Alastair Boyd, 7th Baron Kilmarnock
Boyd was born into an aristocratic British family, and served as a pageboy at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was educated at Bradfield College and King's College, Cambridge and was commissioned into the Irish Guards in 1946. He served with them until 1948, including a spell in Palestine.
Boyd married Diana Mary Gibson in 1954 but the marriage was dissolved in 1970. Gibson died in 1975. He married for a second time, in 1977. His new wife, Hilary Bardwell ("Hilly"), had been married twice before: first to Kingsley Amis (with whom she had three children: Philip Amis, the novelist Martin Amis, and Sally Amis), and later to D. R. Shackleton Bailey. Boyd and Bardwell had one son, James Charles Edward Boyd, known as "Jaime," who was born in 1972. After the end of Kingsley Amis's second marriage, he came to live with Lord Kilmarnock and his ex-wife Hilly.
As Boyd's only son was born before his parents' marriage, the title of Baron Kilmarnock was inherited by Boyd's younger brother, Robin Jordan Boyd (b. 1941), who succeeded to the peerage in 2009. He has two sons, Simon John Boyd, born 1978, and Mark Julian Boyd, born 1981. The heir apparent is the elder of his two sons, Simon John Boyd, who has a son, Lucian Michael Boyd (born 2007).
After inheriting his father's title in 1975, he took his seat in the House of Lords, eventually joining the Social Democratic Party. He served as the party's chief whip in the Lords from 1983 to 1986. He was the deputy leader of the SDP Peers from 1986–87, and served as the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Aids from 1987-96.
His publications include Sabbatical Year (1958); The Road from Ronda (1969); The Companion Guide to Madrid and Central Spain (1974); The Essence of Catalonia (1988); The Sierras of the South (1992); The Social Market and the State (1999); and Rosemary: A Memoir (2005).
His essay, The Quest (2006), on the paintings of his friend Miles Richmond (1922–2008), appeared in catalogues that accompanied exhibitions by Richmond at the Convento de Santo Domingo, Ronda (2006) and the Galeria Italcable, Málaga (2008). Richmond had arrived at Ronda in 1954 to work beside his teacher, David Bomberg, in Bomberg's last years. He and Boyd first met at Ronda in 1957, when Richmond and his wife Susanna, both painters, introduced Boyd and Diana to the 'pleasure and practicability of getting around the countryside on horseback'.
- Obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 20 March 2009
- "Lord Kilmarnock: Writer and politician who also helped care for Kingsley Amis in the novelist's later years". The Independent. 27 March 2009.
- The Quest. Miles Richmond, Painter[permanent dead link]
- The Times obituary
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Debrett's Peerage