David Ogilvy, 13th and 8th Earl of Airlie

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David George Coke Ogilvy, 13th/8th Earl of Airlie

Also Known As: "David Airlie"
Immediate Family:

Son of David Wolseley Ogilvy, 12th and 7th Earl of Airlie and Alexandra Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie
Husband of Virginia Fortune Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 2 others
Brother of Lady Victoria Lloyd (Ogilvy); Lady Margaret Tennant (Ogilvy); Lady Griselda Balfour (Ogilvy); Sir Angus Ogilvy and Private

Managed by: rev. Darlene Patricia Potts
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About David Ogilvy, 13th and 8th Earl of Airlie


David George Coke Patrick Ogilvy, 8th (or 13th) Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO, PC, JP (born 17 May 1926) 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. In 1984, Lord Airlie resigned from Schroder to take up the position of Lord Chamberlain, 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 abd Life Assurace 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.

Lord Airlie has also served as the Lord Lieutenant of Angus in Scotland, 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). 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. 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.

They have six children:

  • Lady Doune Mabell Ogilvy (b. 13 August 1953 (age 63))
  • Lady Jane Fortune Margaret Ogilvy (b. 24 June 1955 (age 61))
  • David John Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy (b. 9 March 1958 (age 58))
  • The Hon. Bruce Patrick Mark Ogilvy (b. 7 April 1959 (age 57))
  • Lady Elizabeth Clementine Ogilvy (b. 4 June 1965 (age 51))
  • The Hon. Patrick Alexander Ogilvy (b. 24 March 1971 (age 45))

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. 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. 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.

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