Historically, Cumberland Lodge was home to the Rangers of the Great Park, including Prince Christian and Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria in the late 19th century.
The Lodge takes its name from William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and second son of King George II, who took up the Rangership in 1746. The final private occupant of the Lodge was Lord FitzAlan of Derwent, last Viceroy of a united Ireland under British rule, who was never Ranger, but he lived at the Lodge from 1924 until his death in 1947.
At that point, King George VI broke with tradition and Cumberland Lodge was granted to a new educational foundation, established by Amy Buller, who had recently published her groundbreaking book, Darkness over Germany, about the rise of Nazi sentiments amongst students and academics in Germany in the late 1930s. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was Patron of the organisation, which was originally called the St Catharine’s Foundation and later became The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Foundation of St Catharine.
This was the basis for the present day Cumberland Lodge, which is honoured to call Queen Elizabeth II its patron.
An interactive timeline of our history and heritage, including the history of the Lodge as a royal residence, its establishment as an educational foundation in 1947, and key events from our first 70 years, is available here. It was produced to mark our 70th anniversary in 2017; in 2022, we mark our 75th.
A full written history of Cumberland Lodge can be downloaded from this webpage.
Principals and Chief Executives
The following is a list of Principals of Cumberland Lodge, past and present. In April 2019, the role changed to Chief Executive.
- Sir Walter Moberly (1948-55)
- Tom Finnegan (1957-58)
- Anthony Bland (1964-66)
- Ronald McCallum (1967-71)
- Geoffrey Goodwin (1971-72)
- Walter James (1974-82)
- Lord Vaizey of Greenwich (1982-84)
- Tim Slack (1985-95)
- Alastair Niven (2001-13)
- Edmund Newell (2013 - )