George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (born 7 February 1923) is the elder son of Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood (1882-1947), and Mary, Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary. A first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, he was known by the courtesy title of Viscount Lascelles until he succeeded to his father's earldom on 24 May 1947.
The Rt. Honourable Sir George Henry Hubert Lascelles, KBE, 7th Earl of Harewood, Viscount Lascelles and Baron Harewood, was born at Harewood House, the Lascelles' family's manor in Yorkshire. His grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, stood as sponsors at his christening. He served as a page of honour at the coronation of his uncle, King George VI, in May 1937. He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, after which he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards. He rose to the rank of captain. During World War II, he fought in Italy. The Germans captured and held him as a prisoner of war at Colditz castle from 1944 to May 1945. In 1944-46, he served as aide-de-camp to his great uncle, the Earl of Athlone, who was then Governor-General of Canada. The Earl of Harewood served as a Counsellor of State in 1947, 1953-54, and 1956.
A music enthusiast, the Earl of Harewood has devoted most of his career to opera. He served as editor of Opera magazine from 1950 to 1953 and served as director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 1951 to 1953 and again from 1969 to 1972. He served as chairman of the board of the English National Opera (ENO) from 1986 to 1995; musical director of the ENO from 1972 to 1985; artistic director of the Edinburgh, Leeds, Adelaide Festivals; musical director of the English National Opera-North from 1978 to 1981. The Earl of Harewood served as a governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1985 to 1987 and as the president of the Board of Film Classification from 1985 to 1996. He is the author or editor of three books, Kobbé's Complete Opera Book (ed. 1953), The Tongs and the Bones (an autobiography, 1981), and Kobbé's Illustrated Opera Book (ed. 1989). His other interests include football (soccer): he served as president of the English Football Association from 1963 to 1972 and of Leads United Football Club in 1983.
On 29 September 1949, the Earl of Harwood married Maria Donata (Marion) Stein (born 18 October 1926), a concert pianist and the daughter of the Viennese music publisher Edwin Stein. Their marriage produced three sons:
David, Viscount Lascelles (born 21 October 1950)
The Honourable James Lascelles (born 5 October 1953)
The Honourable Jeremy Lascelles (born 14 February 1955)
This marriage ended in divorce in 1967, considered a scandal at the time. Marion went on to marry politician Jeremy Thorpe. The Earl was married a second time on 31 July 1967 to Patricia Tuckwell (born 24 November 1926), a violinist. They have one son:
Mark Lascelles (born 4 July 1965)
Since Mark Lascelles was born out of wedlock, he and his descendants are not in the line of succession to the British throne or in remainder to the earldom of Harewood.
The Earl of Harewood served as chancellor of the University of York from 1962 to 1967. Queen Elizabeth II created him a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1986. He received the Australian Order of Merit in 1959.