Military Wiki
Sir David Bowes-Lyon
High Sheriff of Hertfordshire

In office
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Preceded by Walter Hugh Crosland
Succeeded by Sir William Acland, Bt
Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire

In office
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded by The Viscount Hampden
Succeeded by Sir George Burns
Personal details
Born (1902-05-02)2 May 1902
Died 13 September 1961(1961-09-13) (aged 59)
Birkhall, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Resting place St. Paul's Walden Bury
Spouse(s) Rachel Spender-Clay (m. 1929)
Children Davina Dalrymple, Countess of Stair
Simon Bowes-Lyon
Parents Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne
Cecilia Nina Cavendish-Bentinck

Sir David Bowes-Lyon KCVO (2 May 1902[1] – 13 September 1961) 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.[2]

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, seven grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren:

  • Davina Katherine Bowes-Lyon (2 May 1930 – 1 November 2017), married on 14 January 1960 to John Aymer Dalrymple, 13th Earl of Stair (9 October 1906 – 26 February 1996), they had three children and ten grandchildren:
    • John David James Dalrymple, 14th Earl of Stair (b. 4 September 1961), married on 17 June 2006 to The Hon. Emily Mary Julia Stonor (b. 1969), they have three children.
    • Hon. David Hew Dalrymple (b. 30 March 1963), married to Emma R. Woods and they have three children.
    • The Hon. Michael Colin Dalrymple (b. 1 April 1965), married in 1991 to Harriet Lucy Buxton (b. 29 December 1962), they have four children.
  • Simon Alexander Bowes-Lyon (b. 17 June 1932), married on 11 April 1966 to Caroline Mary Victoria Pike (b. 27 September 1940), they have four children and six grandchildren:
    • Rosemary Pema “Rosie” Bowes-Lyon (b. 1968) married Nicholas Glazebrook on 7 September 1996. They have three children:
      • Petra Rachel Glazebrook (7 September 2000)
      • Flora Joy Glazebrook (21 March 2002)
      • Teresa Elizabeth Glazebrook (2004)
    • Fergus Alexander Bowes-Lyon (b. 1970) married Frances Harris on 29 April 2000. They have two children:
      • Thomas Simon Bowes-Lyon (4 October 2002)
      • Eleanor Bowes-Lyon (2004)
    • David Victor Bowes-Lyon (b. 1973) married Jennifer Hurst on 4 May 2002. They have one son:
      • William David Bowes-Lyon (2007)
    • Andrew Simon Bowes-Lyon (b. 1979) married Melanie Fletcher on 2 June 2012. They have one daughter.

Later life[]

David Bowes-Lyon memorial in All Saints, Saint Paul's Walden, Hertfordshire

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[3] until his death.

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 was also a baptismal sponsor to his grandnephew Charles, Prince of Wales.


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.



  1. Thornton, Michael (September 1985). Royal feud: the Queen Mother and the Duchess of Windsor. M. Joseph. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  2. Gardeners Chronicle & New Horticulturist. Haymarket Publishing. 1954. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  3. "No. 239587". 1 July 1952. p. 3587. 
  4. Fletcher, Harold Roy (1969). The story of the Royal Horticultural Society, 1804–1968. Oxford U. P. for the Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  5. The Lily Year Book. Royal Horticultural Society. 1959. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  6. Proceedings of the Third World Orchid Conference. Royal Horticultural Society. 1960. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  7. Vickers, Hugo (2006). Elizabeth: The Queen Mother. Arrow Books/Random House. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-09-947662-7. 
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Walter Hugh Crosland
High Sheriff of Hertfordshire
Succeeded by
Sir William Acland, Bt
Preceded by
The Viscount Hampden
Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
Succeeded by
Sir George Burns

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