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Margaret Alexander, Countess Alexander of Tunis

Margaret Diana Alexander, Countess Alexander of Tunis GBE DStJ (née Bingham; 16 September 1905 – 17 August 1977) was a British aristocrat and charity activist who served as Vice-regal consort of Canada. [1]

Born in Marylebone, she was the youngest of four children born to George Bingham, Lord Bingham (later the Earl of Lucan), and Violet Sylvia Blanche Spender-Clay, sister of Herbert Spender-Clay. She was educated at Notting Hill High School. On 14 October 1931, she married Hon. Harold Alexander. He was a future field marshal and was created Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1946 and Earl Alexander of Tunis in 1952. [2]

Owing to her husband's career, the family moved frequently, and they lived in 36 homes during their marriage, during which time she held several prominent roles.[1] In 1946, on her husband's appointment as Governor General of Canada, she became Vice-regal consort, and Châtelaine of Rideau Hall. In recognition of this she was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1954.[3]

She held the office of Justice of the Peace (JP) for Berkshire in 1956–75. In 1970, while living at Windsor Great Park, she was appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire,[4] one of the first women to hold the role of JP.[1]

Lady Margaret was active at the Women's Voluntary Service during the Second World War, working for the apartment in charge of evacuation of small children. She was Vice-Chairman of the WVS 1952–53 and served on the board of the English-Speaking Union from 1953–1971. Between 1960–65, she established the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust at the ESU. She served as chairman of the Juvenile Court of Windsor County Division, and set up a probation hostel for young men in the area, visited the hostel weekly from 1965-1976. [1]

She died Bracknell, Berkshire in 1977, aged 71.[5]

Family and issueEdit

The Alexanders had three children and adopted a fourth, Susan.[6]

  • Lady Rose Maureen Alexander (born 28 October 1932), who married Lt. Col. Humphrey Crossman
  • Shane William Desmond Alexander, 2nd Earl Alexander of Tunis (born 30 June 1935)
  • Hon. Brian James Alexander CMG (born 31 July 1939), who is heir presumptive to the title
  • Lady Susan Mary Alexander (born 26 February 1948), married Andrew Paulet Hamilton

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Dowager Countess Alexander". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 31 August 1977. p. 14.
  2. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 2423. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  3. ^ London Gazette, 29 December 1953
  4. ^ London Gazette, 30 June 1970
  5. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
  6. ^ Burke 2003, p. 287
Honorary titles
Preceded by
HRH The Countess of Athlone
Viceregal Consort of Canada
1946–1952
Succeeded by
Lilias Massey
(as Chatelaine of Rideau Hall)