The Earl of Harewood

Lord George Lascelles, the 7th Earl of Harewood and his second wife, Patricia, the Countess of Harewood

Lord George Lascelles, the 7th Earl of Harewood, a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of England, died last July 11, 2011 at the age of 88. He was the eldest grandchild of King George V of England through his only daughter, Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, who married the 6th Earl of Harewood, Henry Lascelles. Lord Lascelles was 3 years older than the Queen. He was named after his grandfather, King George V.

At the time of his birth in 1923, he was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne but in 2010, after the Queen's grandson, Peter Phillips, had a daughter, Savannah, the Earl became 46th in line. He became the head of the House of Lascelles when his father died suddenly in May 1947. He was best remembered as Chairman of the Board of the English National Opera and had devoted his life to Opera, he also served as editor of the Opera magazine. The Earl also sat as Governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and as President of Leeds United Football Club.

He maintained that his sprawling estate, the Harewood House located in Yorkshire should be open to the public for a visit, it is one of the best tourist attractions in England and earns a reputation of being the "St.Petersburg Palace on a Yorkshire Hill" (referring to the beautiful Russian Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia). Lord Lascelles was the first member of the House of Windsor to divorce.

In 1967, he divorced his first wife, Marion Stein, whom he had three children. The Queen reluctantly agreed when he sought permission to remarry in the same year because his mistress, Patricia Tuckwell, was already pregnant. Though the Queen agreed, the Earl paid a high prize, he was forced to resign as Chancellor of the York University and was ostracized in the Britihs throne. The royal court excluded him on the private internment of his uncle, the former King Edward VIII and was not invited to several royal family gatherings until the 1980s. All because he broke the moral code of ethics of royalty--divorcing a wife. Little did the people know that several years later, all the marriages of the first three children of the Queen ended in divorce and so with the Queen's only sibling, Princess Margaret.
The official home of the 7th Earl of Harewood, Lord George Lascelles
The House of Harewood on the Yorkshirehill dubbed as the St.Petersburg Palace in Yorkshire

But the Earl led a remarkable life beyond misgivings of divorce. He was a page of honour at the coronation of his uncle, King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II) in May 1937. During World War II, Lord Lascelles, was called to serve the British Army, he was commissioned as a Grenadier Guards Officer and was dispatched to the battlefield. He was severely wounded at the crucial battle of the Allies and the Central Powers and was captured and held prisoner. The British royal court was anxious to find his real condition but his capturer did not reveal his condition until several attempts of the British government. He returned home safely and after the war he started his passion in opera and music.

He was knighted by the Queen in 1986 and became an honorary member of the Order of Australia.


BBC news
The Harewood House website
The Royals by Kitty Kelley

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