Nicknamed “Loulou” he was the only surviving son of Sir William Harcourt. He served as his father’s private secretary when Sir William was Home Secretary in the 1880s and became a partisan if not always successful promoter of his father’s career. Entering parliament in the year of his father’s death, he achieved ministerial office the following year as First Commissioner for Works and in 1910 he was promoted to become Colonial Secretary. He lost office with the fall of the Asquith coalition and never held office again. The city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria is named after him.