THE former Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and brother of the Duchess of Kent, Sir Marcus Worsley, has died at the age of 87.

His death was announced yesterday by staff at Hovingham Hall, near Malton, the home he shared with his family since 1973 when he returned to the county after serving as an MP for Chelsea.

Sir Marcus, fifth Baronet of Hovingham, died peacefully on Tuesday in the home in which he was born, surrounded by his family, according to a spokeswoman for the Hovingham estate.

She said: “He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. The untimely death of his wife Bridget in 2004 and his son Giles in 2006 shook him deeply, but he was comforted by his profound Christian faith and love and support of his family. He is survived by three children and 12 grandchildren.”

Sir Marcus Worsley was born in 1925, the eldest son of Sir William Worsley and his wife, Joyce.

He was educated at Eton College before joining the Green Howards (1943 to 1947) where he was commissioned as a Lieutenant and was seconded to the Royal West African Frontier Force, serving in India. On leaving the Army he studied Modern History at Oxford graduating in 1949 and then worked for the BBC European Service from 1950 to 1953.

In 1955 he married Bridget Assheton, eldest daughter of the first Lord Clitheroe, of Downham Hall Lancashire. Their first child, William, was born in 1956, followed by Sarah in 1958, Giles in 1961 and Peter in 1963.

In 1959 he was elected as the Conservative MP for Keighley. In 1966 he was elected as MP for Chelsea where he served until 1974.

After the death of his father in 1973, he resigned from being an MP and the family moved permanently to Yorkshire to live at Hovingham Hall, where he was able to pursue his love of music and exploring the countryside.

From 1987 to 1999 he was Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire as his father had been before him. Accompanied by his wife Bridget, he undertook countless functions across the county sharing his abiding interest in the county, its institutions and people.

He oversaw many Royal visits, particularly enjoying that of Her Majesty the Queen and those of his sister, the Duchess of Kent. He took special pride in investitures of the BEM which were carried out at Hovingham Hall.

His funeral service for family and village will be held at All Saints’ Church, Hovingham.

A Memorial Service in York Minster will be held on Thursday, January 31, at 2pm, to which all are welcome.