David Bowes-Lyon

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Person.png David Bowes-Lyon  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
David Bowes-Lyon.png
Born2 May 1902
Died13 September 1961 (Age 59)
Member ofBullingdon Club
Father-in-law of queen Elizabeth 2. Member of the propaganda unit Political Warfare Executive during World War 2.

Sir David Bowes-Lyon was the sixth son and last child of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck, as well as their tenth and youngest child. His elder sister Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married Prince Albert, Duke of York (the future King George VI) the second son of King George V, in 1923 and became Queen Consort of the United Kingdom after the abdication of her husband's elder brother Edward VIII on 11 December 1936.[1]

David Bowes-Lyon was a member of the Bullingdon Club. During World War 2 he was a member of the propaganda unit Political Warfare Executive.

Marriage and issue

On 6 February 1929, he married Rachel Pauline Spender-Clay (19 January 1907 – 21 January 1996), younger daughter of Herbert Henry Spender-Clay, they had two children:

Later life

During World War II, Bowes-Lyon was a member of the secret propaganda department Political Warfare Executive. He was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1950 and Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire from 1 July 1952[2] until his death.

On 15 December 1948, the Bowes-Lyon attended the christening of his grand nephew, Prince Charles. He was one of eight sponsors/godparents of the prince, along with King George VI, King Haakon VII of Norway, Queen Mary, Princes Margaret, the Dowager Marchioness of Millford Haven, Pamela, Lady Brabourne, and Prince George of Greece and Denmark. [3]

As a keen gardener, he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1953 and served as President of the Royal Horticultural Society from 1953 to 1961.[4][5] In 1960, he commanded the third World Orchid Conference.[6]

He was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1959 Birthday Honours.


He died at his sister's home, Birkhall, on the Balmoral estate, of a heart attack after suffering from hemiplegia on 13 September 1961, aged 59. The Queen Mother discovered him dead in bed.[7] The funeral was held at Ballater, and he was buried at St Paul's Walden Bury.

His widow died thirty-four years later on 21 January 1996, aged 89.


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