David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie

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The Earl of Airlie

Personal details
Born (1926-05-17) 17 May 1926 (age 92)
Westminster, London, England
Spouse(s)Virginia Fortune Ryan
ChildrenLady Doune Ogilvy
Lady Jane Ogilvy
David Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy
The Hon. Bruce Ogilvy
Lady Elizabeth Ogilvy
The Hon. Patrick Ogilvy
ParentsDavid Ogilvy, 12th Earl of Airlie
Lady Alexandra Coke
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1945–50
Service number339585
UnitScots Guards
Battles/warsSecond World War

David George Coke Patrick Ogilvy, 8th (or 13th) Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO, PC, JP[1] (born 17 May 1926)[2] is a Scottish peer.

Background and education[edit]

Airlie is the eldest son of David Ogilvy, 12th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke. His younger brother was Sir Angus Ogilvy, the husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent. He served as a page to his father at the coronation of George VI in Westminster Abbey on 12 May 1937. With HM Queen Elizabeth II, as of September 2018 he is one of the last surviving participants of the 1937 coronation.

Born in Westminster, David Ogilvy was educated at Eton and served in the Scots Guards during the Second World War. In 1946 he was appointed ADC to the C-in-C and High Commissioner to Austria. He remained in the army until 1950, when he left to attend the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, to learn more about estate management. He currently maintains two homes on the family's 69 000 acre (280 km²) estate in Angus: Cortachy Castle and Airlie Castle. He also has a home in Chelsea, London.

Merchant banker[edit]

He subsequently took up merchant banking, joining J. Henry Schroder in 1953. He was appointed a director of the company in 1961 and chairman of Henry Schroder Wagg & Co in 1973, and then of Schroders plc from 1977.[3] In 1984, Lord Airlie resigned from Schroder to take up the position of Lord Chamberlain,[4] when he was also sworn of the Privy Council and appointed GCVO.

Lord Airlie as Lord Chamberlain initiated changes in the early 1990s under the auspices of “The Way Ahead Group”. Under these plans The Queen agreed to pay tax, greater transparency for the public subsidy of the monarchy began and a greater emphasis on public relations started.[5]

He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1985.[6][3] Two years after that he became Chairman of General Accident Fire and Life Assurance plc.

He followed in the footsteps of his late father, who served as Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. He remained in the post until 1997.

Lord Airlie has also served as the Lord Lieutenant of Angus in Scotland,[7] and as the Captain General of The Royal Company of Archers and Gold Stick for Scotland. He was also the founding Chancellor of the University of Abertay, Dundee (1994–2009).[8] In 1998, he was asked by the Labour government to stay on as a Lord in Waiting for life.

Lord Airlie's ancestral home in Tayside is Cortachy Castle near the ancient burgh of Kirriemuir, Angus. On 13 November 2007 he was asked to be Chancellor of the Order of the Thistle. His wife, the Countess of Airlie, is a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II.[9] His grandmother, Mabell, Countess of Airlie was a Lady-in-Waiting and subsequently Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary.


On 23 October 1952, he married Virginia Fortune Ryan, daughter of American businessman John Barry Ryan and his wife, Margaret, daughter of financier Otto Kahn. The wedding took place at St Margaret's Church, Westminster, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.[10]

They have six children and eleven grandchildren:

  • Lady Doune Mabell Ogilvy (13 August 1953); married Hereward Wake on 15 April 1977 and they were divorced in July 1995. They have four children:
    • John Hereward Wake (born 6 October 1978)
    • Henry Wake (born 1980)
    • Thom Wake (1984–1985)
    • Laura Katherine Wake (born 1986)
  • Lady Jane Fortune Margaret Ogilvy (24 June 1955); married Francois Nairac on 30 August 1980. They have two daughters:
    • Jessica Doune Nairac (born 1985)
    • Annabel Lydia Nairac (born 1988)
  • David John Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy (9 March 1958); married Hon. Geraldine Harmsworth (daughter of Vere Harold Esmond Harmsworth, 3rd Viscount Rothermere) in 1981 and they were divorced in 1990. They have one daughter. He remarried Taka King in 1991. They have three sons.
    • Hon. Augusta Amadeus Caroline Ogilvy (3 December 1981)
    • Hon. David Huxley Ogilvy (born 11 December 1991)
    • Hon. Joseph Skene Ogilvy (born 21 March 1995)
    • Hon. Michael Móir Ogilvy (born 20 January 1997)
  • Hon. Bruce Patrick Mark Ogilvy (born 7 April 1959)
  • Lady Elizabeth Clementina Ogilvy (born 4 June 1965); married Jonathan Baring. They have one son:
    • Samuel Fortune Patrick Baring (born 30 January 1995)
  • Hon. Patrick Alexander Ogilvy (born 24 March 1971)

The numbering of the titles varies, depending on whether the attainted holders of the earldom and their successors are counted or not. He is a recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain.[11] In November 2007, Buckingham Palace announced Lord Airlie was appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Thistle, following the death of the previous Chancellor, the Duke of Buccleuch.[1] Late in 2009, His Lordship announced that he and his wife were retiring. His son has considered the future of Cortachy Castle, the family home for more than 500 years. [12]

In popular culture[edit]

He was portrayed by actor Douglas Reith in the 2006 film The Queen in his capacity as Lord Chamberlain, planning the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.[13]




  1. ^ a b "No. 58510". The London Gazette. 13 November 2007. p. 16433.
  2. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. the Earl of Airlie, Lord–Lieutenant for Angus, 1989–2001; Lord Chamberlain, 1984–97, 87
  3. ^ a b "The Rt Hon the Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO, PC". debretts.com. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  4. ^ Tomlinson, Richard (20 December 1992). "They also serve, who only ush". Independent.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "No. 21848". The London Gazette. 29 November 1985. p. 1822.
  7. ^ "No. 43455". The London Gazette. 6 October 1964. p. 8411.
  8. ^ University of Abertay, Dundee website, abertay.ac.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  9. ^ "No. 45868". The London Gazette. 2 January 1973. p. 105.
  10. ^ "London Pageantry AKA Queen Mother Attends… 1952". British Pathe.
  11. ^ "No. 54984". The London Gazette. 19 December 1997. p. 14236.
  12. ^ last of the Scottish earls? Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  13. ^ . IMDb https://www.imdb.com/character/ch0084174/?ref_=tt_cl_t9. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Court offices
Preceded by
The Lord Maclean
Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The Lord Camoys
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Dalhousie
Lord Lieutenant of Angus
Succeeded by
Georgiana Osborne
Preceded by
The Duke of Buccleuch
Chancellor of the Order of the Thistle
2007 – present
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Lyulph Gore Wolseley Ogilvy
Earl of Airlie
1968 – present
Heir apparent:
David John Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Earl of Dalhousie
Gentlemen Succeeded by
The Earl of Leven