Ralph Anstruther

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Sir Ralph Anstruther, Bt
Born 1907
Died 9 April 1997
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1941-1950
Rank Major
Unit Coldstream Guards
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Dispatches

Major Sir Ralph (Hugo) Anstruther, 7th Baronet GCVO MC DL (13 June 1921 – 19 May 2002) was a Scottish British Army officer and courtier.

Early life[edit]

The only son of Captain Robert Edward Anstruther MC of the Black Watch, only son of Sir Ralph William Anstruther, 6th Baronet, and Marguerite Blanche Lily de Burgh, he was educated at Eton and at Magdalene College, Cambridge.


He commissioned into the Coldstream Guards on 29 November 1941,[1] and was awarded the Military Cross in 1943. He later served in Malaya in 1950, and was mentioned in despatches. He was Equerry to the Queen Mother from 1959–98, and Treasurer from 1961–98. He was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1967,[2] and promoted to KCVO in 1976 and GCVO in 1992.[3]

As the Queen Mother's treasurer, Anstruther had the difficult job of trying to limit her spending, which became effectively impossible in later years. He suffered two strokes, and at times appeared at Clarence House in a state of altered cognition. In 1998, he was replaced by Nicholas Assheton, becoming Treasurer Emeritus, but resisted his replacement and evinced hostility to Assheton and Sir Alastair Aird, the Queen Mother's Private Secretary. The Queen Mother finally told him to go and stay in Scotland, which he did for the rest of his life.[4]

He was also a Member of the Royal Company of Archers and Deputy Lieutenant of Fife from 1960–97 and of Caithness from 1965.[5]


He succeeded his grandfather in 1934 to the baronetcy of Anstruther of Balcaskie, and in 1980 succeeded his cousin, Sir Windham Eric Francis Carmichael-Anstruther, 8th Baronet, to the baronetcy of Anstruther of Anstruther. With the latter he also became Hereditary Carver to the Queen. He was succeeded to the baronetcies by his cousin.



  1. ^ "No. 35385". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 December 1941. p. 7169. 
  2. ^ "No. 44326". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1967. p. 6272. 
  3. ^ "No. 52767". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1991. p. 4. 
  4. ^ Thornton, Michael (5 January 2008). "The Empress of Extravagance: How the Queen Mother left behind more than £7m in debts". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "No. 41964". The London Gazette. 23 February 1960. p. 1393. 
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
Ralph Anstruther
(of Wrae, Linlithgowshire and
Balcaskie, Fife and Braemore, Caithness)
1934 – 2002
Succeeded by
Ian Anstruther
Preceded by
Windham Carmichael-Anstruther
(of Anstruther, Carmichael and Westeraw, Lanarkshire)
1980 – 2002