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Lord Leicester of Holkham Hall dies at the age of 78

PUBLISHED: 09:34 26 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:53 26 April 2015

Lord Leicester pictured two weeks ago, declaring his support for UKIP in Holkham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Lord Leicester pictured two weeks ago, declaring his support for UKIP in Holkham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

In a statement today, the Holkham Estate said: “The 7th Earl of Leicester died in the early hours of Saturday, April 25.”

The statement adds: “Lady Leicester and all his children were with him at his bedside.

“Lord Leicester took over the running of Holkham in 1973 and he transformed the estate as well as playing an important role in public life both nationally and locally.

“Lord Leicester will be sorely missed by all who knew him and worked for him over the years. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Born on May 6, 1936, Lord Leicester oversaw the restoration of Holkham Hall, built by Sir Edward Coke, in the 1750s.

He handed over the running of the estate to his son Viscount Coke on his retirement, in 2005 - after transforming the hall and its surrounding estate into a major tourist attraction.

He played a prominent part in public life in Norfolk. One of his many roles was president of Wells RNLI.

“During his 37 years of office he always placed a high priority on the needs of the Station and showed a great respect for the crew and volunteers,” said a statement from Wells RNLI station.

“He has been actively involved in helping to bring the new Shannon Lifeboat to Wells and we have been honoured to count him amongst our number. We are saddened at his passing and our thoughts are with his family.”

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