Lady Dorothy Macmillan

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Lady Dorothy Macmillan

The National Archives UK - CO 1069-1-15 (cropped).jpg
Spouse of the Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom
In role
10 January 1957 – 18 October 1963
Preceded byClarissa Eden
Succeeded byElizabeth Douglas-Home
Personal details
Dorothy Evelyn Cavendish

(1900-07-28)28 July 1900
Died21 May 1966(1966-05-21) (aged 65)
Harold Macmillan (m. 1920)
Children4, including Maurice and Lady Caroline

Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE (née Cavendish; 28 July 1900 – 21 May 1966) was a daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire and Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire; and the wife of the British prime minister Harold Macmillan.

Family life[edit]

She spent her first eight years at Holker Hall, Lancashire (located in county of Cumbria post 1974), and Lismore Castle, Ireland.[1] She became known as Lady Dorothy from the age of eight, when her father succeeded to the dukedom, and the family moved into Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, and the other ducal estates.[2] She received lessons in French, German, riding and golf. From the age of sixteen she lived with the family at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, where her father served as Governor General of Canada.[3]


In 1920 she married the publisher and Conservative politician Harold Macmillan, who had been on her father's staff in Canada. Their lavish wedding, on 21 April at St. Margaret's, Westminster, was attended by royalty, aristocracy and leading literary figures, and was hailed as the social event of the London season.[4]

Lady Dorothy was a dutiful political wife and the couple remained together (despite her long-lasting affair with the Conservative politician Robert Boothby) until her death from a heart attack at the Macmillan family estate at Birch Grove, East Sussex, in 1966. Her husband, who was created 1st Earl of Stockton in 1984, outlived her by 20 years.

She and Harold had four children:



  1. ^ Charles Williams, Harold Macmillan (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009), ISBN 978-0-297-85194-3, p. 53.
  2. ^ Williams, Macmillan, pp. 53–54.
  3. ^ Williams, Macmillan, p. 54
  4. ^ Williams, Macmillan, p. 58
  5. ^ Thorpe, D. R. (2010-09-09). Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan. Random House. ISBN 9781409059325.
  6. ^ "A real book » 21 Sep 1991 » The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
Unofficial roles
Preceded by
Lady Eden
Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
The Countess of Home