Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin

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Desmond John Villiers FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin (13 July 1937 – 14 September 2011),[1][2] was an Irish hereditary knight[3] and president of the Irish Georgian Society.


The son of Desmond FitzGerald, 28th Knight of Glin (1901–1949), and Veronica Villiers (daughter of Ernest Villiers, M.P.),[2] FitzGerald was born in Paddington, London, England into an old Anglo-Irish aristocratic family in County Limerick[4] and was educated at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University. He worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the furniture department.[3] He later returned to Ireland, and became active in conservation issues, becoming involved with the Irish Georgian Society. He was appointed its president in 1991. He has also represented the Christie's art auctioneers in Ireland.[5] He died in Dublin in 2011.[4]


He was originally married to Loulou de la Falaise for a brief period. In 1970 he married his second wife, Olda Willes, the daughter of Major Thomas and Georgina Willes. His three daughters are: landscape designer Catherine, who married actor Dominic West in 2010 and was previously married to Ned Lambton, Nesta, and Honor. At the time of his death he had four grandchildren – Dora, Senan, Francis, and Rose, as well as step-granddaughter Martha.


FitzGerald was the last Black Knight; as he had no sons and the title cannot be passed to a daughter, the title was extinguished with his death.[6] A similar title, the Knight of Kerry, is held by his distant cousins.

Glin Castle[edit]

FitzGerald divided his time between Glin Castle, Glin, County Limerick (which he inherited as a child), and his Dublin townhouse.[3][7]

The Knight devoted his life to restoring the belongings of the castle, which had been sold due to previous financial difficulties, and rebuilding and finishing the remaining parts of the estate including the Georgian house that had remained incomplete for centuries.[5]



  • Book about Desmond FitzGerald: The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond Fitzgerald, 29th Knight of Glin by Robert O'Byrne, Lilliput Press, September 2013, ISBN 9781843514084.
  1. ^ Announcement of death
  2. ^ a b FitzGerald family information
  3. ^ a b c New York Social Diary
  4. ^ a b The Independent: Obituary
  5. ^ a b "Obituary: Desmond FitzGerald". The Telegraph. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  6. ^ interview, Lifestyle supplement
  7. ^

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Desmond Guinness
President of the Irish Georgian Society
Succeeded by
Patrick Guinness
Titles of nobility (Ireland)
Preceded by
Desmond FitzGerald
Knight of Glin
Succeeded by