British In Memoriam

In Memoriam: George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (1923-2011)

George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood passed away peacefully at his home, Harewood House, near Leeds in England on Monday, July 11, 2011 at age 88. Lord Harewood was the first grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, and a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. His mother was the only daughter of King George V: Mary, Princess Royal. The Princess Royal married Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood in 1922. The couple had two sons, George and his younger brother Gerald (1924 – 1988). At the time of his birth, Lord Harewood was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. He was 46th in line at the time of his death.

Lord Harewood had a deep interest in music, especially opera. He was editor of Opera magazine and director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He served as chairman of the board and musical director of the English National Opera and artistic director of the Edinburgh, Adelaide and Leeds Music Festivals. Lord Harewood was the editor of two books about opera and the author of an autobiography, The Tongs and the Bones.

During World War II, Lord Harewood served in the British Army with the Grenadier Guards. He was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war.

Lord Harewood’s son David Henry George Lascelles succeeded his father as the 8th Earl of Harewood.

Staff members pay their respects to Lord Harewood as the cortege proceeds to the funeral

On Friday, July 15, 2011, as the black and gold Harewood coat of arms flag flew at half mast over Harewood House, Lord Harewood’s funeral cortege made its way to nearby All Saints Church which is on the grounds of the estate. Approximately 100 staff members lined the drive to Harewood House, to pay their respects as Lord Harewood’s casket drove by. The funeral was attended by family and friends. Because of Lord Harewood’s great love for opera, it was fitting that opera singer Lesley Garrett performed during the service. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 71 (“No longer mourn for me when I am dead’) was read and the hymn “Jerusalem” was sung.


In Memoriam: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002)

On Saturday, 30 March 2002 at 3:15 pm, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep, at her home, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

Her coffin was first placed in the Queen’s Chapel at St James’ Palace, and then to Westminster Hall, where she lay in state for three days. Her funeral was held on 09 April in Westminster Abbey, after which she was buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, next to her late husband King George VI and her younger daughter, The Princess Margaret. In keeping with a tradition started at her wedding nearly 78 years earlier, the wreath of flowers from atop her coffin was placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

She was born The Honourable (later Lady) Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the youngest daughter of Claude George Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis (later 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne), and his wife, the former Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck. She married HRH The Prince Albert, Duke of York at Westminster Abbey on 26 April 1923. The Duke and Duchess of York had two daughters, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret (1930-2002). When King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, The Duke of York succeeded him, taking the throne as King George VI. From his death in 1952, until her own in 2002, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother continued to be one of the most popular members of the Royal Family.



In Memoriam: The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002)

Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, passed away on 9 February 2002 at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, after several years of poor health.

Her funeral, a private ceremony (as per her wishes), was held on 15 February. It was at her funeral that her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, was last seen in public before her own death just six weeks later. As well as the private funeral, a more public memorial service was held later. Princess Margaret was cremated, and placed in the tomb of her parents in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

She was born Princess Margaret Rose of York, younger daughter of The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) on 21 August 1930, at Glamis Castle in Scotland. She was the younger sister of The Queen. She married Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960. Her husband was later created Earl of Snowdon, and thus Margaret took on the title of Countess of Snowdon. She and her husband had two children – David, Viscount Linley, and Lady Sarah (Chatto). The couple divorced in 1978.

Unofficial Royalty: Princess Margaret
BBC: Princess Margaret dies
BBC: HRH Princess Margaret 1930-2002
BBC: Charles: My Darling Aunt
Telegraph: Obituary – HRH The Princess Margaret
New York Times: Princess Margaret Dies at 71; Sister of Queen Elizabeth Had a Troubled Life



In Memoriam: Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)

At 4 am (Paris time) Sunday 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in hospital after being involved in a car crash which instantly killed Dodi Fayed and the driver of the car. Diana’s car was being chased by photographers on motorbikes at high speeds when the crash happened in a tunnel. Investigation of the accident also brought to light that the driver of the car was more than three times over the (French) alcohol limit.

The Prince of Wales, along with Diana’s two sisters, flew to Paris to accompany Diana’s coffin back to Britain. Draped with the Royal Standard, the coffin was taken to the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace. The funeral was held on Saturday 6 September in Westminster Abbey, following a procession from Kensington Palace. After the service, Diana’s coffin was taken to Althorp, the ancestral home of the Earls Spencer, where she was buried privately on an island in the center of a lake on the grounds.

Diana was born The Honourable (later Lady) Diana Frances Spencer, youngest daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (later 8th Earl Spencer) and his wife, formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche, at Park House, on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. She married HRH The Prince of Wales on 29 July 1981 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The Prince and Princess of Wales have two sons – HRH Prince William and HRH Prince Henry (Harry). The couple divorced in 1996 and Diana’s style became ‘Diana, Princess of Wales’. While she lost her HRH status, she remained, officially, a member of the Royal Family.