David Ogilvy, 13th Earl of Airlie

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Airlie

Born (1926-05-17) 17 May 1926
Westminster, London, England
Title Earl of Airlie
Tenure 28 December 1968 – present
Spouse(s) Virginia Fortune Ryan
Issue Lady Doune Ogilvy
Lady Jane Ogilvy
David Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy
The Hon. Bruce Ogilvy
Lady Elizabeth Ogilvy
The Hon. Patrick Ogilvy

Military career

Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1945-50
Rank Captain
Service number 339585
Unit Scots Guards
Battles/wars Second 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

Airlie is the eldest son of David Ogilvy, 7th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke. His younger brother was Sir Angus Ogilvy, the husband of HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent.

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, in order 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

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 promoted to GCVO. The following year he was made KT, and two years after that Chairman of General Accident Fire and Life Assurance plc.

He was following 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. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1985.[5][3]

Lord Airlie has also served as the Lord Lieutenant of Angus in Scotland,[6] 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).[7] 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 the Highlands is Cortachy Castle near the ancient burgh of Kirriemuir, Aberdeenshire. On 13 November 2007 he was asked to be probably the last Chancellor of the Order of the Thistle, since then the award has not been granted. His wife, the Countess of Airlie, is a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II.[8] 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 a wealthy American businessman John Barry Ryan and his wife, Margaret, daughter of wealthy 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.[9]

They have six children:

The numbering of the titles vary, 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.[10] 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. [11]


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.[12]



  1. 1 2 The London Gazette: no. 58510. p. 16433. 13 November 2007.
  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. 1 2 "The Rt Hon the Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO, PC". debretts.com. Debretts.com. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  4. Tomlinson, Richard (20 December 1992). "They also serve, who only ush". Independent.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 21848. p. 1822. 29 November 1985. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 43455. p. 8411. 6 October 1964.
  7. University of Abertay, Dundee website, abertay.ac.uk; accessed 7 April 2016.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 45868. p. 105. 2 January 1973.
  9. "London Pageantry AKA Queen Mother Attends… 1952". British Pathe.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 54984. p. 14236. 19 December 1997.
  11. last of the Scottish earls? Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  12. "imdb.com".
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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
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