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Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne: Wikis


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The Earl of Strathmore
and Kinghorne
Lord Strathmore, 1923
Born 14 March 1855(1855-03-14)
Died 7 November 1944 (aged 89)
Tenure 16 February 1904 – 7 November 1944
Spouse(s) Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck
Issue Violet Hyacinth Bowes-Lyon
Mary Elphinstone
Patrick Bowes-Lyon, 15th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
John Herbert Bowes-Lyon
Alexander Francis Bowes-Lyon
Fergus Bowes-Lyon
Rose Leveson-Gower
Michael Claude Hamilton Bowes-Lyon
Queen Elizabeth
David Bowes-Lyon
Parents Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Frances Dora Smith

Claude George Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, KG, KT, GCVO, TD (14 March 1855 – 7 November 1944) was a landowner and the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

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



He was born at Lowndes Square in London, the son of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and his wife, the former Frances Dora Smith.[1] His younger brother, Patrick Bowes-Lyon 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.[2] He was an active member of the Territorial Army and served as Honorary Colonel of the 4th/5th Battalion of the Black Watch.[2]

On 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.[2] He was made Lord Lieutenant of Angus,[3] 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.[4] His contemporaries described him as an unpretentious man, often seen in "an old macintosh tied with a piece of twine".[5] He worked his own land and enjoyed doing physical labour in the grounds of his estates. Visitors mistook him for a common labourer.[6]

Despite the Earl's reservations about royalty,[7] in 1923 his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married the King's second son Prince Albert, Duke of York, and to mark the marriage Lord Strathmore was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. Five years later he was made a Knight of the Thistle.[8]

In 1936 his son-in-law's brother, King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, 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).[8]

The Earl 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. Later in life he became extremely deaf.[9] Lord Strathmore died at the age of 89 at Glamis Castle in Angus of bronchitis.[10] (Lady Strathmore had died in 1938.[2]) He was succeeded by his son, Patrick Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis.


He married Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck on 16 July 1881, at 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:[11]

Name Birth Death Age Notes
The Hon Violet Hyacinth Bowes-Lyon 17 April 1882 17 October 1893 11 years She died from diphtheria and was buried at Ham church.[12] She was never styled 'Lady' because she died before her father succeeded to the Earldom.
The 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
(later 15th and 2nd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne)
22 September 1884 25 May 1949 64 years He married Lady Dorothy Osborne (daughter of George Osborne, 10th Duke of Leeds) in 1908, and had issue.
Lieutenant The Hon. John Bowes-Lyon 1 April 1886 7 February 1930 43 years Known as Jock,[13] 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,[13] he died unmarried in his sleep of a tumour at the base of the cerebrum.[14]
Captain The Hon. Fergus Bowes-Lyon 18 April 1889 26 September 1915 26 years He married Lady Christian Dawson-Damer (daughter of Lionel Dawson-Damer, 5th Earl of Portarlington) in 1914, and had issue.
The Lady Rose Constance Bowes-Lyon 6 May 1890 17 November 1967 77 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,[13] he was a Prisoner of War during World War I.[15] He married Elizabeth Cator in 1928, and had issue. He died of asthma and heart failure in Bedfordshire.
The Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon 4 August 1900 30 March 2002 101 years In 1923, she married The Prince Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI. In later life, 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.

Footnotes and sources

  1. ^ a b White, Geoffrey and Cokayne, G. E., The Complete Peerage, St Catherine’s Press, London, 1953; vol. XII, p. 402-3
  2. ^ a b c d The Times (London), Wednesday, 8 November 1944 p.7 col.C
  3. ^ The county of Angus was called Forfarshire until 1928
  4. ^ Grant, F. J., revised by K. D. Reynolds, "Lyon, Claude George Bowes-, fourteenth earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the peerage of Scotland, and first earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the peerage of the United Kingdom (1855–1944)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  5. ^ Forbes, p.7
  6. ^ Forbes, pp.8–9
  7. ^ Forbes, p.166; Vickers, p.45
  8. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, (ed.) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition, Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003; vol. III, p. 3783-4.
  9. ^ Vickers, p.5
  10. ^ Vickers, p.247
  11. ^ Vickers, p.4
  12. ^ Vickers, p.7
  13. ^ a b c Forbes, p.3
  14. ^ Vickers, p.13
  15. ^ Vickers, p.320


  • Forbes, Grania, My Darling Buffy: The Early Life of The Queen Mother (Headline Book Publishing, 1999) ISBN 9780747273875
  • Vickers, Hugo, Elizabeth: The Queen Mother (Arrow Books/Random House, 2006) ISBN 9780099476627
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Lord Lieutenant of Angus
Succeeded by
The Earl of Airlie
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Claude Bowes-Lyon
Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Succeeded by
Patrick Bowes-Lyon
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Succeeded by
Patrick Bowes-Lyon


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