Spouse of the Governor-General of Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The spouse of the Governor-General of Australia generally assists the office-holder in welcoming ambassadors and their spouses, and in performing their other official duties. The Governor-General's spouse traditionally participates in celebratory occasions, attends functions and, as a patron of various voluntary associations, works to promote the activities of those associations.[1] None of the activities have any official status. The current spouse (since 28 March 2014) is Lady (Lynne) Cosgrove, wife of General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Both the Governor-General and their spouse are entitled to the style "His/Her Excellency" during the Governor-General's term of office, but not thereafter. The Governor-General is entitled to the style "The Honourable" for life; this does not extend to the spouse.

Except for Dame Quentin Bryce, all Australian Governors-General have been male, and all but her spouse Michael Bryce have been females.

No Governor-General has been single throughout his term, but two spouses died during the Governor-General's term: Lady De L'Isle, wife of Lord De L'Isle (1962); and Lady (Alison) Kerr, wife of Sir John Kerr (1974). Kerr remarried during his term; De L'Isle remarried after his term had finished.

The longest-serving spouse has been Lady Gowrie, wife of the longest-serving Governor-General, Lord Gowrie, who served nine years 1936-1945. The shortest-serving spouse was Lady Dunrossil, wife of Lord Dunrossil, who died in 1961, one year and one day after taking up the office, being the only Governor-General to die in office. Lady Dunrossil died in 1983.

The generality of the spouses of Governors-General have been content to be background figures providing the office-holder with support. Some have been all but unknown to the general Australian public. However, some have been notable in their own right, and details are shown in the following table.

List of spouses of the Governor-General of Australia[edit]

Governor-General Term start Term end Spouse Born Died Notes
7th Earl of Hopetoun (1st Marquess of Linlithgow)[2] 1 January 1901 9 January 1903 Hersey, Countess of Hopetoun 31 March 1867 3 April 1937 Lady Hopetoun was the daughter of the 4th Baron Ventry. She became the Marchioness of Linlithgow on 27 October 1902,[3] after the Hopetouns had left Australia (17 July) but while her husband was still formally the Governor-General.[4]
2nd Baron Tennyson 9 January 1903 21 January 1904 Baroness (Audrey) Tennyson 19 August 1854 [5] 7 December 1916 After Lady Tennyson's death in 1916, Lord Tennyson married again in 1918. Her diaries "Audrey Tennyson's Vice-Regal Days" were edited by Dame Alexandra Hasluck, the spouse of a later Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck.
1st Baron Northcote 21 January 1904 9 September 1908 Baroness (Alice) Northcote CI DBE  ? 1 June 1934 Lady Northcote was the adopted daughter of George Stephen, 1st Baron Mount Stephen. She was the first Patron of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.[6] She was created a Companion of the Order of the Crown of India in 1878, and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919.
2nd Earl of Dudley 9 September 1908 31 July 1911 Rachel, Countess of Dudley CBE 8 August 1868 26 June 1920 Lady Dudley was instrumental in setting up the state-based Bush Nursing Scheme.[7] She drowned while swimming off the coast of Ireland, aged 51, in 1920. In 1924 Lord Dudley remarried, to Gertie Millar, a well-known actress and the widow of Lionel Monckton.
3rd Baron Denman 31 July 1911 18 May 1914 Baroness (Gertrude) Denman GBE 7 November 1884 2 June 1954 Lady Denman was active in women's rights issues including the promotion of women's suffrage in the United Kingdom. She named the city of Canberra and is commemorated in Lady Denman Drive in the national capital. In 1951 she was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE).
Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson 18 May 1914 6 October 1920 Lady (Helen) Munro Ferguson GBE 1865 9 April 1941 Lady Munro Ferguson was the daughter of the Viceroy of India, the 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. She later became Viscountess Novar. She was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1918 for her wartime work for the British Red Cross.
1st Baron Forster 6 October 1920 8 October 1925 Baroness (Rachel) Forster GBE 1870 12 April 1962 Lady Forster was the daughter of the 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. The Rachel Forster Hospital for Women in Sydney was named after her.[8] She was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1926.
1st Baron Stonehaven 8 October 1925 21 January 1931 Baroness (Sydney) Stonehaven 20 September 1874 21 September 1974 Lady Stonehaven was the daughter of the 10th Earl of Kintore. Following their departure from Australia, she became Viscountess Stonehaven. She acceded to the earldom of Kintore in her own right as the 11th Countess of Kintore in 1966. She died on the day after her 100th birthday, and at her death she was the oldest member of the House of Lords.
Sir Isaac Isaacs 21 January 1931 23 January 1936 Lady (Deborah "Daisy") Isaacs 1870 [9] June 1960 [10] Lady Isaacs had always been based in Melbourne, but relocated to Bowral, New South Wales after her husband's death.[9]
1st Baron Gowrie 23 January 1936 30 January 1945 Baroness (Zara) Gowrie 20 January 1879 19 July 1965 Lady Gowrie was involved in the provision of child care, and the Lady Gowrie Child Centres were named in her honour. She later became Countess of Gowrie. From the 1930s she was instrumental in advancing the career of the opera singer Dame Joan Hammond, whose final public performance was at Lady Gowrie's funeral.
HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester 30 January 1945 11 March 1947 HRH The Duchess of Gloucester GCB CI GCVO GBE 25 December 1901 29 October 2004 The Duchess of Gloucester was an aunt of Queen Elizabeth II. After her husband's death in 1974, she became known as Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. She lived to age 102 and holds the record, previously held by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, as the longest-lived person in the history of the British Royal Family.
Sir William McKell 11 March 1947 8 May 1953 Lady (Mary) McKell 1893 [11] July 1985 [12] Lady McKell was the eponym of the Lady McKell, a Sydney Harbour ferry which operated 1970-1993,[13] and is now the Victoria Star, a luxury cruise ship operating in Melbourne.[14]
Sir William Slim 8 May 1953 2 February 1960 Lady (Aileen) Slim 1901 1993 [15] Lady Slim later became Viscountess Slim.
1st Viscount Dunrossil 2 February 1960 3 February 1961 (died) Viscountess (Allison) Dunrossil [16]  ? 26 March 1983 Lady Dunrossil was born Catherine Allison Swan.[17] Lord Dunrossil was the only Governor-General to die in office. Lady Dunrossil consequently became the shortest-serving spouse of a Governor-General.
1st Viscount De L'Isle 3 August 1961 7 May 1965 Viscountess (Jacqueline) De L'Isle 20 October 1914 15 November 1962 Lady De L'Isle was the daughter of John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort. She was a Senior Commander in the Auxiliary Territorial Service in World War II. She died in 1962, during her husband's term as Governor-General. In 1966 he married Margaret Shoubridge.
Baron Casey 7 May 1965 30 April 1969 Baroness (Maie) Casey AC 13 March 1892 20 January 1983 Lady Casey was an aviatrix, writer, artist and opera librettist.
Sir Paul Hasluck 30 April 1969 11 July 1974 Lady (Alexandra) Hasluck AD 26 August 1908 18 June 1993 Lady Hasluck was a noted authoress, and editor of the diaries of one of her predecessors, Lady (Audrey) Tennyson. In 1978 she became the first Dame of the Order of Australia, and was known as Dame Alexandra Hasluck thereafter.
Sir John Kerr 11 July 1974 8 December 1977 1. Lady (Alison) Kerr 29 July 1915 [18] 9 September 1974 The first Lady Kerr died less than two months after Sir John Kerr's appointment as Governor-General. Four months later he married Anne Robson, who was the first Australian to be appointed a Member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters.
2. Lady (Anne) Kerr 1914 16 September 1997
Sir Zelman Cowen 8 December 1977 29 July 1982 Lady (Anna) Cowen AM[19] 24 July 1925 [10] living Lady Cowen was the cousin of politician Walter Jona
Sir Ninian Stephen 29 July 1982 16 February 1989 Lady (Valerie) Stephen  ? living
Bill Hayden 16 February 1989 16 February 1996 Dallas Hayden 1935 [20] living Née Broadfoot
Sir William Deane 16 February 1996 29 June 2001 Lady (Helen) Deane [21][22] 13 February 1935 [21] living She was educated at Kincoppal Convent in Sydney and Sydney University where she graduated in law. After graduation, she practised as a solicitor with the Sydney firm of Freehill, Hollingdale & Page.
Dr Peter Hollingworth 29 June 2001 28 May 2003 Ann Hollingworth [23] 19 May 1936 [24] living Ann Hollingworth worked as an obstetric physiotherapist, specialising in turn in geriatrics, women's health and orthopaedics, finally working at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. She retired from practice in 1998.
Major General Michael Jeffery 11 August 2003 5 September 2008 Marlena Jeffery 1944 [25] living During her husband's numerous postings around Australia, to England and Papua New Guinea, Marlena Jeffery successfully lobbied for better housing and conditions for army families and established pre-school centres at Holsworthy and Enoggera Barracks. She was made a 'Citizen of Western Australia' for her work with charities during the years 1993-2000 when her husband was Governor of Western Australia. She was also appointed a Dame of Grace (DStJ) in the Order of St John.
Dame Quentin Bryce 5 September 2008 28 March 2014 Professor Michael Bryce AM AE  ? living Professor Bryce is a renowned graphic designer, whose work includes the stylised "Opera House" logo for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He is an Adjunct Professor of Design at three important tertiary institutions.
General Sir Peter Cosgrove 28 March 2014 Lady (Lynne) Cosgrove  ? living

See also[edit]