William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Dartmouth
William-(The-Earl-of)-Dartmouth -United-Kingdom-MIP-Europaparlamentby-Leila-Paul-4.jpg
Lord Dartmouth
Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
Assumed office
14 July 2009
Preceded by Roger Knapman
Personal details
Born (1949-09-23) 23 September 1949 (age 66)
London, England
Nationality British
Political party UK Independence Party
Other political
Conservative (until 2007)
Spouse(s) Fiona, Countess of Dartmouth
Relations Diana, Princess of Wales (stepsister);
The 13th Duke of Carcaci (brother-in-law);
Rupert Murdoch (via wife)
Residence London and Marsden, Yorkshire
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Harvard Business School
Occupation Politician
Profession Accountant
Religion Church of England
Website www.williamdartmouth.com

William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth, FCA (born 23 September 1949), is a British politician and hereditary peer.

Dartmouth sits in the European Parliament as MEP for South West England, representing the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He is more usually known as William Dartmouth.

Legge arms

Early life[edit]

Dartmouth is the eldest son of the 9th Earl of Dartmouth by his marriage to Raine McCorquodale, the daughter of romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland. Thus, he became a stepbrother of Diana, Princess of Wales upon his mother's second marriage to the 8th Earl Spencer.


Dartmouth was educated at Eton College before going up to Christ Church, Oxford (MA), where he was elected an officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association and later of the Oxford Union Society.[1] He studied further at Harvard Business School, graduating as MBA.

Life and career[edit]

Lord Dartmouth worked as a chartered accountant (FCA 1975), like his father whose titles he inherited in 1997. As Earl of Dartmouth he sat as Conservative peer in the House of Lords until 1999, when the Labour government of Tony Blair removed all but 92 hereditary peers from Parliament. In January 2007, Dartmouth announced he was leaving the Conservative Party in favour of UKIP, citing concerns about the policies of David Cameron (then Leader of HM Opposition).[2]

Dartmouth was elected as the second UKIP MEP for the South West England region in the European Parliament election of 2009 and re-elected in 2014, as the first UKIP MEP. In the European Parliament he sits with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group and on the Committee on International Trade. He has been the UKIP National Spokesman on Trade since 2010.

In June 2009, Dartmouth married Melbourne-born former model Fiona Campbell, now socially styled Lady Dartmouth,[3] whose first husband, Matt Handbury, is a nephew of Rupert Murdoch.[4]

Dartmouth has a son, Gerald Glen Kavanagh-Legge (b. 2005), from his previous relationship with the BAFTA award-winning television producer Claire Kavanagh.[5] However, his son who was born out of wedlock is not entitled to inherit the earldom which passes only through legitimate male offspring, nor can he use the customary courtesy title of Viscount Lewisham.

The current heir presumptive to the earldom of Dartmouth, and other titles, is the present Earl's younger brother, the author the Hon. Rupert Legge.[6]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • William Legge Esq (1949–1958)
  • The Hon. William Legge (1958–1962)
  • Viscount Lewisham (1962–1997)
  • The Earl of Dartmouth (1997-2009)
  • The Earl of Dartmouth, MEP (2009-)



External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Gerald Humphry Legge
Earl of Dartmouth
1997 – present
Member of the House of Lords
(1997 – 1999)