Lord P.A.R. (Peter Alexander Rupert) Carrington

foto Lord P.A.R. (Peter Alexander Rupert) Carrington vergrootglas

Lord Carrington was formidable politician, diplomat and World War II veteran. Lord Carrington entered the politics in 1940 and actively participated a long time in political life. Lord Carrington was a former secretary-general of NATO, had held the ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Energy (even if only briefly) and was a life peer in the House of Lords, the House he led in the early sixties. Other public positions of note include service as an officer in World War II, First Lord of Admiralty, UK High Commissioner to Australia, chairman of the Conservative Party and top-level diplomat. In addition to his record in public service, Lord Carrington was director at a number of large companies.

Personal data

Date of birth

June 6th 1919

Date of death

July 10th 2018


Rupert Carington, 5th Baron Carrington (father)

Honourable Sybil Marion Colville (mother)

Iona McClean (spouse)

Three children

Selected honours and distinctions

Knight (and former chancellor) of the Order of the Garter

Knight (and former chancellor) of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George

member of the Order of the Companions of Honour

recipient of the Military Cross

Presidential Medal of Freedom (US)



Sandroyd School

Eton college

Royal Military College Sandhurst

Honorary degrees granted by a number of universities


Political affiliation

Conservative Party

Party-political functions

  • leader of the Conservative party in the House of Lords, from 1963 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1979
  • chairman of the Conservative party, from 1972 to 1974



  • member of the House of Lords, since July 6th 1940
  • joint parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1951 to 1954
  • parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Defence, 1954 to 1956
  • UK High Commissioner to Australia, 1956 to 1959
  • First Lord of the Admiralty, 1959 to 1963
  • minister without portfolio, 1963 to 1964
  • leader of the House of Lords, 1963 to 1964
  • secretary of state for defence, 1970-1974
  • secretary of state for energy, 1974
  • secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs, 1979 to 1982
  • secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988
  • chancellor of the University of Reading, 1992 to 2007
  • chairman or director at a number of companies, including Christie's, Barclays Bank, Schweppes and the Daily Telegraph


Selected additional functions


  • member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (the Privy Council, the Queen's advisory body)
  • member (and former president) of the Pilgrims Society


  • chairman of the Bilderberg conference


Selected political highlights

  • Oversaw the transition of colonial Rhodesia to an independent Zimbabwe
  • In a rare move in British politics, Lord Carrington left office after the Falkland War as his department had failed to foresee the Argentine invasion. An inquiry exonerated him from any blame
  • Is considered to have eased many of the tensions within the NATO Alliance during his tenure as secretary-general. He is said to have done so by toning down ideological differences and doctrinal debates on the political level
  • In 1991 Lord Carrington - on behalf of the European Communities - presided over diplomatic talks on the future of the former Yugoslav Republic, an attempt to prevent a violent break-up between the newly constituted republics. After months of negotiations Serbia ended up opposing formal separation of Yugoslavia, and Lord Carringtons' mission failed


Selected publications

"Reflect on Things Past: the Memoirs of Peter Lord Carrington" (1988, biography)