Charles Wood, 3rd Earl of Halifax

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Halifax
Knight of St John JP
Earl of Halifax COA.svg
Coat of arms of The Earl of Halifax
Monarch HM Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Gordon Brown
Personal details
Born (1944-03-14)14 March 1944
Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative Party (UK)
Spouse(s) Lady Camilla Wood (née Younger)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Charles Edward Peter Neil Wood, 3rd Earl of Halifax (born 14 March 1944), otherwise known as Peter Wood and styled Lord Irwin between 1959 and 1980, is a British peer and Conservative politician.

KStJ Breast Star


Lord Halifax is the third child and only son of Charles Wood, 2nd Earl of Halifax and a grandson of E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, Viceroy of India and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. His mother, Ruth Alice Hannah Mary Wood (née Primrose), The Countess of Halifax, was a daughter of Neil Primrose and a granddaughter of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[1]

He was brought up at Swinford Paddocks, Newmarket[citation needed] and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.


As Peter Wood, he unsuccessfully contested Dearne Valley as a Conservative candidate at the February general election of 1974 and the October general election of the same year. He succeeded to the title of 3rd Earl of Halifax on 19 March 1980, the title of 7th Baronet Wood, of Barnsley, Yorks on 19 March 1980, the title of 5th Viscount Halifax of Monk Bretton, in the West Riding of the County of Yorkshire on 19 March 1980 and to the title of 3rd Baron Irwin, of Kirby Underdale, York on 19 March 1980. Lord Halifax held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of Humberside between 1983 and 1996. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Wilton Beacon in 1985 and the office of High Steward of York Minster in 1988. Wood held the office of Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding, Yorkshire in 1996.

Lord Halifax is a non-executive director of Hambros Bank, Vice-Chairman of Christie, Manson & Woods, the European Division of Christie's international fine arts auctioneers, and a director of Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd.

Halifax is a Knight of St John and JP.[2]


Lord Halifax married Camilla Younger, of the Scottish brewing family until a separation in 1990, lasting two years. They later rejoined in 1992 until her death in 1995. Her first husband, Richard Parker Bowles (married 1973, divorced 1976), is brother of Andrew Parker Bowles, first husband of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Lady Halifax and the Duchess are therefore former sisters-in-law.[3]

Lord and Lady Halifax have a son and a daughter:

  • Hon James Charles Wood, Lord Irwin (born 24 August 1977), heir apparent to the earldom, married Georgia E. Clarkson, Lady Irwin, daughter of Patrick Robert James Clarkson and Bridget Cecilia Doyne on 14 October 2006 at Church of St. John the Evangalist, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, England; they have issue:
    • Hon Rex Patrick Wood (born 12 August 2010)
    • Hon Audrey Nancy Wood (born 23 January 2013)
  • Lady Joanna Victoria Morton Jack née Wood (born 15 January 1980)

Lady Halifax also has a daughter from her first marriage with Richard Eustace Parker Bowles:

Lord Halifax has children with Lady Wendy Agnes Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (born 3 May 1966), daughter of Lady Ann Juliet Dorothea Maud Wentworth-Fitzwilliam:

  • Hon David Peter Wood (b. 29 May 1990)
    • Hon Maddison Ella Brianna Wood (b. 25 Jul 2013)
  • Lady Rebecca Louise Wood (b. 10 October 1991)
  • Lady Megan Laura Wood (b. (15 April 1995)

The Earl and Countess of Halifax live on the 20,000 acre family estate, Garrowby Hall near Garrowby, East Riding of Yorkshire. Lord Irwin, the eldest son and Lady Joanna, the eldest daughter, both live in London[citation needed]. David, lives on the Hickleton estate[citation needed] and Lady Rebecca lives in Sheffield[citation needed]. Lady Halifax is the national president of Macmillan Cancer Support.[4]

The Heir Apparent, Lord Irwin, began legal discussions with his solicitor regarding illegitimate claims from Mr. Paul A. Needham, claiming to be a member of the Wood family, legal action was stopped in May 2015 due to parties agreement to stop any future "claims".[citation needed]



External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Ingram Courtenay Wood
Earl of Halifax