Elspeth Howe, Baroness Howe of Idlicote

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The Baroness Howe of Idlicote

Official portrait of Baroness Howe of Idlicote crop 2.jpg
Official portrait of Baroness Howe of Idlicote
Elspeth Rosamund Morton Shand

(1932-02-08) 8 February 1932 (age 86)
EducationWycombe Abbey
London School of Economics
Geoffrey Howe
(m. 1953; died 2015)
Parent(s)Philip Morton Shand
Sybil Mary Shand

Elspeth Howe, Baroness Howe of Idlicote, CBE (born Elspeth Rosamund Morton Shand; 8 February 1932) is a British cross-bench life peer who has served in many capacities in public life. As the widow of Geoffrey Howe, she was formerly known as Lady Howe of Aberavon before receiving a peerage in her own right.

She is the daughter of the writer Philip Morton Shand by his fourth wife, Sybil Mary Shand (née Sissons, previously Mrs. Slee). As such, she is a half-aunt to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (née Shand, formerly Parker Bowles), whose father, Bruce Shand, was son of P. Morton Shand by a previous marriage. Elspeth Shand was educated at Wycombe Abbey, a leading private school for girls, and at the London School of Economics.[1] She married the rising politician Geoffrey Howe in 1953, and had three children, Caroline (Cary), and twins, Amanda and Alec.[2]

Elspeth Howe served as deputy chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1975 to 1979, and in various other capacities from 1980. She was later made Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. In the 1999 New Year's Honours she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).[3] Lady Howe was a Justice of the Peace in Inner London from 1964 until her retirement from the Bench in 2002. She sat in the Youth Court at Camberwell where she was a bench chairman.

On 29 June 2001, at the age of 69, she was made a life peer, as "Baroness Howe of Idlicote", of Shipston-on-Stour in the County of Warwickshire,[4] in her own right, becoming one of the first People's Peers. She and her husband were one of the few couples each of whom held a peerage in their own right. Having already been styled Lady Howe by dint of her husband's knighthood and then his peerage, it was quipped when she received her own peerage that she was "once, twice, three times a Lady".[5]

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1932–1953: Miss Elspeth Shand
  • 1953–1970: Mrs Geoffrey Howe
  • 1970–1992: Lady Howe[a]
  • 1992–1999: The Rt Hon The Lady Howe of Aberavon[b]
  • 1999–2001: The Rt Hon The Lady Howe of Aberavon CBE
  • 2001–present: The Rt Hon The Baroness Howe of Idlicote CBE[c]


  1. ^ When her husband was knighted, she became known as Lady Howe.
  2. ^ When her husband was raised to the peerage, she became known as The Rt Hon. The Lady Howe of Aberavon.
  3. ^ When she herself was raised to the peerage suo jure, she became known as The Rt Hon. The Baroness Howe of Idlicote.


  1. ^ "Elspeth Rosamund Morton Shand, Baroness Howe of Idlicote". The Peerage. Retrieved 1 July 2016.[self-published source]
  2. ^ "Lord Howe of Aberavon obituary". Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ "No. 55354". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1998. p. 8.
  4. ^ "No. 56274". The London Gazette. 13 July 2001. p. 8309.
  5. ^ Hoggart, Simon (5 February 2003). "So much to discuss, so little time". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2016.

External links[edit]