Sir Angus James Bruce Ogilvy was a British businessman. He is best known as the husband of Princess Alexandra, a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ogilvy is also remembered for his role in a scandal involving the breaking of sanctions against the regime in Rhodesia in the 1970s in the Lonrho affair. In later years, he was heavily involved in charity work.
Early lifeThe Hon. Angus Ogilvy was born in London, the second son of the 12th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke, the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Leicester. Many of his relatives had close links with the British Royal Family. His grandmother, Mabell Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie, was a close friend and Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Mary. His father was a Lord-in-waiting to King George V and Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth.
He was a second cousin of Diana Mosley, second cousin of Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk, and a second cousin once removed of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury. He was also third cousin, once removed of Pamela Harriman.
Education and careerOgilvy was educated at Heatherdown School, near Ascot in Berkshire; and later at Eton College. Between 1946 and 1948, while on National service, he was commissioned as an officer in the Scots Guards. In 1947, he attended Trinity College, Oxford, graduating in 1950 with a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
After university, Ogilvy worked at the Drayton company, later working with the tycoon Tiny Rowland in Drayton's subsidiary, London and Rhodesia Mining and Land Company. The then-Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, criticised the company and described it in the House of Commons as "an unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism" on a 1973 court case over the company's management style.
His career ended in 1976, after he was criticised in a Department of Trade report into the company's activities.
MarriageOn 24 April 1963, Ogilvy married Princess Alexandra of Kent, a granddaughter of King George V and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Abbey in London. The wedding ceremony was attended by all the members of the royal family and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.
The Queen had offered Ogilvy an earldom on his wedding, which he declined. He also rejected a grace-and-favour apartment at one of the royal palaces. Instead, he leased Thatched House Lodge in Richmond, London from the Crown Estate for him and Princess Alexandra to live in, and where she still lives today. However, Princess Alexandra retained an apartment at St James's Palace, which is customary for the royal family.
The couple had two children, James and Marina.
Later yearsOgilvy was created a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 31 December 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II. In the 1997 New Year Honours, he was made a Privy Counsellor.
After his business career was blighted, Ogilvy was involved with charity work. He served as president of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, and as chairman of Youth Clubs UK, the biggest non-uniformed youth organisation in Britain. He was patron of Arthritis Care; vice-patron of the National Children's Homes; chairman of the advisory council of The Prince's Trust; a trustee of the Leeds Castle Foundation, as well as being a member of the governing council of Business in the Community, and of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Sovereign's Bodyguard in Scotland, in which his father served as one of its four lieutenants.
He suffered from throat cancer in later years and his last public appearance with his wife was when he accompanied her to Thailand for an official tour.
Ogilvy died in Kingston upon Thames, London, on 26 December 2004. His funeral took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor in Windsor Castle on 5 January 2005. He was buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore at Windsor.
LegacyOgilvy and his wife attended a special service at St Anne's Church, Kew, on Sunday 10 May 1964, to mark the church's 250th anniversary. Two pew cushions in the church are embroidered with their names and coats of arms.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 14 September 1928 – 31 December 1988: The Hon. Angus Ogilvy
- 31 December 1988 – 1997: The Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy, KCVO
- 1997 – 26 December 2004: The Rt. Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy, KCVO