1924 - 1998
Lascelles, Obit. The Times: "THE HON GERALD LASCELLES February 28 1998 OBITUARIES THE HON GERALD LASCELLES The Hon Gerald Lascelles, former President of the British Racing Drivers' Club, died yesterday at his home in France aged 73. He was born on August 21, 1924. A FIRST cousin of the Queen, Gerald Lascelles made his chief mark on public consciousness not as a member of the Royal Family, but in the different sphere of motor sport over a period of more than forty years' involvement with the British Racing Drivers' Club. He had been an enthusiastic motor racer in his youth and was president of the British Racing Drivers' Club from 1964 to 1991. Under his guidance, the BRDC and the Silverstone Circuit which it owns, and of which he was a director, began the process of metamorphosis into the pre-eminent position they occupy in motor sport today. Lascelles was also a Fellow of the Institute of Motor Industry and its president, 1969-73, and again in 1975. He had musical interests, too. But whereas his elder brother George, the 7th Earl of Harewood, inhabited the world of opera, as chairman of English National Opera and editor of Kobb‚e's Complete Opera Book, Gerald Lascelles's tastes veered towards jazz, on which he made himself a considerable expert. Among other things, he co-edited the second volume of the jazz miscellany Just Jazz 2 in 1958. He also had a number of business interests, including chairmanship for a period of Swedholm, a kitchen furniture import firm which ceased trading in 1973. The second grandchild of King George V, Gerald David Lascelles was the younger son of the late Princess Royal, Princess Mary, and the 6th Earl of Harewood. One of Gerald Lascelles's childhood memories was of travelling in the same train compartment to George V's funeral as his cousin the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The duke wore a German military helmet and so terrified the lad with his sinister aspect that the young Lascelles burst into tears. But apart from these relatively few excursions into royal life, Gerald and his brother George were largely brought up in Yorkshire, enjoying rural pursuits. Among other things they were encouraged to garden. Lascelles was educated at Eton and then, in 1944, enlisted as a private in The Rifle Brigade. He was soon commissioned and attained the rank of captain. The last year of the Second World War, during which he served, was an anxious one for the family, as his elder brother was a prisoner of war in Castle Colditz from June 1944 until the fortress was liberated in May the following year. His company commander in The Rifle Brigade had been Tony Rolt, later to win the 1953 Le Mans 24-hour race in a Jaguar, and he fuelled Lascelles's nascent enthusiasm for motor sport. After being demobilised in 1946 Lascelles joined the West Essex Car Club and was soon acting as a marshal at events. He first raced at Silverstone in a six-hour relay race in 1952, driving a Jowett Jupiter. But, fond of driving though he was, his greatest impact was to be in race administration, acting as a judge at BRDC races at Silverstone and Oulton Park. The BRDC elected him an honorary member in 1961 and on the death of Earl Howe in 1964, he succeeded him as president. From 1986, when he relinquished his various company directorships, he threw his energies into developing Silverstone's racing school, which he saw evolve into the successful Silverstone Driving Centre. This was a particularly happy period of his presidency of the BRDC, and most days saw him at Silverstone. Lascelles was married to Angela Dowding at St Margaret's, Westminister, in 1952. A son, Henry, was born in 1953. From 1955 to 1976 the couple lived at Fort Belvedere, the home of the Duke of Windsor. The house was in considerable disrepair following its wartime use as the headquarters of the Commissioners of Crown Lands. Gerald Lascelles and his wife restored it, colouring the hexagonal domed hall grey-pink, relieved with lemon and white. They replaced an unsatisfactory service wing with a more modern block and commissioned romanticised murals of Windsor and Harewood from Oliver Carson for the dining room. They sold the house in 1976. In 1978 the marriage was dissolved. But Mrs Lascelles continued to live in Windsor Great Park and remained on good terms with the Royal Family. Later that year Gerald Lascelles married Elizabeth Colvin, the daughter of Brigadier Sydney Collingwood, by whom, it was revealed, he already had a son Martin, born in 1962. The marriage, which had to have the approval of the Queen in Council, took place in Vienna. For some years the couple lived at Rendcomb, near Cirencester, until a few years ago when they moved to a ch„ateau at SigoulŠes in southwestern France, which they restored from its semi-ruined state. Gerald Lascelles is survived by his wife Elizabeth and by the sons of both his marriages. Next page: Willi Guttsman, university librarian Arts (Mon - Fri) | Books (Sat) (Thu) | British News | Business | Court page | Features (Mon - Fri) | Go (Sat) | Metro (Sat) | Obituaries | Opinion | Sport | Travel (Sat) (Thu) | Vision (Sat) | Weather | Weekend (Sat) | Weekend Money (Sat) | World News [Down] [Subscribe to the paper] [Contact Us] Next page: Willi Guttsman, university librarian [Line] Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Limited.
|Born: 21st Aug 1924||Baptised: |
|Died: France, , , 27th Feb 1998 ||Buried: |