Robert Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford

For other people with the same name, see Robert Lindsay (disambiguation).
The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres

Born Robert Alexander Lindsay
(1927-03-05) 5 March 1927
Nationality  United Kingdom
Residence Balcarres House, Fife
Spouse(s) Ruth, Lady Crawford & Balcarres (née Meyer-Bechtler)
Parents David, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, KT, GBE, DL;
Mary, Countess of Crawford and Balcarres, 3rd dau of Lord Richard Cavendish, CB, CMG and Lady Moyra (née Beauclerk)
Occupation Member of the House of Lords
The Star of the Thistle

Robert Alexander Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford and 12th Earl of Balcarres, KT, GCVO, PC, DL (born 5 March 1927), styled Lord Balniel between 1940 and 1975, is a Scottish hereditary peer and Conservative politician.

The elder son of the 28th Earl of Crawford and 11th Earl of Balcarres, he succeeded to the family titles in 1975. Lord Crawford and Balcarres is Premier Earl of Scotland and Chief of Clan Lindsay.

Early years

Eton College Chapel

Lindsay was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served with the Grenadier Guards from 1945-49, including in the Middle East towards the end of the British Mandate. He was Honorary Attaché at the British Embassy in Paris, later joining the Conservative Research Department where he served as Secretary to several Parliamentary Committees.

Political career

Lord Balniel was Conservative Member of Parliament for Hertford from 1955 to 1974, and for Welwyn and Hatfield from February to September 1974. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1955-57, and to the Minister of Housing and Local Government from 1957-60. He was Opposition front-bench spokesman for Health and Social Security from 1967-70. In the Heath Government, he served as Minister of State for Defence from 1970-72 and for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 1972-74.

In the October 1974 general election, Lord Balniel lost his seat to Labour's Helene Hayman. On 24 January 1975 he was created a Life Peer as Baron Balniel, of Pitcorthie in the County of Fife, being introduced as such in the House of Lords. He inherited the earldoms from his father on 13 December 1975. Following the House of Lords Act 1999, which expelled most hereditary peers from the Upper House, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres has been able to continue sitting in the House of Lords in right of his Life Barony.


Lord Crawford was appointed First Crown Estate Commissioner from 1980-85,[1] and served as Chairman of the National Association for Mental Health from 1963-70, of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland from 1976-83, of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland from 1985-95, and of the National Library of Scotland from 1990 until 2000.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1972 and a Knight of the Thistle in 1996. After the death of Simon Ramsay, 16th Earl of Dalhousie in 1992, he became Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, serving in the role until her death in 2002. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the Special Honours List published after The Queen Mother's death.[2]

Personal life

Crawford married Ruth Meyer-Bechtler on 27 December 1949: they have four children including Anthony, Lord Balniel, heir apparent to the earldoms and other titles, Lady Bettina Drummond-Hay, The Hon. Alexander Lindsay Endure Pursuivant, and Lady Iona Mackworth-Young (daughter in law of Sqn Ldr Sir Robin Christopher Mackworth-Young).

Crawford has held a number of business appointments, including as Director of the National Westminster Bank from 1975-88.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

GCVO insignia

Titles and styles



The seize quartiers of Lord Crawford and Balcarres, KT.[4]


See also


  1. Home Office -- London Gazette
  2. London Gazette, 5 August 2002, Supplement #1
  3. Privy Council of the United Kingdom website,; accessed 2 June 2016.
  4. Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 950 (CRAWFORD and BALCARRES, E). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Derek Walker-Smith
Member of Parliament
for Hertford

1955February 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Welwyn and Hatfield

February 1974October 1974
Succeeded by
Helene Hayman
Court offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Dalhousie
Lord Chamberlain
to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

End of office
Death of HM Queen Elizabeth,
The Queen Mother
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Alexander Lindsay

Earl of Crawford


Earl of Balcarres

Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation
Baron Balniel

Life Peerage
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