Raymond R. Guest

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Raymond Richard Guest
Born (1907-11-25)November 25, 1907
New York, New York, U.S.
Died December 31, 1991(1991-12-31) (aged 84)
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Soldier, businessman, statesman,
Polo player, Racehorse owner/breeder
Political party
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Polk
Princess Caroline Murat
Children Children with Elizabeth Polk:
1) Elizabeth Guest Stevens
2) Raymond Richard Jr. (1939-2001
3) Virginia Guest Valentine

Children with Princess Caroline Murat:
4) Achille Murat Guest
5) Laetitia Amelia Guest Oppenheim
Parents Frederick E. Guest & Amy Phipps
Winston Frederick Churchill Guest (1906-1982), brother
Diana Guest Manning (1909-1994), sister

Commander Raymond Richard Guest OBE (November 25, 1907 – December 31, 1991) was an American businessman, thoroughbred race horse owner and polo player. He was United States Ambassador to Ireland.[1]


He was born on November 25, 1907 in Manhattan to Frederick Edward Guest, a British Cabinet minister and his American wife, Amy Phipps, daughter of Henry Phipps, Jr.[1] He was the great-grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, and was Winston Churchill's second cousin.

During World War II he served with the United States Navy. He served on mine sweepers and was made head of the Navy section of the Office of Strategic Services in London, England. By the time he left the military in 1946, he had risen to the rank of Commander. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Legion of Merit, both with combat devices; the Croix de Guerre with star; the Order of the British Empire; the Norwegian Cross[clarification needed], and the Danish Defense Medal[clarification needed].

Raymond Guest was a member of the Senate of Virginia from 1947–1953 and served as the United States Ambassador to Ireland from 1965 to 1968.

He married first to Elizabeth (Lily) Polk of Dark Harbor, Maine, with whom he had three children. She was a descendant of U.S. President, James K. Polk. He married secondly to Princess Caroline Murat, daughter of prince Alexandre Murat, with whom he had two children.

He died of pneumonia on December 31, 1991 in Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia.[1]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

In the United States, members of his mother's family have been major figures in the sport of thoroughbred racing for many decades. In England, Raymond Guest's sister, Diana Guest Manning, owned and raced a horse she named Be My Guest who was a conditions race winner in England and Ireland as well as the Leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1982. Raymond Guest also owned thoroughbreds which he raced in England, Ireland, France and the United States. In Ireland his flat racehorses were trained by Vincent O'Brien and his National Hunt horses by Dan Moore. His racing colours were chocolate, pale blue hoops and cap. Guest is one of only four owners to win both the Epsom Derby and the Grand National, the others being King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, Dorothy Paget and Jim Joel

The British flat racing Champion Owner in 1968, among Guest's successful horses in flat racing were Larkspur, winner of the 1962 Epsom Derby; Sir Ivor, winner of the 1968 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and the Washington, D.C. International.

Raymond Guest also owned steeplechase racers. His most outstanding was L'Escargot, a National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductee who was voted the 1969 U.S. Steeplechase Horse of the Year and who then raced in England where he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1970 and 1971 and the Grand National in 1975.

In the United States, Raymond Guest was a member of The Jockey Club and voted President of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association in 1958. The best horse to carry his Powhatan Stable colours in American flat racing was Tom Rolfe, winner of the 1965 Preakness Stakes who earned American Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse honors.

Both he and his brother Winston Frederick Churchill Guest were polo players. Raymond Guest twice won the U.S. Open (polo) as part of the Templeton team, and was posthumously inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame in 2006.


  1. ^ a b c "Raymond Guest, 84, Ambassador, Polo Player and Breeder of Horses". New York Times. January 1, 1992. Retrieved 2011-04-13. "Raymond R. Guest, a former Ambassador to Ireland who was a champion polo player and horse breeder, died yesterday in Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va. He was 84 years old and lived in King George, Va. He died of pneumonia after a long illness, his family said. ..."