William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth
|The Right Honourable
The Earl of Dartmouth
|Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
14 July 2009
|Preceded by||Roger Knapman|
|Born||23 September 1949|
|Political party||UK Independence|
|Conservative (until 2007); European Parliament|
|Relations||Diana, Princess of Wales (stepsister)|
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford
Harvard Business School
|Religion||Church of England|
William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth MEP (born 23 September 1949), is a British politician and hereditary peer. Legge is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England, representing the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). He now prefers to be known as William Dartmouth.
Dartmouth is the eldest son of the 9th Earl of Dartmouth by his marriage to Raine McCorquodale, the daughter of romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland. Thus, he became a stepbrother of Diana, Princess of Wales when his mother married secondly Earl Spencer.
Dartmouth was educated at Eton before going up to Christ Church, Oxford, where he became an officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association and later of the Oxford Union Society. He also attended the Harvard Business School, from which he received an MBA degree.
Life and career
He succeeded as Earl of Dartmouth in 1997. As Lord Dartmouth he sat in the House of Lords until 1999, when the Labour government of Tony Blair removed most hereditary peers from Parliament. In January 2007, Dartmouth announced he was leaving the Conservative Party in favour of UKIP, citing concerns about Conservative Leader David Cameron's policies.
Dartmouth was elected as the second UKIP member for the South West England region in the European Parliament election of 2009. In the European Parliament he sits with the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group and is a member of the Committee on International Trade.
Dartmouth has a son, Gerald Glen Legge, born in 2005, from a previous relationship with the socialite Claire Kavanagh. However, his son, being born out of wedlock, cannot inherit the earldom. Only the eldest legitimate son of the Earl of Dartmouth would be able to use the courtesy title of Viscount Lewisham.
Titles and styles
- William Legge Esq (1949–1958)
- The Hon. William Legge (1958–1962)
- Viscount Lewisham (1962–1997)
- The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Dartmouth (1997–2009)
- The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Dartmouth MEP (2009–) (known as William Dartmouth MEP in the European Parliament)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Dartmouth
- Debrett's People of Today
- European Parliament profile
- William Dartmouth's website
|Peerage of Great Britain|
Gerald Humphry Legge
|Earl of Dartmouth
1997 – present
Member of the House of Lords
(1997 – 1999)