Christopher Soames, Baron Soames

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Arthur Christopher John, Baron Soames, PC (October 12, 1920-September 16, 1987) was the last Governor of Rhodesia. Previously he had been the longtime Conservative Member of Parliament for Bedford from 1950 to 1966.

In 1970 Edward Heath named Soames the British Ambassador to France . In 1978 he was named a life peer in the House of Lords. Soames served in the Cabinet of Harold Macmillan as Secretary of State for War from 1958 to 1960 and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1960 to 1964 under Macmillan and, his successor, Alec Douglas-Home. From 1979 to 1981 he was Conservative leader in the House of Lords and thus a minister in Margaret Thatcher's government concurrent with his duties in Rhodesia.

Soames was the son of Captain Arthur Granville Soames, descendant of a brewing family which became part of the landed gentry, by his wife Hope Mary Woodbine Parrish. His parents divorced early on, and his mother remarried the 7th Baron Dynevor (descendant of the 1st and last Earl Talbot) as her 2nd husband, by whom she had issue including Charles Arthur Uryan Rhys, the 8th Baron Dynevor.

Christopher Soames married Mary Churchill (younger surviving daughter of Winston Churchill) on February 11, 1947. They had several children, of whom the best known is his eldest son Nicholas Soames MP, the former Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Defence. A daughter, Charlotte Soames, now The Countess Peel, is the mother of India Hicks, the youngest bridesmaid to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.


Preceded by:
John Hugh Hare
War Secretary
1958–1960
Succeeded by:
John Profumo
Preceded by:
John Hugh Hare
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1960–1964
Succeeded by:
Fred Peart
Preceded by:
Michael Foot
Lord President of the Council
1979–1981
Succeeded by:
Francis Pym

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