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Community prepares to celebrate 100th birthday of Scotland’s oldest clan chief

The Chieftain, Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld.
The Chieftain, Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld.

Preparations are underway to celebrate the 100th birthday of a war hero believed to be the oldest Scottish clan chieftain.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson, the 16th Laird of Invercauld, will mark his centenary next week on Wednesday, May 1.

Last year, Prince Charles paid tribute to the captain as he presided over the Ballater Highland Games for the 70th time.

While he now lives in Norfolk, he makes the journey up to Aberdeenshire every summer for a series of engagements including the Braemar Gathering and his annual clan dinner.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson

Next week Braemar Castle, the seat of Clan Farquharson, will mark the 100th birthday of the chieftain with a special party for all the community.

Captain Farquharson was educated at Eton and Oxford and was commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys during the Second World War.

He was awarded the Military Cross for the part in played in the Normandy Landings.

Simon Blackett, the chairman of Braemar Community Limited and the former factor of Invercauld Estate, said locals are looking forward to the big day.

He said: “We’re not sure if May 1 will make Captain Farquharson the oldest clan chief in Scotland, but think it very likely.

“The Laird won’t be able to join us on the day, but we will have a community party and birthday cake to celebrate.

“Braemar’s oldest inhabitant, Zan Grant, will do the honours and cut the cake on the Captain’s behalf.


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“Zan worked as Captain Farquharson’s secretary when he first became laird in the 1940s, and is now 92 years old.”

Castle manager Georgina Errington said: “Captain Farquharson is a regular visitor to the castle and is very supportive of the community effort.

“We’re going to have a cake for everyone all day, and will cut a special birthday cake at 3.30pm in the castle dining room.

“We know many people will want to be part of the celebration.”

Picture of Captain Alwyne Farquharson

Deeside councillor Geva Blackett added: “Captain Farquharson commands respect wherever he goes.

“His energy and commitment to Invercauld and Braemar, to the Ballater Highland Games and to our beautiful countryside is phenomenal.

“I know I will not be alone in wishing him a very happy birthday on the auspicious day.”

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