Loel Guinness (politician)

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Loel Guinness
Member of Parliament for Bath
In office
Preceded by Hon. Charles Baillie-Hamilton
Succeeded by Sir James Pitman
Personal details
Born Thomas Loel Evelyn Bulkeley Guinness
(1906-06-09)9 June 1906
London, England, UK
Died 31 December 1988(1988-12-31) (aged 82)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Cause of death Heart disease
Resting place Cimetière du Bois de Vaux, Lausanne
Spouse(s) Hon. Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller
(m. 1927; div. 1936)

Lady Isabel Violet Kathleen Manners
(m. 1936; div. 1951)

Gloria Rubio y Alatorre
(m. 1951; her death 1980)
Children Patrick Benjamin Guinness
William Loel Seymour Guinness
Serena Belinda Rosemary, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava
Parents Benjamin Solomon Guinness and Bridget Henrietta Frances Williams-Bulkeley
Relatives Loel Patrick Guinness
Victoria Niarchos
Residence Epalinges, Paris
Piencourt, Normandy
New York City
Manalapan, Florida
Occupation politician, member of Parliament, business magnate, aviator, socialite and philanthropist

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).[2]

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).[3] He was descended from Samuel Guinness, a Dublin goldsmith (1727–1795) and younger brother of the Guinness brewery's founder Arthur Guinness.[4]

He also had two sisters: Meraud Michelle Wemyss Guinness (1904–1993), who married Alvaro Guevara (1894–1951) in 1929,[5] and Tanis Eva Bulkeley Guinness (1908–1993) who married The Hon. William Drogo Sturges Montagu (m.1931-1937), son of George Charles Montagu, 9th Earl of Sandwich, Howard Dietz (m. 1937-1951),[6] and lastly, Lt. Commander Charles Edward Harold John Phillips, who was the paternal uncle of Alexandra Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn and Natalia Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, and first cousin of Janet Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven), whom she married in 1951.

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.[2]

In 1931, on his third try, Mr. Guinness was elected to Parliament for Bath[3] and was named parliamentary private secretary to Sir Philip Sassoon, the Under Secretary for Air from 1931-35, he held his seat until 1945, when he stood down.[2]

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.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Guinness's first marriage was to the Honourable Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller (1908–1997), a daughter of the 3rd Lord Churston,[7][8] before their divorce, Loel and Joan had a son, who would later marry his stepsister in 1955:

At his son's christening on 15 July 1931 at St Margaret's, Westminster, his godparents were Princess Ingrid of Sweden (1910–2000),[10] Richard Francis Roger Yarde-Buller, 4th Baron Churston (1910–1991), Sir Philip Sassoon, 3rd Baronet (1888–1939), Walter Rosen (1875–1951), Judith Blunt-Lytton, 16th Baroness Wentworth (1873–1957), and Mrs. Richard Guinness (née Beatrice Mackay, formerly Mrs. Nico Jungman).[10]

Joan left him for Prince Aly Khan, the eldest son of the Aga Khan III, the 43rd Shia Imam, whom she married on 18 May 1936, a few days after her divorce became absolute.[11][12][13] Through this marriage, his son Patrick was a half-brother to the present Aga Khan IV. Joan and Khan also divorced and the Prince later married Rita Hayworth, the actress,[14] and Joan married the 2nd Viscount Camrose and died as the Dowager Viscountess Camrose, also known as Joan Berry, Viscountess Camrose.

In 1936, he married his second wife, Lady Isabel Violet Kathleen Manners (1918–2008), the second daughter of John Manners, 9th Duke of Rutland.[15][16] His wife was prominent in society at Palm Beach.[17][18] Together, they were the parents of son and a daughter:[2]

On 7 April 1951,[14] he married his third wife, the socialite Gloria Rubio y Alatorre (1912–1980),[20] who had been the wife of Prince Ahmed Fakyr of Egypt, grandson of King Fuad I of Egypt.[21] Her daughter, Dolores married his eldest son, Patrick Benjamin Guinness (1931–1965).[2][22]

On 31 December 1988, Guinness died of heart disease at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, United States.[2]


Through his son Patrick and his stepdaughter Dolores, he was the grandfather of Maria Alexandra (born 1956), who married Foulques, Count de Quatrebarbes (born 1948) in 1979, Loel Patrick Guinness (born 1957), and Victoria Christina Guinness (born 1960), who married Philip Niarchos in 1984 (son of late Greek billionaire Stavros Niarchos).[23][24]

Through his son William, he was the grandfather of Sheridan William Guinness (born 1972), Thomas Seymour Guinness (born 1973), and Chloë Belinda Vane-Tempest-Stewart (born 1976), who married Lord Reginald Alexander Vane-Tempest-Stewart (born 1977).


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1695.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Fowler, Glenn; Times, Special to the New York (1989). "Loel Guinness, 82, R.A.F. Flier And a Socialite on 2 Continents". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Loel Guinness Wins British Seat.". The New York Times. 30 October 1931. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "MRS. B.S. GUINNESS, NOTED HOSTESS, DIES; Succumbs to Heart Disease at Cannes, France, After a Visit to New York. ORIGINAL IN ENTERTAINING While a Resident Here Tried to Help Ambitious Youths to a Career in the Drama. Entertained Extensively Here. Give Ball for Servants. Of Great Personal Charm.". The New York Times. January 6, 1931. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "MERAUD GUINNESS WEDS ALVARA GUEVARA; 'We Are Going to Live for Art,' Says Bride as Artist Are Married in London.". The New York Times. 1929. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "MISS GUINNESS WED QUIETLY IN LONDON; Married to Hon. William D.S. Montague in Private Chapel at Lambert Palace.". The New York Times. 20 February 1931. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  7. ^ "JOAN YARDE-BULLER TO WED LOEL GUINNESS; Lord Churston's Daughter, 19, Is Engaged to Only Son of Benjamin S. Guinness of New York.". The New York Times. 28 February 1927. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "ROYALTY ATTENDS GUINNESS WEDDING; Son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Guinness Marries the Hon. Joan Yarde-Buller IN ST. MARGARET'S, LONDON Carnegie Officiates -- Bride Is Daughter of Baron Churston-Couple to Live in Pittsburgh.". The New York Times. 5 July 1927. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "SON TO MRS. LOEL GUINNESS; Her Marriage In London in 1927 Was Brilliant Social Event.". The New York Times. 11 March 1931. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "INGRID IS A GODMOTHER.; Swedish Princess Gives Silver Cup to Guinness Baby in London.". The New York Times. 15 July 1931. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "LONDON DIVORCE SUIT NAMES INDIAN PRINCE; Aly Khan Is Corespondent in Action by T.L. Guinness, M.P. -- Wife's Family Prominent.". The New York Times. 20 June 1935. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "GUINNESSES ARE DIVORCED.; Costs of Action Assessed Against Aly Khan, Named by Husband.". The New York Times. 5 November 1935. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Guinness Divorce Is Absolute". The New York Times. 12 May 1936. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Thomas L.E.B. Guinness Weds". The New York Times. 8 April 1951. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "I URSULA MANNERS BECOMES ENGAGED; Daughter of Duke of Rutland to Be Married to Thomas . Gulnness, M. P. HE FORMERLY LIVED HERE I Son of Banker Who Headed New York FirmMFiancee Niece of I . . Lady Diana Duff Cooper,". The New York Times. 10 September 1936. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "LOEL GUINNESS WEDS LADY ISOBEL MANNERS; Daughter of Duke and Duchess of Rutland Becomes Bride of British M. P.". The New York Times. 25 November 1936. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "PALM BEACH PARTY BY CHARLES A. MUNN; Lady Isobel Guinness and Loel Guinness Among His Guests at Luncheon in Amado.". The New York Times. 29 December 1936. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "LOEL GUINNESSES END YACHT TRIP; Cross to London in Atlantis, After Wedding Tour in the United States LORD MOUNTBATTEN HOST Gives Luncheon Party for Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers--E. A. Hurds on Visit Americans at Boat Races William M. Evins Jr. on Visit". The New York Times. 4 April 1937. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  19. ^ "Marquess of Dufferin and Ava Weds Miss Belinda Guinness". The New York Times. 22 October 1964. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  20. ^ "Gloria Guinness, 67, Trend-Setter In Fashion and Hospitality, Dead". The New York Times. 10 November 1980. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  21. ^ "Mrs. Guinness: Rare Fashion Leader; Couturiers Are Guided by Her Personal Style Flair Has Plan for Dressing for Four Homes in Varied Locales". The New York Times. 5 December 1961. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  22. ^ Newill, Eric (February 6, 2015). "Lavish Florida Palmeraie Once Home to Society Darlings Loel and Gloria Guinness Is On the Market For a Record $200 Million". Orb Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "Greeks bear Paris grudge". NY Daily News. July 24, 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Victoria Christina Niarchos (née Guinness) (1960-), Daughter of Patrick Benjamin Guinness and Dolores Guinness". npg.org.uk. National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  • 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