascelles was named as aide-de-camp to Lord Athlone when "Lord Athlone returns to Canada to complete his term as Governor-General."

In the late 1940s,  Lord Lascelles often accompanied his grandmother, Queen Mary, to the theatre, the cinema and the opera.

Lord Harewood took part in King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's Silver wedding anniversary celebrations.

The engagement between the Earl of Harewood and Marion Stein was announced on July 19, 1949. The engagement was announced in the "Forthcoming Marriages" section of the Times, and not the Court Circular.

The Times reported on August 8, 1949 that the marriage would take place on September 29 at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.  The King and Queen "will interrupt their holiday at Balmoral to attend the ceremony."  Three days later, a more official announcement came from Harewood House stating that the marriage would take place at 2:30 p.m., on the 29th at St. Mark's, North Audley Square.

The marriage was solemnized on September 29 in the presence of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. More than 900 guests attended the wedding.   Other royal guests included the Princess Royal, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Marie Louise.  Queen Mary was unable to attend the wedding, but did attend the reception at St. James's Palace.
[It appears that the Duchess of Kent and her family did not attend the wedding.]

Lord Harewood bought 2 Orme Square in January 1950. The house had three sitting rooms, seven bedrooms and a small garden.

Lady Harewood gave birth to a son at 2 Orme Square on October 21, 1950.  The baby weighed 7lbs, 4oz.  The King and Queen and Queen Mary were informed of the birth.  The new Viscount Lascelles is thirteenth in the line to the Throne.

On December 27, 1950,  Viscount Lascelles was confirmed at All Saint's Church, Harewood.  He was named David Henry George.

A second son was born at 2 Orme Street at 9 a.m. on October 5, 1953.   The baby was baptised at All Saints Church on December 27.   Two of the godparents for the Hon. James Lascelles were his godmother, Mrs. Stein, and Sir Alan Lascelles.

Lord Harewood and the Duke of Gloucester served as Counsillors of State in January 1954.


A third son, Robert Jeremy Hugh, was born at 2 Orme Square on February 14, 1955.  He was baptised on April 16 at the Harewood Church by the Bishop of Ripon. His godparents included Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Princess Royal stood proxy), Mr. David Webster, Mr Michael Edwards, Mr. Anthony Gishford and Frau Emma Sachs.

It was announced on January 3, 1967 that the Earl of Harewood was being sued by his wife for divorce.  The law firm representing the Earl released a statement: We have recently, on Lord Harewood's behalf, accepted service of divorce proceedings, whereby Lady Harewood petitions for divorce on the ground of her husband's adultery with Miss Patricia Tuckwell.
"Lord Harewood will not defend these proceedings and he and Miss Tuckwell would wish to marry if and when they are legally free to do so.
"Lord Harewood has lived separately from Lady Harewood for the last 15 months at his house in St. John's Wood, London.  A son, Mark, was born there to Miss Tuckwell in July 1964, of whom Lord Harewood is the father."

The case appeared as "Lascelles, M.D. (Countess of Harewood) v Lascelles, G.H.H (Earl of Harewood). The decree nisi was granted on April 6, 1967.

On August 30, 1968, the Earl of Harewood attended the funeral of his aunt, the duchess of Kent, at St. George's Chapel.

No comments: