John Jacob Astor VIII

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John Jacob Astor VIII
Lord Astor, Under Secretary of State and Lords Spokesman on Defence.jpg
Baron Astor in 2010
Under Secretary of State and Lords Spokesman on Defence
Incumbent
Assumed office
2010
Prime Minister David Cameron
Lord in Waiting (government whip)
In office
2010–2011
Prime Minister David Cameron
Personal details
Born (1946-06-16) 16 June 1946 (age 68)
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Fiona Diana Lennox Harvey
(m. 1970—1990; divorced)
Elizabeth Constance Mackintosh
(m. 1990—present)
Relations
Children
  • Camilla Astor
  • Tania Jentie Astor
  • Violet Magdalene Astor
  • Charles Gavin John Astor
  • Olivia Alexandra Elizabeth Astor
Parents Gavin Astor
Irene Violet Freesia Janet Augusta Haig
Residence Westerham, Kent, England
Alma mater Eton College
Occupation businessman, politician

John Jacob "Johnny" Astor VIII, 3rd Baron Astor of Hever, DL (born 16 June 1946) is an English businessman and politician. He is a Conservative elected hereditary peer in the House of Lords. Astor is currently a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence. He is also a member of the Astor family.

Family and personal life[edit]

Johnny was born 16 June 1946. He is the eldest of five children born to Gavin Astor (1918—1984) and Irene Violet Freesia Janet Augusta Haig (1919—2001). He became Baron after his father died from cancer in June 1984. Johnny's younger siblings are Bridget (born 1948), Elizabeth (born 1951), Sarah (born 1953), and Philip (born 1959).

He has been married twice:

  • Fiona Diana Lennox Harvey (1 July 1970 — 1990, divorced); three daughters and one granddaughter:
    • Camilla Astor (born 8 May 1974)
      • Raya Trusted (born March 2008)
    • Tania Jentie Astor (born 18 April 1978)
    • Violet Magdalene Astor (born 1980)
  • Elizabeth Constance "Liz" Mackintosh (1990—present); two children:
    • Charles Gavin John Astor (born 10 November 1990)
    • Olivia Alexandra Elizabeth Astor (born 21 August 1992)

The family lives in Westerham, Kent. He suffered from a heart attack in early 2008. After recovering, he stated "I feel I have been given another chance at life," and that "There are things I want to do with it, like helping other people and devoting a bit more time to the charities I'm involved in."

Education and military career[edit]

Astor was educated at Eton College before serving with the Life Guards (the senior regiment of the English Army, part of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment) from 1966 until 1970, where he visited Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Northern Ireland as well as ceremonial duties in London.

He worked in France for 11 years, and is now patron of the Conservatives in Paris.

Political career[edit]

In 1994, Baron Astor was a British Parliamentary Observer in Johannesburg during the South African General Election. He was a member of the Executive, Association of Conservative Peers from 1996–1998. In 1999 he was elected to the House of Lords.

From 1998–2001, he served as an Opposition Spokesman on Social Security and Health from 1998–2003. From 2001, he has been an Opposition Spokesman for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, and International Development, from 2003 to 2010, Opposition Spokesman for Defense, and from 2010 to 2011 a Lord in Waiting. Since 2010 he is parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence.

He is Former Hon Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council In 1995 he piloted through the House of Lords the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act and in 1996 the Trading Schemes Act.

Patronage/community[edit]

Astor is a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent. He is also president of the Durand Group (WWI Research) and the Westerham Branch of the Royal British Legion and trustee of the "Astor of Hever Trust". He is a former patron of the "Edenbridge and District Rifle Club", the "League of Friends of Edenbridge Hospital", the "Durand Group", the "Kent Youth Association", the "Bridge Trust", the "Aquarian Opera", the "Edenbridge Music & Arts Trust", and the "Worldwide Volunteering for Young People". Astor was formerly president of the Motorsport Industry Association, the Earl Haig branch of The Royal British Legion, the "Eden Valley Museum", and the Kent County Royal British Legion. He was also president of RoSPA and Chairman of St John, Kent, in the "Kent Committee of the Country Land and Business Association" from 1987 to 1997. Astor was appointed as honorary member of the Lions Club Walldorf-Astoria in October 2012.

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

Arms[edit]

Arms of John Jacob Astor VIII
Coronet
A Coronet of a Baron
Crest
Rising from a Mount Vert a Falcon proper ensigned by three Mullets Or
Escutcheon
Argent eight Barrulets Sable over all resting on a Dexter Hand couped at the wrist proper gauntleted Gules a Falcon also Gules in chief two Fleurs de lys of the last
Supporters
Dexter: the figure of Aesculapius proper; Sinister: the figure of Mercury also proper
Motto
Ad Astra (To the stars)

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gavin Astor
Baron Astor of Hever
1984–
Succeeded by
(current incumbent)