Alan Watson, Baron Watson of Richmond
|The Right Honourable|
The Lord Watson of Richmond
The Lord Watson of Richmond CBE
3 February 1941|
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
|Relatives||Stephen Watson, Son|
|Residence||Richmond, United Kingdom|
|Education||University of Cambridge|
Early life and education
Lord Watson of Richmond is the son of the Rev. John William Watson and Edna Mary Peters. He was educated at the Diocesan College, Cape Town in South Africa and Kingswood School in Bath. He was an Open Scholar in history at Jesus College, Cambridge 1959, a State Scholar 1959 and was awarded an MA in 1963. He was the Vice-President of the Cambridge Union.
Watson's German-born wife Karen is an artist: they have two sons, Stephen and Martin.
Lord Watson joined the BBC after graduating from Cambridge University in 1963, and later became a regular presenter for The Money Programme on BBC2 and Panorama on BBC1. He also reported on LWTV, Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and wrote and presented award-winning documentaries over many years.
In politics, Lord Watson's notable role was as President of the Liberal Party. He was appointed CBE in 1985 and, in 1999, was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Watson of Richmond, of Richmond in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. He is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union.
He stood for election four times: as the Liberal candidate for Richmond in the general elections of October 1974 and 1979, and as the Liberal candidate (SDP-Liberal Alliance) for Richmond and Barnes in the general elections of 1983 and 1987. On all four occasions, he came in second place, losing to the Conservatives.
|Party political offices|
| President of the Liberal Party
Outside of the United Kingdom, Lord Watson is Chair of the Albanian British Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the European Parliament's High Level Group on Romania. His political interests are the "worldwide use of English, EU enlargement and transatlantic relationship".
Lord Watson is Chairman of CTN Communications, a creative communications agency based on St Martin's Lane in central London. He advises the leaders of major UK and international companies on their communications, with clients including BP, BAE Systems and Tesco.
- Chairman, The Council of Commonwealth Societies
- Chairman, The European Movement UK
- Chairman, The Father Thames Trust
- Chairman, The Arcadia Advisory Board
- British Chairman, Königswinter Anglo-German Conference
- President, British-German Association
- Co-Chair, Jamestown 1607-2007 British Committee
- Non-Executive Chairman, Raisin Social (a wine importer)
- Member, The Executive Committee of the Pilgrims Society
- Member, The Prince of Wales Business Leaders' Forum
- Patron, The Richmond Society
- Patron, Museum of Richmond
- Patron, The Richmond in Europe Association
- International Chairman Emeritus, The English-Speaking Union
- Chairman Emeritus, Royal Television Society
- Former Executive Board Member, UNICEF UK
- President, The European-Atlantic Movement (TEAM)
Positions at educational institutions
Lord Watson holds a range of visiting and honorary posts at universities in the United Kingdom and abroad.
- High Steward, Cambridge University
- Visiting Fellow, Oriel College, Oxford University
- Honorary Fellow, Jesus College, Cambridge
- Chairman, Cambridge University Chemistry Advisory Board
- Life Patron, Cambridge's Churchill Archives Centre
- Chairman, The Cambridge Foundation
- Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham
- Trustee, The American International University in London
- Former Chairman, Governors at Westminster College, Oxford
- President, The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education
Europe at Risk
The Germans: Who Are They Now?
Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe
Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe is a collection of 17 essays on the personalities who have shaped modern Europe, for which Lord Watson contributed the essay entitled Thatcher and Kohl: Old Rivalries Revisited. The book was published in 1996, and edited by Martyn Bond, Julie Smith and William Wallace.
Jamestown: The Voyage of English
Published in 2007, Jamestown: The Voyage of English is an exploration of the global significance of the arrival of the Godspeed, the Susan Constant and the Discovery on America's East Coast in 1607. These three ships carried the ideas and the language which would shape the modern world. Lord Watson tells the story of a precarious venture that nearly failed. But it succeeded against the odds, planting the seeds of representative government, capitalism and the rule of law. These ideas were expressed in a language which had just reached a peak of power and vitality – the English of Shakespeare, Tyndale and Cranmer's Prayer Book. The year 1607 marks the start of the voyage of English from the language of 4 million inhabitants of the British Isles to its role as today's working language of the global village used by almost 2 billion people world-wide.
The Queen and the USA
The Queen and the USA is a non-fiction book published in March 2012 by Dementi Milestone Publishing. During 2012, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her role as Queen of the United Kingdom. This book explores and celebrates the special relationship between the American and British people during this period, and honours Queen Elizabeth II for her role and contribution to a friendship recognised throughout the world. Co-authored by Horace Edward "Chip" Mann, the book is highly visual, and includes photographs of the Queen with twelve US Presidents.
Churchill's Legacy, Two Speeches to Save the World
Published in 2016, Churchill's Legacy, Two Speeches to Save the World is a non-fiction book published in September 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc to mark the 70th anniversary of Churchill's speeches in 1946, first in March in Fulton, Missouri, often known as the Iron Curtain speech, and then in September in Zurich, Switzerland, often known as the United States of Europe speech.
Honours and awards
Below is a list of Lord Watson's most notable awards. For educational honours, please see the above section, Positions at Educational Institutions.
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1985
- Federal Cross of Merit (Germany), 1995 (for his "significant and enduring contribution" to understanding between Germany and Britain)
- Grand Cross of Merit (Germany), 2001
- Commander's Grand Cross of the Romanian Order of Merit, 2004
- Churchill Medal, 2005
- The Loyola Schools Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of English by Manila University, 2005
- Knights Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit, 2007
- "Biography". The Rt. Hon Lord Watson of Richmond CBE. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Alan Watson". Liberal Democrats. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Lady Karen Watson". Lady Karen Watson. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Some votes are more equal than others". The Reality Gap. 2013-11-04. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04.
- "Labour's Total Collapse in South Underlines Regional Divisions". Glasgow Herald. 11 June 1983. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- "British Universities Film and Video Council - Alan Watson". British Universities Film and Video Council. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- "Lord Watson of Richmond". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Welcome to Sir Trevor McDonald OBE who joins our distinguished group of Patrons: Lord Attenborough of Richmond, Rachel Dickson MBE, Bamber Gascoigne and Lord Watson of Richmond upon Thames CBE" (PDF). The Richmond Society Quarterly Newsletter (236). Winter 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2013.
- "The History of the Founding of the Museum of Richmond". Museum of Richmond. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "Lord Watson of Richmond". Lords. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Watson, Alan (1972-03-01). Europe at Risk. George G.Harrap & Co Ltd. ISBN 9780245506581.
- Watson, Alan (1992). The Germans: Who are They Now?. Edition Q. ISBN 9780867152685.
- Wallace, William (1996). Eminent Europeans: personalities who shaped contemporary Europe. Greycoat Press. ISBN 9781899908004.
- Watson, Alan (2007-06-11). Jamestown: The Voyage of English. U.K.: Artesian Publishing LLP. ISBN 9780955116414.
- Richmond, Lord Watson Of; Mann, Horace Edward (2012-04-01). The Queen and the USA. Dementi Milestone Publishing. ISBN 9780983834892.
- "The Lord Watson of Richmond, CBE". The Queen and the U.S.A. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.