Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington

The Lord Carrington

Peter Carington 1984.jpg
Carrington in 1984
Father of the House of Lords
In office
22 February 2007 – 9 July 2018
Preceded byThe Earl Jellicoe
Succeeded byThe Lord Denham
6th Secretary General of NATO
In office
25 June 1984 – 1 July 1988
Preceded byJoseph Luns
Succeeded byManfred Wörner
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 April 1982
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byDavid Owen
Succeeded byFrancis Pym
Other ministerial offices
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
In office
4 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Preceded byThe Lord Shackleton
Succeeded byThe Lord Peart
In office
16 October 1964 – 20 June 1970
Preceded byThe Earl Alexander of Hillsborough
Succeeded byThe Lord Shackleton
Secretary of State for Energy
In office
8 January 1974 – 4 March 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byEric Varley
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
20 June 1970 – 8 January 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byDenis Healey
Succeeded byIan Gilmour
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office
7 April 1972 – 4 March 1974
LeaderEdward Heath
Preceded byPeter Thomas
Succeeded byWilliam Whitelaw
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964
Prime MinisterSir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded byThe Viscount Hailsham
Succeeded byThe Earl of Longford
Minister without Portfolio
In office
20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964
Prime MinisterSir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded byBill Deedes
Succeeded byGeorge Thomson
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
14 October 1959 – 20 October 1963
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Preceded byThe Earl of Selkirk
Succeeded byThe Earl Jellicoe
High Commissioner to Australia
In office
26 May 1956 – 14 October 1959
Prime Minister
Preceded byStephen Holmes
Succeeded bySir William Oliver
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence
In office
18 October 1954 – 26 May 1956
Prime Minister
Preceded byNigel Birch
Succeeded byThe Earl of Gosford
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food
In office
5 November 1951 – 18 October 1954
Serving with Richard Nugent
Prime MinisterSir Winston Churchill
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Life peerage
17 November 1999 – 9 July 2018
Hereditary peerage
9 October 1945 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byThe 5th Baron Carrington
Succeeded bySeat abolished
(House of Lords Act 1999)
Personal details
Peter Alexander Rupert Carington

(1919-06-06)6 June 1919
Chelsea, London, England
Died9 July 2018(2018-07-09) (aged 99)
Political partyConservative
Iona McClean
(m. 1942; died 2009)
Children3, including Rupert
Alma materRoyal Military College, Sandhurst
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1939–1949
(inactive from 1945)
UnitGrenadier Guards
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsMilitary Cross

Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, 6th Baron Carrington, KG, GCMG, CH, MC, PC, DL (6 June 1919 – 9 July 2018), was a British Conservative politician and hereditary peer who served as Defence Secretary from 1970 to 1974, Foreign Secretary from 1979 to 1982, chairman of British General Electric Company from 1983 to 1984, and Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. Before his death in 2018, he was the last surviving member of the 1951–55 government of Winston Churchill, the Eden government, and the Macmillan government, as well as of the cabinets of Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath. Following the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, Carrington was created a life peer as Baron Carington of Upton.

Carrington was Foreign Secretary in 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. He took full responsibility for the failure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to foresee this and resigned. As NATO Secretary General, he helped prevent a war between Greece and Turkey during the 1987 Aegean crisis.[1]

Background and early life

The surname "Carrington" (with two r's) was adopted by royal licence dated 1839 by his direct male ancestor Robert Carrington, 2nd Baron Carrington, in lieu of Smith.[2] The latter's father, Robert Smith, MP for Nottingham, was created Baron Carrington in 1796 (Peerage of Ireland) and 1797 (Peerage of Great Britain).[3] The spelling of the surname was changed by royal licence to "Carington" (with one r) in 1880 by the 2nd Baron's sons, but the spelling of the title did not change.

Born in Chelsea on 6 June 1919,[4][5] Peter Carington was the only son of the 5th Baron Carrington by his wife, the Hon. Sybil Marion Colville, a daughter of Charles Colville, 2nd Viscount Colville of Culross.[6] He was a great-nephew of the Liberal statesman Charles Wynn-Carington, 1st Marquess of Lincolnshire, and also of politician and courtier the Hon. Sir William Carington.[7] Brought up as a small child at the Millaton House in Devon,[8] he was educated at two independent schools: Sandroyd School from 1928 to 1932,[9] based at the time in the town of Cobham, Surrey (now the site of Reed's School), and Eton College.

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