David Douglas, 12th Marquess of Queensberry

David Harrington Angus Douglas, 12th Marquess of Queensberry (born 19 December 1929, London) is an Anglo-Scottish aristocrat and noted pottery designer.

Queensberry is the elder son of the 11th Marquess, and his only son by his second wife, artist Cathleen Sabine Mann (married 1926 – divorced 1946). His maternal grandparents were interior decorator Dolly Mann (née Florence Sabine-Pasley) and artist Harrington Mann. He succeeded his father in 1954.


Educated at Eton College, he served in the Royal Horse Guards. In the 1950s he worked in the pottery industry.[1] He was Professor of Ceramics at the Royal College of Art from 1959-83. He belongs to the Crafts Council, was President of the Design and Industries Association from 1976–78, is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers (and recipient of the Minerva Medal, the Society's highest award), and was Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art from 1990, and Professor of Ceramics there.[2]

As a hereditary peer, he spoke in the House of Lords in the 1960s.[3] Under the Peerage Act 1963 which came into effect in August that year, all Scottish peers were given seats in the House of Lords as of right. This right was lost under the House of Lords Act 1999 which provided that "[n]o-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage."[4]

His great-grandfather the 9th Marquess of Queensberry had been instrumental in the imprisonment for homosexuality of playwright Oscar Wilde; the 12th Marquess spoke in the House of Lords in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the debates leading to the Sexual Offences Act 1967. He said in 2016 that he had been delighted to associate his family with a liberalising measure. "The Queensberry name had become so associated with the way Oscar Wilde was pilloried in 1895."[2]

Personal life

Queensberry has been married three times: firstly in 1956 (div 1969) to Ann Jones (the actress Ann Queensberry),[5] by whom he had two daughters; secondly in 1969 (div 1986) to Alexandra Mary Clare Wyndham Sich, by whom he had three sons (the eldest born during his first marriage) and one daughter; and thirdly in 2000 to Hsueh-Chun Liao, by whom he has a daughter (legitimated by marriage).[6][7]


  1. Lady Emma Douglas (b. 1956) married 1986 Damon Lewis Vincent Heath, and has issue
  2. (illegitimate) Ambrose Jonathan Carey (b. 1961), see below
  3. Lady Alice Douglas (b. 1965) married 1stly 1989 (div) Ali Ugan; md 2ndly 1995 (div) Simon Melia, and has surviving issue, a daughter named Hero and a son named Tybalt.
  4. Sholto Francis Guy Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig (born 1 June 1967), legitimated by decision of Lord Lyon when his parents married
  5. Lady Kate Douglas (b. 1969) married 1999 Tom Weisselberg, and has issue
  6. Lord Milo Douglas (1975–2009) [8]
  7. Lord Torquil Douglas (b. 1978)
  8. Lady Beth Douglas (b. 1997), legitimised 2000 by her parents' marriage

Queensberry has an eldest but illegitimate son, Ambrose Jonathan Carey (b. 1961), head of a British security and intelligence firm, whose half-sister Caroline Carey (b. 1959), an English art student, married the late Salem bin Laden, prior head of the global Bin Laden family corporation.[9][10] Carey is married since 1995 to Christina Weir, a daughter of the late Sir Michael Scott Weir KCMG (19252006) and his first wife, Alison Walker.[11] They have two sons, Angus Carey-Douglas and James Carey-Douglas.[12] As Ambrose is illegitimate, he and his two sons are not in remainder to the Marquessate and subsidiary titles. Queensberry has several siblings. By his father's first wife, he has an elder half-sister, Lady Patricia Douglas, whose daughter Countess Emma de Bendern was the first wife of gossip columnist Nigel Dempster. He has a late sister, Lady Jane Cory-Wright (19262007), twice married to David Arthur Cory-Wright, of the Cory-Wright baronets. He has a younger half-brother, Lord Gawain Douglas (born 1948), who is married with issue, one son and five daughters.


Succession to the marquessate

The heir apparent to the marquessate is Viscount Drumlanrig (born 1967), followed by his brother Lord Torquil Douglas. The next heir is their half-uncle Lord Gawain Douglas, who has a son, Jamie Douglas, who is married with one son. The next two elderly heirs are grandsons of Lord Sholto Douglas, fourth and youngest son of the 9th Marquess. They are unmarried. A third brother, Robert Douglas, married with one daughter, died in 2007.[13] These represent all the male-line heirs of John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry (18441900), himself only grandson of the 7th Marquess. Further heirs are descended from younger brothers of the 6th Marquess (who had eight daughters, but no sons) and the 7th Marquess, namely the Johnstone-Douglases and the mostly Catholic Douglases of Grangemuir, represented by a retired Professor of University College, Cork.


  1. "Designs for Life", queensberryhunt.com, May–June 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Oscar Wilde love letter celebrated 'behind bars'". BBC News. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  3. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Marquess of Queensberry
  4. "House of Lords Act 1999 (original text)". 11 November 1999. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  5. http://thepeerage.com/p2068.htm
  6. Paul Theroff (2008)."Descendants of Henry VII of England: Part 8"; retrieved 5 December 2008.
  7. Profile, thepeerage.com; accessed 24 June 2014.
  8. "Report of death of Milo, son of Marquess of Queensberry". London: Daily Mail. 3 March 2011.
  9. "Outcast disowned by his outraged family", Telegraph.co.uk; accessed 24 June 2014.
  10. Ambrose Carey was described correctly as Queensberry's son in Tatler articles.
  11. Obituary: Sir Michael Weir, The Independent, 2006. See also Obituary: Sir Michael Weir, The Times, 2006
  12. Memorial Service: Sir Michael Weir, The Times, 22 September 2006. This lists Mr Carey, his wife, and two sons.
  13. Paul Theroff (2007). Descendants of King Henry VII of England: Part 8; last updated November 2007.


External links

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Francis Douglas
Marquess of Queensberry
1954 present
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