Loel Guinness (politician)

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Loel Guinness
Born Thomas Loel Evelyn Bulkeley Guinness
(1906-06-09)9 June 1906
London, United Kingdom
Died 31 December 1988(1988-12-31) (aged 82)
Houston, United States
Cause of death Heart disease
Resting place Cimetière du Bois de Vaux, Lausanne
Residence Epalinges, Paris, Piencourt in Normandy, New York City, Manalapan, Florida and Acapulco
Occupation politician, member of Parliament, business magnate, aviator, socialite and philanthropist
Spouse(s) Hon. Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller (m. 1927–36)
Lady Isabel Violet Kathleen Manners (m. 1936–51)
Gloria Rubio y Alatorre (m. 1951; d. 1980)
Children Patrick Benjamin Guinness,
William Loel Seymour Guinness
and Serena Belinda Rosemary, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava
Parent(s) Benjamin Solomon Guinness and Bridget Henrietta Frances Williams-Bulkeley
Relatives Countess Maria Alexandra de Quatrebarbes, Loel Patrick Guinness, Victoria Niarchos, Sheridan William Guinness, Thomas Seymour Guinness and Lady Chloë Belinda Vane-Tempest-Stewart grandchildren

Group Captain Thomas Loel Evelyn Bulkeley Guinness OBE (9 June 1906 – 31 December 1988)[1] was a British Conservative politician, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bath (1931–1945), business magnate and philanthropist. Guinness also financed the purchase of the Calypso for the famous oceanic explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his movie The Silent World (1956).

Early life[edit]

Grave of Bridget Henrietta Frances Williams-Bulkeley, the mother of Thomas "Loel" Guinness, in Mougins, France

Raised in the United States and England, Loel Guinness was a son of Benjamin Solomon Guinness (1868–1947), a lawyer from whom he inherited a fortune, and Bridget Henrietta Frances Williams-Bulkeley (d.1931). He was descended from Samuel Guinness, a Dublin goldsmith (1727–1795) and younger brother of the Guinness brewery's founder Arthur Guinness.

He also had two sisters:

He was educated at Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Irish Guards; in 1929, after taking flying lessons, Mr. Guinness became one of the first private citizens in England to own an airplane and soon he was a member of the County of London's Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, he later served as president of Air Work Ltd., an aircraft-parts supplier, and of British United Airways.

First marriage[edit]

Guinness's first marriage was to the Honourable Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller (1908–1997), a daughter of the 3rd Lord Churston, who left him for Prince Aly Khan, the eldest son of the Aga Khan III (Aly later married the actress Rita Hayworth; Princess Joan Aly Khan married thirdly the 2nd Viscount Camrose and died as the Dowager Viscountess Camrose or Joan Berry, Viscountess Camrose). He and Joan had a son, Patrick Benjamin Guinness (1931–1965) who would later marry his stepsister in 1955.

Princess Ingrid of Sweden (1910–2000) was a godmother at christening of Patrick Benjamin at St Margaret's, Westminster on 15 July 1931. The other godparents were Richard Francis Roger Yarde-Buller, 4th Baron Churston (1910–1991), Sir Philip Sassoon, 3rd Baronet (1888–1939), Mr. Walter Rosen (1875–1951), Judith Blunt-Lytton, 16th Baroness Wentworth (1873–1957), and Mrs. Richard Guinness (née Beatrice Mackay, formerly Mrs. Nico Jungman).

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 1931, on his third try, Mr. Guinness was elected to Parliament for Bath and was named parliamentary private secretary to Sir Philip Sassoon, the Under Secretary for Air between 1931 and 1935, he held his seat until 1945, when he stood down.

Second World War[edit]

He gained the rank of Group Captain in the service of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Loel Guinness went on active duty with the Royal Air Force; in 1940 he flew as a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain, famously buying a petrol station near his aerodrome when his driving was restricted by rationing. In 1944 he became commander of a wing of the Second Tactical Air Force and by the war's end he had been mentioned in despatches five times, he was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1942. The Netherlands made him a commander of the Order of Orange Nassau and France made him an officer of the Legion of Honor and awarded him a Croix de Guerre.

Second marriage[edit]

Loel's second wife was Lady Isabel Violet Kathleen Manners (1918–2008), the second daughter of the 9th Duke of Rutland, by whom he had a son and a daughter:

Third marriage[edit]

Loel's third wife was the socialite Gloria Rubio y Alatorre (1912–1980) whom he married on 7 April 1951.

Her daughter, Dolores Guinness born as Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Hedringen (1936–2012), married Patrick Benjamin Guinness (1931–1965) on 22 October 1955 in Paris, son of Loel and his first wife Joan Yarde-Buller (and thus a half-brother to the present Aga Khan IV). They had issue:

  1. Maria Alexandra (born 1956) married Foulques, Count de Quatrebarbes (born 1948) in 1979.
  2. Loel Patrick (born 1957).
  3. Victoria Christina (born 1960) married Philip Niarchos in 1984 (son of late Greek billionaire Stavros Niarchos).

Loel Guinness died of heart disease at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, United States.


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1695.


  • Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1695.
  • Vickers, Hugo, The Unexpurgated Beaton: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1970–1980, Knopf, New York, 2003.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. Charles Baillie-Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Bath
Succeeded by
Sir James Pitman