First Lady of the United Kingdom

Jun 18, 2009 | Tags: , , | Category: First Ladies

Samantha Cameron, First Lady of the United Kingdom (wife of Prime Minister David Cameron)

Samantha Cameron, First Lady of the United Kingdom

Samantha Cameron, First Lady of the United Kingdom

Samantha Gwendoline Cameron née Sheffield, (born 18 April 1971) is a British business executive and wife of the Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron.

Until 13 May 2010 she was the creative director of Smythson of Bond Street, a stationery firm. She took on a part time consultancy role within the firm after David Cameron became Prime Minister.

Cameron is the eldest daughter of Sir Reginald Adrian Berkeley Sheffield, 8th Baronet (a landowner and three times a descendant of King Charles II of England) and his first wife Annabel Lucy Veronica Jones. Samantha’s parents married on 11 November 1969 and had two daughters, Samantha and Emily (born 1973), and divorced in 1974. Her mother has been married to William Astor, 4th Viscount Astor, a Minister in John Major’s government, since 14 January 1976, and is now styled as Viscountess Astor. The couple’s children are: Flora Katherine (born 1976), William Waldorf (born 1979) and James Jacob (born 1981).

Samantha grew up on the 300 acre (121 hectare) estate of Normanby Hall, five miles (8 km) north of Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire. Her family also owns a large Yorkshire estate called Sutton Park.

She went to the private School of St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and then took her A levels at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. She did an art foundation at Camberwell College of Arts and then went on to study Fine Art at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England). It was while she was a student there that she met David Cameron through her acquaintance with his sister, Clare Cameron.

Samantha Sheffield and David Cameron married on 1 June 1996 at the Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, East Hendred, Oxfordshire. The couple have had three children: Ivan Reginald Ian (8 April 2002 Hammersmith and Fulham, London – 25 February 2009, Paddington, London); Nancy Gwen (born 19 January 2004, Westminster, London) and Arthur Elwen (born 14 February 2006, Westminster). Ivan was born with a rare combination of cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy and died at the age of six at St Mary’s Hospital, London. They expect their fourth child in September 2010.

Her work as the head of Smythson of Bond Street has recently won her a British Glamour Magazine Award for Best Accessory Designer. She has been noted as turning the company around and establishing it as a fashionable and popular brand. She also worked as a spokesperson for Shiatzy Chen. Two days after her husband became Prime Minister, she announced she was stepping down from her full time role to take on a consultancy role within Smythson’s for two days a week. She said that choice was hers alone and had been made after she discovered she was pregnant again and after what she described as an “understandably difficult year.” The decision was also in part attributed to the death of her first child Ivan the previous year.

During March 2010, the Daily Mail reported that Samantha Cameron may have voted for Tony Blair’s Labour party, and that she might vote for Gordon Brown in the 2010 general election, following comments made by Shadow Arts Minister, Ed Vaizey to Andrew Rawnsley during the making of a documentary for Channel 4. However, a Conservative spokesman issued a statement to blogger Iain Dale, stating that “The Mail on Sunday story is not true. Sam has never voted Labour and never will. She took five weeks off work to campaign for the Tories in Stafford in the 97 election”. Samantha Cameron then issued her own statement “I did not vote for Tony Blair in 1997 and I have never voted Labour”.

Cameron is credited with coining the phrase “There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state”, which has been said several times by David Cameron, including in his victory speech following his victory in the Conservative party leadership election in 2005. This is a reference to Margaret Thatcher’s often misquoted phrase “There is no such thing as society”.

ameron’s maternal great-grandparents were Sir Roderick Jones (a Chairman of Reuters) and the novelist Enid Bagnold. Both her mother and maternal grandmother, Pandora Clifford, married a member of the Astor family (Pandora was the second wife of Michael Astor). Her stepfather is William Astor, 4th Viscount Astor. Her grandfather, Sir William Mount, was MP for South Berkshire, which he inherited from his father, also William Mount. Her cousin is Sir Ferdinand Mount who was head of Margaret Thatcher’s policy unit in the 1980s.