Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon

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The Earl of Carnarvon

7th Earl of Carnarvon
Henry Herbert, Lord Porchester
BornHenry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert
(1924-01-19)19 January 1924
Lancaster Gate,[1] London, England
Died11 September 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 77)
Winchester, Hampshire
Jean Margaret Wallop
(m. 1956)
ParentsHenry Herbert, 6th Earl of Carnarvon
Anne Catherine Tredick née Wendell

Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, KCVO, KBE, DL (19 January 1924[1] – 11 September 2001[2]), was a British peer and racing manager to Queen Elizabeth II from 1969.[3] He was the only son of the 6th Earl of Carnarvon by his wife Catherine Wendell. From his birth to September 1987, he was known by the courtesy title Lord Porchester. He owned the family seat, Highclere Castle.

Marriage and children[edit]

On 7 January 1956, Carnarvon (then known by his courtesy title Lord Porchester) married Jean Margaret Wallop (1935–2019) of Big Horn, Wyoming,[2] in St. James' Episcopal Church in New York City.[4] She was a granddaughter of Oliver Wallop, 8th Earl of Portsmouth.[5] Carnarvon's father, the 6th Earl had also married an Anglo-American.[6]

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon had three children:[7]

  • George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon (born 10 November 1956). Married Jayne Wilby on 16 December 1989, had two children, and divorced in January 1998. He then married Fiona Aitken on 18 February 1999 with whom he had one son:
    • Lady Saoirse Herbert (born 2 June 1991)
    • George Kenneth Oliver Molyneux Herbert, Lord Porchester (born 13 October 1992), the heir to the titles
    • Hon. Edward Herbert (born 10 October 1999)
  • The Hon. Henry "Harry" Herbert (2 March 1959), who married Francesca Bevan in 1992. They have three children:
    • Chloe Victoria Herbert (born 1994)[8]
    • Francesca Jeanie Herbert (born 21 November 1995)
    • William Henry Herbert (born 14 November 1999)
  • Lady Carolyn Herbert,[9] (born 27 January 1962), who married John Warren in 1985. They have three children:
    • Jakie James Warren (born 1986)
    • Susanna Warren (born 1988)
    • Alexander Edward Warren (born 1994)

Life and career[edit]

After attending Eton College,[10] Carnarvon served in the Royal Horse Guards during the Second World War, serving in Egypt and Italy.[11] He left the army as a lieutenant in 1947,[12] after which he studied at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, with a view to farming, and managing the stud on his father's Highclere estate.[10]

Lord Carnarvon had been a personal friend of Queen Elizabeth II since their teenage years. The Queen often visited Highclere Castle and – like his other friends – called him 'Porchey', after his Lord Porchester courtesy title. In 1969 Carnarvon was appointed the Queen's racing manager, a position he held until his death in 2001.[13] His son the 8th Earl, who is the Queen's godson,[14] observed that "it was a very equal friendship ranging over many interests. They were from the same generation. They had been through the war. They shared a great love of the countryside and wildlife as well as horses. He and the Queen had a similar passion for every aspect and detail of horse breeding." The Queen broke with custom and attended the Earl's funeral, and remained a friend of his widow, Jeanie.[13]

Lord Carnarvon became an influential figure in British horseracing, establishing a reputation as a successful breeder at the Highclere Stud. He played a leading role in the administration and restructuring of the racing industry. In 1964 he was elected to the Jockey Club and was Chairman of the club's race planning committee (1967–85) and, as well as being the Queen's racing manager, he was an active member of several other racing committees. He was appointed President of Newbury Racecourse in 1985.[10]

Carnarvon was an independent member of the Hampshire County Council for 24 years and served as its Chairman from 1973–77. He also served on a number of public bodies, including the Sports Council (1965–70), Agricultural Research Council (1978–82) and was Chairman of the South East Economic Planning Council (1971–79). He served as President of Hampshire County Cricket Club (1966–68)[15] and became Honorary Colonel of the 115th (Hampshire Fortress) Engineer Regiment (Territorial Army) in 1963.[16]

He succeeded as Earl of Carnarvon in 1987, and sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher, using his position to promote the interests of horseracing.[10] He also inherited the family seat, Highclere Castle.[17]

He was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1976[18] and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1982.[2]

The Earl of Carnarvon died on 11 September 2001 aged 77, after a heart attack.[10] He was succeeded as the Queen's racing manager by his son-in-law John Warren, a former stable boy who had worked at the Highclere Stud and married his daughter Carolyn.[13][19]

Cultural depictions[edit]

He is featured as a character in the first three series of the Netflix drama The Crown, portrayed by Joseph Kloska in the first two series and John Hollingworth in the third series.


  1. ^ a b Peter W. Hammond, editor, The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), p. 150
  2. ^ a b c Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 1, p. 699
  3. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, p. 698
  4. ^ "Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon"; The Times (London); Friday 26 April 2019, p. 49
  5. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). pp. 3192–3193. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  6. ^ Herbert, Henry (1976). No Regrets: Memoirs of the Earl of Carnarvon. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 102–103. ISBN 0297772465.
  7. ^ Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  8. ^ Soames, Matilda. "10 Perfect Potential Brides for Prince Harry!". Tatler.
  9. ^ "Lady Carolyn Warren". Tatler. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Julian (14 September 2001). "Obituary: 7th Earl of Carnarvon". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  11. ^ Herbert 1976, p. 207.
  12. ^ "No. 38152". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 December 1947. p. 6073.
  13. ^ a b c Grice, Elizabeth (1 June 2012). "Perfect 10: the men and women who have shaped the Queen". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Jeanie, Countess of Carnarvon obituary". The Times. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ Who Was Who 2001–2005. A & C Black, London. 2006. ISBN 0-7136-7601-9.
  16. ^ "No. 43057". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 July 1963. p. 6068.
  17. ^ Karasz, Palko (20 September 2019). "'Downton Abbey' and the History of Difficult Royal Visits (Published 2019)". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "No. 46919". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1976. p. 8022.
  19. ^ "September 11th 2001: The Day The Queen Lost Her Best Friend". The Morton Report. 9 September 2011.

External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Henry Herbert
Earl of Carnarvon
Succeeded by
George Herbert
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New office
Elected hereditary peer to the House of Lords
under of the House of Lords Act 1999
Succeeded by
The Lord Chorley