Earl gives up and CHANGES the way he pronounces the name of his home because no one could understand his pronunciation of Harewood House
- Eighth earl of Harewood, David Lascelles, has given up a centuries-old practice
- He has decided to pronounce the first syllable as ‘hare’ instead of Har-wood
- His father George Lascelles had been ‘stickler’ for the traditional pronunciation
An earl has decided to give up the traditional pronunciation of 18th century Harewood House after the name caused confusion with taxi drivers.
The eighth earl of Harewood, David Lascelles, pictured, has given up a centuries-old practice
The eighth earl of Harewood, David Lascelles, has accepted defeat and has given up a centuries-old practice of removing the letter ‘e’ from the name of his estate.
Pronouncing the name like ‘Har-wood’ has become too difficult, after taxis taking him to the house in the heart of Yorkshire didn’t know where that was.
Lord Harewood’s decision to pronounce the first syllable as ‘hare’ is very different from the views of his father George Lascelles, reports The Times.
He had been an ‘absolute stickler’ for the traditional pronunciation and even the present earl has been apprehensive about accepting the letter should be sounded.
Jane Marriott, director of the trust governing the grade I listed house and grounds, said that if you are out in Leeds and ‘hop in a taxi you would have to ask for Harewood’.
She added: ‘We have done an enormous amount of work to reimagine what a country house is in the 21st century.
‘And I did not want the first conversation I have with everybody to be about how you pronounce it.’
The earl has decided to give up the traditional pronunciation of 18th century Harewood House (pictured) after the name caused confusion with taxi drivers
She said when she first met the seventh earl he had made his dedication to ‘Harwood’ clear, but the eighth was more ‘relaxed about his new guise’.
The 18th century house was built largely by profits from the slave trade and the decision to change the pronunciation was part of the approach to the family’s past.
Ms Marriott added that the earl and countess have been ‘thoughtful, bold and brave’ by talking openly about the history and wealth the house was built from.
She added it and other country house estates built at least in part from slave-trading profits still ‘had a lot to do’.
The seventh earl, George Lascelles, (pictured) had been an ‘absolute stickler’ for the traditional pronunciation
Mispronouncing stately homes
- Princess Diana’s family home Althorp, in Northamptonshire, should be pronounced all-trup. The public pronunciation often annoyed the Spencers.
- Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, is pronounced to rhyme with ‘fever’.
- Cholmondeley estate, Cheshire, has proven a bafflement since Robert de Cholmondeley became the first lord in 1200. It’s chum-lee.
- Beaulieu Palace House, Hampshire, has long been pronounced bwoo-ley, despite its French origin.