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Click on the link for Frank Underwood, the Netflix version of this character.

Early life

Urquhart was from a wealthy family. At age 18 he joined the British Army and was stationed in Cyprus for three years. After leaving the Armed Forces he taught Renaissance Italian History at Oxford University. He married Elizabeth McCullough in 1960.

Political career

At an unknown time Urquhart joined the Conservative Party and became a Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire in the mid 70s, eventually rising to become Chief Government Whip in 1987.

House of Cards

After Margaret Thatcher's resignation in 1990, Urquhart hoped to be promoted to become Foreign Secretary by her successor, Henry Collingridge. However, Collingridge believes a reshuffle would worsen the party's popularity, and eschews Urquhart's hopes of high office. A furious Urquhart conspires to bring down Collingridge and replace him as Prime Minister.

Prime Minister

To Play the King

Shortly after Urquhart ascends to the premiership, the Queen dies and the King is promptly crowned. At this point, Urquhart feels as if he is at an anti-climax, until the new King opposes Urquhart's policies, and campaigns for the opposition. After Francis wins the next election the King is forced to abdicate. Under Urquhart's premiership homelessness begins to rise and Urquhart's solution is to bring back national service.

The Final Cut

Urquhart looks set to have a longer premiership than Thatcher, but his unpopularity and his dark past might prevent this from happening. Francis is aware that no Prime Minister can rule forever, but wants to leave a legacy by reuniting Cyprus. His hardline maneuvering in the Cyprus settlement leads to his downfall.


Francis brought back national service, over 30 years after after it was abolished. He also abolished Arts Council.


Francis is very ambitious and cruel. He will do anything in order to achieve his goals. Francis thrives on being challenged, evidenced after becoming Prime Minister and becoming depressed from the lack adversity. However he does feel guilt for his murders such as the men he killed in Cyprus and having flashbacks decades later. But when in the final cut Cypriot civilians are killed he shifts the blame onto others.


  • Some fans have speculated FU's premiership came to an end on 29 July 2003. This is under the assumption he became Prime Minister on 1 January 1992 (as he mentioned taking office was a "New Year's present" in House of Cards) and also the fact he was Prime Minister longer than Margaret Thatcher by a day (the latter's tenure lasted 11 years 209 days).
  • Check UK USA similarities to see how similar and different Urquhart and Underwood are.


House of Cards (Novel)

To Play the King

The Final Cut

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