Meet 'Rock God' Duke who hosted Prince Harry for wild pool party

At home with the ‘Rock God’ Duke! Harry Worcester, 71, throws open the doors of Badminton House where he prefers raving to hunting and hosted Prince Harry for a wild pool party (and he even had a tryst with Jerry Hall)

  • The aristocrat has written a new memoir called ‘The Unlikely Duke’
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He might live in one of most lavish estates in the country and boasts a title that dates back to the 17th Century – but Harry Worcester isn’t your ‘normal’ aristocrat by any means.

The father-of-three, 71, who lives in Badminton House in Gloucestershire, officially became the Duke of Beaufort in 2017 when his father passed away at the age of 89.

But before this, Harry – who goes by the nickname ‘Bunter’ – gained a reputation for his wild partying and has been the lead singer of multiple rock bands over the years.

Six years into his Dukedom, Harry has been open about still preferring Ibiza raves to countryside hunts and opens up about tryst with Jerry Hall in the 1980s in his new memoir ‘The Unlikely Duke’.

The self-styled ‘Rock God’ aristocrat – who married second wife Georgia Powell in 2018 – has been the lead singer of Listening Device, who have previously opened for Eric Clapton and Jools Holland, since 2005 and still travels around the UK with his band.

The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort (pictured in the grounds of their private estate) have posed for the latest issue of Tatler

Pictured: Badminton House, the 116-room where Harry Beaufort lives with his second wife Georgia Powells

In a new interview with Tatler to promote his book, Harry said he is ‘very much enjoying running the show’ at Badminton but admitted: ‘I’m not quite as knowledgeable about the house, perhaps, as I should be.’

Here FEMAIL takes a look back at Harry’s most rock ‘n’ roll moments – from drug-fuelled parties as a teenager to his Badminton House raves.

Born in May 1952, Henry John FitzRoy Somerset was the eldest son of 11th Duke of Beaufort and Lady Caroline Thynne. The couple went on to have their daughter Lady Anne and two younger sons Lord Edward and Lord John.

The Duke, who has an estimated £315m fortune, attended Eton like his father before him – but he admits in his book that he wasn’t sure if he had passed the entrance exam.

He wrote: ‘As a middle-ranking student, I was expected to achieve this – but in fact, I only just scraped in […]

‘It was a relief that I had passed as it was assumed that someone of my background would go there and it would have been something of a failure not to achieve this.’ 

Harry describes his time at boarding school as an ‘adventure’ but says he was drawn into ‘slobbish teenage rebellion’ as he ‘lacked any sporting prowess’.

The Duke details taking up smoking as a teen and walking into Windsor to meet local girls.  

Elsewhere in the book, the father-of-three explains how the actor Peter Sellers – who played Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies – introduced him to marijuana for the first time when he was visiting Badminton House for the weekend.  

The Duke of Beaufort (pictured in his home) has been the lead singer of several bands since he was 16 and currently fronts The Listening Device

As a student at the Royal Agricultural College in Gloucestershire, Harry said he tried cocaine for the first time and detailed how it gave him the confidence to ‘overcome shyness’ he felt around older students, which he found ‘hard to resist’. 

In an excerpt of the memoir, which appeared in the Mail on Sunday in October, Harry wrote: ‘I was a late developer when it came to girls, cursed with a total inability to communicate with them. 

‘As a teenager, I found parties a nightmare of awkwardness as I dragged some unfortunate female on to the dancefloor, and then lumbered around doing something resembling a waltz while making extremely stilted conversation.;

Harry founded his first band when he was just 16 years old and has been the lead singer of three different groups over the years. 

In the Eighties, there was his band of blue-bloods, The Business Connection, with the Duke of Rutland’s daughter Lady Teresa Manners on lead vocals.

Around this time, Harry claims to have had a one-night stand with American model Jerry Hall during one of her break-ups from Mick Jagger.

After meeting at a friend’s 21st birthday party in Gloucestershire, Harry says he was delighted when Jerry – who he describes as ‘beautiful, flirtatious and flirty’ – got in touch six months later to ask him out for dinner.

But after hearing that Harry had told his friends about their night of passion, Jerry is quoted as saying: ‘If that boy’s c*** was as big as his mouth, he’d be one hell of a lay.’

In a new interview with Tatler to promote his book, Harry (pictured) said he is ‘very much enjoying running the show’ at Badminton but admitted: ‘I’m not quite as knowledgeable about the house, perhaps, as I should be’

Harry (pictured during a performance) sings with seven-piece progressive rock band The Listening Device, described by Jools Holland as a ‘cross between Ray Charles and Nick Cave’.

Speaking to The Times last month, Harry described how Jerry is ‘still a friend’ and said he had asked her permission if he could include the anecdote. He later admitted that she didn’t reply.

After leaving education, Bunter did not have a clear career path in mind – and took no interest in the army, like his father who took a commission with the Coldstream Guards.

According to the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden, there was a long-standing joke about visits to the conservatory at Badminton when Harry was still a bachelor. 

He delighted in taking female guests there and then telling them they couldn’t leave unless they removed their knickers. 

Currently, Harry sings with seven-piece progressive rock band The Listening Device, described by Jools Holland as a ‘cross between Ray Charles and Nick Cave’. 

Elsewhere in his memoir, Harry explains how him and his friends once drunkenly took the wheel of a tourist bus in London and crashed it into parked cars.

He told The Times: ‘Nowadays, I think you you probably go to jail for that.’ 

‘Flirtatious’: Harry Beaufort with Tracy Ward. They divorced in 2018 after nearly 30 years of marriage

Pictured: Harry Beaufort’s ex-wife Tracy Ward. The couple married in 1987 but divorced in 2018 

In 1987, Harry married Tracy Louise Ward – who was the sister of actress Rachel Ward – and the couple went on to have three children, Henry Fitzroy Somerset, Lady Isabella and Lord Alexander.

Much admired for her tiny skirts, hard partying and dating of disreputable Old Etonians, she was dubbed Tearaway Tracy by the tabloids. At 17, she posed nude for photographer Norman Parkinson. 

In his book, the Duke describes how he was drawn to his ex-wife’s ‘wonderful free spirit’. 

In 1989, Tracy began volunteering for Friends of the Earth and later set up the campaigning group Farms Not Factories. 

She later travelled the world to make versions in 21 languages of her film Pig Business, exposing the pig factory farming scandal worldwide.

Pictured: Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall in London in 1983. Harry claims in his memoir that he had a one night stand with the model during one of their break-ups

The father-of-three (pictured) , 71, who lives in Badminton House in Gloucestershire, officially became the Duke of Beaufort in 2017 when his father passed away at the age of 89

But as Tracy’s passionate environmental work became increasingly busy, the Duke says he became increasingly ‘bored’.

For a time, he was close to the beautiful heiress of a French perfume house and friends toyed with the possibility of a future union between this Tory-supporting landowner and a sophisticated Europhile. 

In 2013, Tracy – who had been dubbed the ‘militant marchioness’ – said of their separate lives: ‘We are certainly different — he lives in the moment, while I am more cerebral.

‘But we live in a throwaway society that simply buys new if something is not perfect.

‘If the family unit is mendable, I believe it is best if partners stay together. That way, the children have maximum access to two loving parents, undiluted by either finding another partner.

‘But Harry doesn’t agree, so we will go our own merry ways.’

The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort pictured in London in 2019. To celebrate their marriage the previous year, the couple hosted a ‘wedding rave’ for 400 guests

In 2018, Tracy and Harry divorced – and he went on to marry Georgia Powell, the granddaughter of novelist Anthony Powell, the same year.

The Duke credits his second wife for her ‘guidance and love’ in helping him to write his memoirs.

In 2019, Georgia invited US Vogue to do a photoshoot at Badminton House and joked that she was ‘finally’ a housewife.

The couple live in the grounds of Badminton House, which boasts 116 rooms and is situated in a 52,000-acre private estate.

What’s more, the Beaufort family have long had ties to the Royals – as Badminton is just a few miles from King Charles’ Highgrove House. 

The tenth duke, who founded the horse trials in 1949, was Master of the Horse for 42 years, serving both the Queen and her father, George VI. During World War II, Queen Mary, whose niece was the Duchess of Beaufort, lived at Badminton. 

George VI attended the 11th duke’s wedding in 1950, and when Bunter married in 1987, King Charles and Princess Diana as well as the Duke and Duchess of York were guests. Princess Anne and her daughter Zara have been regular competitors at Badminton Horse Trials.

And, of course, the Beaufort Hunt played a central role in the backdrop to the romance between the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Pictured: Prince Harry with friends outside The Beaufort Polo Club in the early 2000s. In his book, the Duke details how the royal pushed fully-clothed girls in the pool at one of his parties

It was as members of the green-coated pack that the two picked up the threads of their relationship after Charles’s marriage to Diana began to unravel and, safe among fellow huntsmen, were able to conduct their affair.

In the book, Harry details how a 16-year-old Prince Harry attended the Duke’s niece’s 18th birthday party at Badminton – and began pushing fully-clothed girls into the pool.

He explained: ‘One of the guests was Prince Harry, 16 at the time, who’d come over from Highgrove — about five miles from Badminton, our family estate in Gloucestershire. Initially he seemed to blend in quite well, but he suddenly became possessed, lifted a girl over his shoulder, walked over to the swimming pool and hurled her in.

‘There was a predictable outburst of laughter from the other guests and Harry, pleased with this reaction, continued to indulge himself by repeating the performance with several other girls, one after another.

‘There seemed to be a law of diminishing returns in terms of audience response, but relentlessly he kept on with his mission; he rather reminded me of a man picking up sacks of coal and chucking them on to the back of a lorry.

‘The problem was that none of the girls had brought other clothes to change into and, had Harry’s performance continued, the party would have been ruined.

‘A bit overawed by his royal status, I was rather slow to stop him, so it was lucky that Steve — butler to my father, the Duke of Beaufort — was also at the party. In no uncertain terms, Steve told Harry to stop at once.’

Bunter’s father, David Somerset, the late duke, was also married twice. His first wife and the mother of all four of his children, Lady Caroline Thynne, died in 1995 and the duke remarried in 2000. His bride Miranda Morley, now 70, a landscape gardener and daughter of an Army officer, is only five years older than her stepson Bunter.

Describing how he differs from other aristocrats, Harry told Tatler: ‘I suppose it’s because I’m not just shooting pheasants all the time… and then [there are] the music, the parties and all that sort of stuff.’

Last year, the couple threw a ‘Rave to the Grave’ to celebrate Harry’s 70th birthday – as well as their ‘wedding rave’ which was attended by 400 people in 2018. 

Discussing his Dukedom, Harry wrote: ‘My father died in 2017 and I’m now the unlikely 12th Duke of Beaufort. Unlikely, because my father, the 11th Duke, was the first cousin twice removed of the 10th Duke. (It’s only because the 10th was childless that he inherited the title and estate.)’ 

In 2013, Harry’s younger brother Lord Edward Somerset was jailed after admitting to beating his wife Caroline over a 22-year period.

Harry told The Times: ‘He’s sort of now on a level. He’s living a sensible life.’

See the full feature in the January issue of Tatler available via digital download and on newsstands from Thursday 7 December.

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