Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lady Aitken 1926-2021

 _. Lady Aitken, who died 18 February, 2021, aged 94, was the third wife, and widow of the Hon Sir Max Aitken, Bt, Chairman of Beaverbrook Newspapers.

Lady Aitken was Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick 1982-92 [Hon LLD], since when Chancellor Emeritus, and was Chairman of the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

She was born Violet de Trafford, 17 June, 1926, the third daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, 4th Baronet [1891-1971], and his wife the former Hon Cynthia Hilda Evelyn Cadogan [1896-1966], scion of the Earls Cadogan, daughter of Henry Cadogan, styled Viscount Chelsea [1868-1908].

Violet's eldest sister Ann [1918-87], was wife of Derek Parker Bowles, and mother of Brig Andrew Parker Bowles, first husband of the Duchess of Cornwall; another sister,  Mary [1920-2007], married Major-General Sir Francis James Bowes-Lyon, KCVO, cousin of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; and her younger sister, Catherine [born 1928], married the racehorse trainer, Fulke Walwyn.

Violet de Trafford married 1 January, 1951, the Hon [John William] Maxwell Aitken, DFC, DSO [1910-85], the son and heir of the newspaper magnate and politician, William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook [1879-1964]. 

Her husband succeeded his father, 9 June, 1964, as 2nd Baron Beaverbrook and 2nd Baronet, but disclaimed the peerage of life, 12 June, 1964, under the Terms of the 1963 Peerage Act. The baronetcy could not be disclaimed and so Max Aitken was thereafter known as Sir Max Aitken, 2nd Baronet.

Sir Max Aitken, Bt was Chairman of Beaverbrook Newspapers 1968-77, and Life President of the company 1977-85, and was Tory MP for Holborn 1945-50. He died 30 April, 1985.

Lady Aitken leaves a son, Maxwell, born 29 Dec, 1951, who succeeded his father in 1985 as the 3rd Baron Beaverbrook, and a daughter, the Hon Laura Aitken, who was born 18 Nov, 1953.


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