Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Earl Dies...

George Lascelles, the 7th Earl of Harewood, grandson of King George V, and the Queen’s first cousin has died.
Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire, is a place I’ve visited many times, but I didn’t know of the Earl’s interesting history.

He was a captain in WWII and was shot by a German patrol, the bullet just missing his heart. He was taken as a prisoner to Olfag IV-C (Colditz) and Hilter signed his death warrant, but a SS officer, thinking the war lost, released him to the Swiss.

He inherited the earldom aged just 24 and had to sell land around the Harewood estate to pay for the death tax duties. But he continued to make the estate and house pay for itself with wise programs to keep it profitable.
Married twice, (the second time to an Aussie!) his son David now becomes the 8th Earl.
In his 80th birthday publication, he said: “Above everything , I reckon my good fortune held over my marriages – with Marion, three stalwart sons with whom I get on well and 18 more years of more harmony than a subsequent divorce suggests; and with Patricia, a son and 35 years of the sort of shared interests and mutual love such as one mostly dreams of or finds only in the pages of fiction.”
“I was brought up to think of Harewood as a trust, something that was entrusted to one from the past: a beautiful house, beautiful contents and in a beautiful environment – a trust which I would then pass on to my children.”
To read more about this fascinating man and the grand estate, visit these links:
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