Lady Mary Wilson dies, aged 102

June 7, 2018

Lady Mary Wilson, widow of former prime minister Harold Wilson, has died at the age of 102. 

 

Lady Wilson owned a bungalow on St Mary's and was a regular visitor to Scilly both with her husband and alone, most recently last year. A memorial service is planned on the islands. 

 

She died at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after a stroke. 

 

Titled Baroness Wilson of Rievaulx, she was the oldest living spouse of a prime minister and had remained at her flat in Westminster since Harold's  death in 1995. He is buried in Old Town Churchyard. 

 

Lady Wilson was born in Diss in Norfolk in 1916. She was working as a shorthand typist in a soap factory on the Wirral when she met Harold at a tennis club in 1934. He was about to start at Oxford University. The couple went on to have sons Giles and Robin. 

 

Although she was portrayed in Private Eye magazine’s satirical 'Mrs Wilson’s Diary' as a middle-class suburban housewife, she was known to be independent, famously opposing Britain entering the EU and supporting unilateral nuclear disarmament, both contrary to the views of her husband. 

 

She was an accomplished poet and published two volumes of poetry in the 1970s, the first of which sold 75,000 copies. 

 

There will be a private family funeral but memorial services are reportedly planned in London and on Scilly. 

 

Photo of Lady Mary Wilson on Scilly in 1963. Via Alamy.

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