The 68-year-old widow of one of the wealthiest men in Scotland has passed away, according to her family. Sunday morning, Lady Elizabeth Kerr, the Duchess of Buccleuch, passed away. In 1981, she wed the current Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, and went on to have four children with him.
She worked in radio and took a passionate interest in the arts, establishing a prize for aspiring young writers named after Walter Scott.
The Duke of Buccleuch was Scotland’s largest landowner until recent years when he was surpassed by Danish tycoon and rewilding enthusiast Anders Holch Povlsen.
The family possesses four estates in rural Northamptonshire, the Scottish Border, and central Scotland.
The Duke is scheduled to bear the Sceptre with Cross, a piece of royal regalia, to the altar at Westminster Abbey for the King’s Coronation this weekend. It is believed that he will not attend the event, though no definitive decision has been made.
Benny Higgins, the executive chairman of Buccleuch, which manages the family’s commercial interests, stated: “The Duke of Buccleuch and his family have announced that the duchess passed away on Sunday morning following a brief illness and an operation.
“The Duchess was the most wonderful, life-enhancing spirit, and our hearts go out to the family as they come to terms with their loss.”
The Duchess obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the London School of Economics before working on BBC Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope program and then transferring to BBC Radio Solway after marrying the Duke.
Her principal interest was in the arts, where she founded the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and served as a judge for the prestigious literary award.
She then established the Young Walter Scott Award for aspiring authors.
The Duchess was also active in a number of other arts organizations, serving as chairwoman of the Scottish Ballet and the Heritage Education Trust and as a trustee of the National Museums of Scotland and the British Museum.
Her spouse, four children, and eleven grandchildren survive her. She was the daughter of the 12th Marquess of Lothian and the sister of former Conservative MP and deputy leader Michael Ancram.
A private family service will be held in the Scottish Borders, with a celebration of the Duchess’s life to be announced at a later date.