Alexander Hardinge, 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Hardinge of Penshurst
GCB GCVO MC PC
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
In office
1936–1943
Monarch Edward VIII (1936-1936);
George VI (1936-1943)
Preceded by Col. The Rt. Hon. Sir Clive Wigram
Succeeded by Capt. The Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Lascelles
Personal details
Nationality British

Alexander Henry Louis Hardinge, 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst GCB GCVO MC PC (17 May 1894–29 May 1960) was Private Secretary to the Sovereign during the Abdication Crisis of Edward VIII and during most of the Second World War.

Hardinge was born in 1894, the son of The Hon. Charles Hardinge (who was created Baron Hardinge of Penshurst in 1910 and served as Viceroy of India from 1910 to 1916). He was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards and fought in the First World War, alongside his brother, rising to the rank of Lieutenant and winning the Military Cross. In 1920, he became Assistant Private Secretary to King George V and was promoted Captain. On 8 February 1921, he married Helen Gascoyne-Cecil (a daughter of Lord Edward Gascoyne-Cecil and his wife, Violet) and they had three children. In 1929 he was promoted Major.

Hardinge served as Assistant Private Secretary up until the King's death in 1936 and was promoted to Private Secretary upon the accession of King Edward VIII that same year; he continued in this role until his early retirement in 1943. In 1936 he also retired from the Army. Hardinge's elder brother, Edward, had died from wounds received in action in 1914 and so Hardinge succeeded as Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, on the demise of his father a year later, in 1944. Hardinge died in 1960 and his title was inherited by his son, George.

His wife Helen wrote his biography Loyal to Three Kings, William Kimber, London 1967.

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Court offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Cromer
Assistant Private Secretary to the Sovereign
1920–1936
Succeeded by
Sir Godfrey Thomas
Preceded by
Sir Clive Wigram
Private Secretary to the Sovereign
1936–1943
Succeeded by
Sir Alan Lascelles
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Hardinge
Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
1944–1960
Succeeded by
George Hardinge