Claude Bowes-Lyon

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Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th and 1st Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne KG KT GCVO TD 

(14 March 1855 – 7 November 1944), styled as Lord Glamis from 1865 to 1904, was a British peer and landowner who was the father of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

From 1937 he was known as 14th and 1st Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, as he was the 14th Earl in the peerage of Scotland but the 1st Earl in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

Life and family

Claude was born in Lowndes Square, London, the son of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and his wife, the former Frances Dora Smith. His younger brother Patrick Bowes-Lyon was a tennis player who won the 1887 Wimbledon doubles.

After being educated at Eton College he received a commission in the 2nd Life Guards in 1876, and served for six years until the year after his marriage. He was an active member of the Territorial Army and served as Honorary Colonel of the 4th/5th Battalion of the Black Watch.

Upon succeeding his father to the Earldom on 16 February 1904, he inherited large estates in Scotland and England, including Glamis Castle, St Paul's Walden Bury, and Woolmers Park, near Hertford. He was made Lord Lieutenant of Angus, an office he resigned when his daughter became Queen. He had a keen interest in forestry, and was one of the first to grow larch from seed in Britain. His estates had a large number of smallholders and he had a reputation for being unusually kind to his tenants. His contemporaries described him as an unpretentious man, often seen in "an old macintosh tied with a piece of twine". He worked his own land and enjoyed physical labour in the grounds of his estates. Visitors mistook him for a common labourer. He made his own cocoa for breakfast, and always had a jug of water by his place at dinner so he could dilute his own wine.

Despite the Earl's reservations about royalty,[7] in 1923 his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married George V's second son, Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lord Strathmore was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order to mark the marriage. Five years later he was made a Knight of the Thistle.

In 1936 his son-in-law's brother, Edward VIII, abdicated and his son-in-law became King. As the queen consort's father, he was created a Knight of the Garter and Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in the Coronation Honours of 1937. This enabled him to sit in the House of Lords as an Earl (because members of the Peerage of Scotland did not automatically sit in the House of Lords, he had previously sat only as a Baron through the Barony of Bowes created for his father).

Later in life he became extremely deaf. Lord Strathmore died of bronchitis on 7 November 1944, aged 89, at Glamis Castle. (Lady Strathmore had died in 1938.) He was succeeded by his son, Patrick Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis.

Marriage and issue

He married Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck on 16 July 1881 in Petersham, Surrey.[1] The couple had ten children, of whom they were very fond. The Earl would part his moustache in a theatrical but courteous gesture before kissing them:

The Hon. Violet Hyacinth Bowes-Lyon 17 April 1882 17 October 1893 11 years She died from diphtheria and was buried at Ham church. She was never styled 'Lady' because she died before her father succeeded to the Earldom.

Lady Mary Frances Bowes-Lyon 30 August 1883 - 8 February 1961 77 years. She married Sidney Elphinstone, 16th Lord Elphinstone; in 1910, and had issue.

Patrick Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis 22 September 1884 - 25 May 194964 years/ He married Lady Dorothy Osborne (daughter of George Osborne, 10th Duke of Leeds) in 1908, and had issue. In 1944, he became 15th and 2nd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Lieutenant The Hon. John Bowes-Lyon 1 April 1886 - 7 February 1930 43 years/ Known as Jock, he married The Hon. Fenella Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis (daughter of Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton) in 1914, and had issue.

The Hon. Alexander Francis Bowes-Lyon 14 April 1887 - 19 October 1911 24 years. Known as Alec, he died in his sleep of a tumour at the base of the cerebrum, unmarried. 

Captain The Hon. Fergus Bowes-Lyon 18 April 1889 - 27 September 1915 26 years He married Lady Christian Dawson-Damer (daughter of Lionel Dawson-Damer, 5th Earl of Portarlington) in 1914, and had issue. He was killed in the early stages of the Battle of Loos.

Lady Rose Constance Bowes-Lyon 6 May 1890 - 17 November 196777 years. She married William Leveson-Gower, 4th Earl Granville in 1916, and had issue.

Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon. Michael Claude Hamilton Bowes-Lyon 1 October 1893 - 1 May 1953, 59 years/ Known as Mickie, he was a prisoner of war (at Holzminden prisoner-of-war camp) during World War I. He married Elizabeth Cator in 1928. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on 3 May 1923. They had issue, including Michael Bowes-Lyon, 17th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. He died of asthma and heart failure in Bedfordshire.

Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon 4 August 1900 - 30 March 2002, 101 years In 1923, she married Prince Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI, and had issue, including Queen Elizabeth II. She became queen consort in 1936, and in later life, after the death of her husband, she was known as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

The Hon. Sir David Bowes-Lyon 2 May 1902 - 13 September 1961, 59 years. He married Rachel Clay in 1929, and had issue.


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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Elizabeth The Queen MotherElizabeth The Queen MotherDaughter04.08.190030.03.2002
        2Cecilia Bowes-LyonCecilia Bowes-LyonWife11.09.186223.06.1938
        3William Charles Cavendish BentinckWilliam Charles Cavendish BentinckFather in-law08.11.181717.08.1865
        4Elizabeth IIElizabeth IIGranddaughter21.04.192608.09.2022
        5Princess Margaret, Countess of SnowdonPrincess Margaret, Countess of SnowdonGranddaughter21.08.193009.02.2002

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