Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
The Duchess of Norfolk, 1939
22 March 1916|
Kingston Hall, Nottinghamshire
10 December 1995 (aged 79)|
Arundel Castle, West Sussex
Born Lavinia Mary Strutt, she was the only daughter of Algernon Strutt, 3rd Baron Belper and his wife, Eva and was educated at Abbot's Hill School. On 27 January 1937, she married Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk (but did not convert to Roman Catholicism, her husband's religion) and they had four daughters, only one (the youngest) of whom has children:
- Lady Anne Elizabeth, later Anne Cowdrey, 14th Lady Herries of Terregles (1938–2014), married Colin Cowdrey
- Lady Mary Katherine, later Mary Mumford, 15th Lady Herries of Terregles (b. 1940), married Anthony Mumford
- Lady Sarah Margaret (1941–2015), married Nigel Clutton
- Theresa Jane, Marchioness of Lothian (b. 1945), married Michael Kerr, 13th Marquess of Lothian
At the Coronation of George VI in 1937, the Duchess of Norfolk was one of four duchesses who held the canopy above the Queen Elizabeth during the latter's anointing. In 1953, she took the part of Queen Elizabeth II during dress rehearsals for the Coronation at Westminster Abbey. The Duke of Norfolk was hereditary Earl Marshal, and organised both coronations as well as important state events in later years.
The Duchess was involved with many charities and was appointed a CBE in 1971 for her work. Among firsts for women, she was the first woman Lord Lieutenant as Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex from 1975 (a post she took over from her husband after his death that year), first woman steward of Goodwood from 1975 and the first non-royal Lady Companion of the Order of the Garter.
For many years, the traditional curtain-raiser to the English international cricket season was a match between Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk's XI and the visitors, played at Arundel Castle. It played on in the Duchess' name after the Duke's death in 1975, reverting to its original name after her own death in 1995.
|Ancestors of Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk|
The Duke of Norfolk
|Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex
| Succeeded by|
The Duke of Richmond