Beginning her career in the 1970s, Cawston worked as an assistant to the Liberal front bench spokesman for 10 years before moving on to become an account director at Good Relations.
Cawston bought Harcourt in 1989, building up the business over a 25-year period. The firm’s client list included high-profile names such as the Campbell Soup Company, HSBC, Sport England, Pizza Hut and Weight Watchers.
Away from PR, she was chairman of governors at Cobham Hall, her old school, served as commissioner of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, and was vice-chairman of Governors of St David’s School.
In a tribute to Cawston, Matthew Orman, MD of Harcourt Public Affairs, wrote: "Harcourt was an enormous and justifiable source of pride for Caroline, and I was deeply flattered when she asked me to take the business over at the start of this year. I have known Caroline for over ten years during which time she has been a constant source of wisdom, humour and perspective on politics and beyond.
"I am sure that many of those who knew and worked with Caroline will cite her fierce integrity as the foundations of her success. This integrity was borne of a great respect for the institutions and personalities of Westminster and was matched by an encyclopedic knowledge of its infinite technicalities and eccentricities."