Born in 1951, the son of Royal Navy commander and film director George Curzon. Lord Howe was educated at Rugby School and Christ church, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in Literae Humaniores, winning the Chancellor’s prize for Latin verse in 1973.
After Oxford, Howe joined Barclays Bank and served in a number of managerial posts in London and overseas. However he was forced to leave banking to concentrate on running the family estate and farm at Penn in south Buckinghamshire. In 1984, he succeeded his second cousin as 7th Earl Howe and entered the House of Lords.
In 1991, Howe became a Lord in waiting with responsibilities, for transport, employment, defence and the environment. Following the 1993 general election he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and in 1995, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, a post he relinquished following Labour’s landslide victory at the 1997 general election.
As the opposition spokesman for Health and Social Services in the Lords between 1997 and 2010, Howe was unique in being the only member of the Conservative Party to shadow the same portfolio throughout the thirteen years of opposition. Following the passage of the House of Lords Act in 1999, Howe was elected to remain as the sixth most popular Conservative Hereditary peer.
Aside from frontbench responsibilities, his special interests include penal affairs and agriculture. He is a member of the all- party groups on penal affairs, abuse investigations, pharmaceuticals, adoption, mental health and epilepsy.
Following the resignation of Lord Strathclyde in January 2013, Earl Howe became the longest continuously serving Conservative frontbencher.
The Earldom of Howe was created for Richard Curzon-Howe, 2nd Viscount Curzon in 1821. From 1829 to 1830, he was a Tory Lord of the Bedchamber to George IV and then Lord Chamberlain to the Queen from 1830 to 1831 and again from 1834 to 1837.
However his position as an extreme Tory, and his strong opposition the Reform Act of 1832 made him unacceptable in Government circles and Lord Grey insisted on his dismissal much to the distress of Queen Caroline.
Curzon-Howe was described by a biographer of William IV as being ‘a man whose vanity and arrogance should have made him insufferable, yet who clearly possessed personal charm great enough to make those who knew him overlook his faults.’
The current Earl Howe lives at the family home, Penn House in Buckinghamshire, with his wife and five children. The heir to the Earldom is Lord Howe’s only son Thomas, Viscount Curzon.