This film is part of Free

Harewood by George: A Profile of the Seventh Earl

A life unfolds, from fear of asking for the loo as a child, to being imprisoned in Colditz and sentenced to death by Hitler, and on to becoming a leading player in the world of opera.

Documentary 1982 39 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is a fine portrait of the colourful life of George Lascelles. From his opulent home in Yorkshire and his house in Little Venice, the Earl lives out his busy schedule of overseeing a production of the Seven Deadly Sins by the English National Opera and having to watch Leeds United in their relegation year. Richard Whiteley shows his skills as an interviewer as Lascelles talks about his controversial divorce and subsequent relations with members of his royal family.

George Lascelles passed away in 2011, passing on the Earl of Harewood to his son David. He packed a lot more into his life even than this film shows. As well as being Managing Director of the ENO from 1972 to 1985, and later the Chairman, he was at times also a governor of the BBC, President of the British Board of Film Classification, and for over 30 years editor and co-author of Kobbé’s Complete Opera Book. He is somewhat economical with the truth in the film regarding the place of slavery in the family fortune: Edwin Lascelles, who built Harewood House, acquired 2,947 slaves on his 22 plantations in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Tobago. But for his sins George was President of Leeds United from 1961 until his death.