Earl of Macduff

Alastair Windsor was born on 9 Aug 1914. He was the son and only child of Prince Arthur of Connaught and Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife. Both his parents were of royal blood, related to Queen Victoria. At birth he was styled His Highness Prince Alastair of Connaught but after royal restructuring in 1917 he became the Earl of Macduff, a title from his mother's side. In 1935 he was commissioned into his father's regiment, the Scots Greys and served with them in Egypt in 1936. Prince Arthur died on 12 Sep 1938 and Alastair is seen in this photo wearing the dress uniform of the Scots Greys, and a black arm band shortly after his father's death.

He was sent to Ottawa as ADC to the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada but while there he inherited the title 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn from his grandfather. This honour did not last long because he died on 26 April 1943. Officially he died on active service in Ottawa but in the diaries of 'Tommy' Lascelles, private secretary to King George VI, he was rejected by both the Scots Greys and the Earl of Athlone as incompetent. This may have contributed to his drunken state, causing him to fall out of a window and dying of hypothermia overnight.

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by Stephen Luscombe