William Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor
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|William Waldorf Astor II|
|Astor (right) with his third wife Bronwen on their wedding day|
13 August 1907|
Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, England
|Died||7 March 1966
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Kathleen Elinor Norton
(m. 1945—1953; divorced)
Phillipa Victoria Hunloke
(m. 1955—1960; divorced)
Janet Bronwen Alun Pugh
(m. 1960—1966; his death)
Nancy Witcher Langhorne
|Alma mater||Eton College
New College, Oxford
Background and education
In 1932, Astor was appointed secretary to Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton, League of Nations Committee of Enquiry in what was then known as Manchuria. First elected to the House of Commons in 1935, he served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Fulham East until 1945. Between 1936 and 1937 he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Samuel Hoare, who was then made Secretary of State for the Home Department in the new cabinet of Neville Chamberlain in 1937.
Astor left parliament for a time, but returned as the Conservative MP for Wycombe in the 1951 general election, serving for two years. On his father's death in 1952, he inherited his title, becoming the 3rd Viscount Astor. Astor took his seat in the House of Lords, forcing a by-election in Wycombe, which was won by the Conservative candidate John Hall. During the 1963 Profumo Affair Astor was accused of having an affair with Mandy Rice-Davies. In response to being told during one of the trials arising out of the scandal that Astor had denied having an affair with her, Rice-Davies famously replied "He would, wouldn't he?"
Astor then took over the family's Cliveden estate in Buckinghamshire, where he and his family continued to live until 1966. Active in thoroughbred horse racing, he inherited Cliveden Stud, a horse farm and breeding operation in the village of Taplow near Maidenhead.
Viscount Astor married three times:
- 1945: Sarah Kathleen Elinor Norton (20 January 1920 — 4 February 2013) (divorced 1953). They had one son, William Waldorf Astor III (born 27 December 1951)
- 1955: Phillipa Victoria Hunloke (10 December 1930 — 20 July 2005), daughter of Henry Philip Hunloke and Anne Cavendish - (divorced 1960). They had one daughter, Emily Mary Astor (born 9 June 1956)
- 1960: Janet Bronwen Alun Pugh (born 6 June 1930). They had two daughters, Janet Elizabeth Astor (born 1 December 1961), second wife of Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, and Pauline Marian Astor (born 26 March 1964).
- "Viscount Astor Dies in Nassau Of Heart Attack at Age of 58. Son of Lady Nancy Astor. Former M.P. Was Named in '63 Profamo Scandal". New York Times. March 8, 1966. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
Viscount Astor of Cliveden, a member of the Anglo-American Waldorf Astor family, died in Nassau, the Bahamas, today of a heart attack. He was 58 years old
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Astor
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
John Charles Wilmot
|Member of Parliament for Fulham East
|Member of Parliament for Wycombe
Sir John Hall
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|