Desmond Langley

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Sir Desmond Langley
Born 16 May 1930
Died 14 February 2008(2008-02-14) (aged 77)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1949–1988
Rank Major-General
Commands held Household Cavalry Regiment
4th Guards Armoured Brigade
London District
British Forces Cyprus
Battles/wars Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Member of the Order of the British Empire

Major-General Sir Henry Desmond Allen Langley KCVO MBE (16 May 1930 – 14 February 2008) was Major-General Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Langley was commissioned into the Life Guards in 1949.[1] He was posted to Egypt and then to Libya.[1] He then served with HQ Far East Land Forces during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation in the early 1960s.[1] He later became Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment and Silver Stick to The Queen.[1] In 1976 he was appointed commander of 4th Guards Armoured Brigade and in 1978 he became a brigadier on the General Staff at UK Land Forces.[1]

He became Major-General commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District in 1979[1] organising, inter alia, the military ceremony for the marriage of the Prince Charles and Princess Diana.[2] His final appointment was as commander of British Forces Cyprus and Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas in 1983 before retiring in 1988.[1]

In retirement he was Governor of Bermuda from 1988 to 1992.[1]


In 1950 he married Felicity (Flick) Oliphant and they went on to have a son and a daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Obituary: Major-General Sir Desmond Langley Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2008
  2. ^ Obituary: Major-General Sir Desmond Langley The Times, 7 March 2008
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Swinton
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir James Eyre
Preceded by
Robert Davis
Commander British Forces Cyprus
Succeeded by
Kenneth Hayr
Government offices
Preceded by
Viscount Dunrossil
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
Lord Waddington