Cardiff-born businessman Lord David Rowe-Beddoe dies aged 85

Lord David Rowe-Beddoe
Lord David Rowe-Beddoe has died at the age of 85

The first chairman of Wales Millennium Centre, Lord Rowe-Beddoe, has died aged 85.

The Cardiff-born businessman was friends with the King, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and was educated at Cambridge before beginning his career at banknote maker De La Rue.

He later lived in New York and France, taking senior posts at Revlon and Morgan Stanley.

His death was announced in the House of Lords just after 15:00 GMT.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the film set of "The Sandpiper" in 1965.
Lord Rowe-Beddoe was friends with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Lord Rowe-Beddoe chaired the Welsh Development Agency from 1993 and was knighted in 2000.

He also helped Wales Millennium Centre become a success from a fragile start and held other roles with the UK Statistics Authority.

He was also formerly chairman of Cardiff Airport.

He held honorary degrees and fellowships from most Welsh universities.

Paying tribute on X, formerly known as Twitter, Lord Hain called him "a stalwart" and a "champion of Wales and everything Welsh".

Former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns called Lord Rowe-Beddoe a "friend", "mentor" and "champion of Wales".

The Wales Millennium Centre said he was "essential" in its founding.

"He had a lifelong passion for theatre and music and leaves a profound legacy to the arts in Wales that will be felt for many years to come," it said.

The Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, said he was "a man of enormous talent and energy and was motivated by his own deep personal faith".

Lord Rowe-Beddoe had three daughters with his first wife, and is survived by his second wife, Madeleine.