Senior Scottish nobleman the Duke of Hamilton dies

image captionThe Duke is survived by his wife Kay

The wife of one of Scotland's most senior noblemen, the Duke of Hamilton, has paid tribute to her "special" husband after his death at the weekend.

Angus Alan Douglas-Hamilton, who suffered from dementia, died on Saturday at the age of 71.

The duke was the Premier Peer of Scotland and was the Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen would send a personal message to his family.

The Duke could trace his ancestry back to Mary Queen of Scots and was custodian of the family's 14th Century seat, Lennoxlove House in East Lothian.

He is survived by his third wife, Kay Hamilton, whom he married in 1998.

She said he was "kind, generous and "funny", adding that she and her husband were "inseparable" from the day they met.

She said: "We had a lot of fun and a lot of happiness. We knew each other for 20 years and during that time I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone.

"He was never judgmental. He was kind and he was generous to a fault.

"He always kept quiet about it but I know how many people he helped.

"Once when I visited him in hospital we could hear someone crying in their bed and, even though he couldn't speak, my husband was waving me to go to them. He was a lovely man."

Racing driver

The Hamilton dukedom is the oldest in Scotland, dating back to the mid-17th century.

Born in London in 1938, he was the eldest son of the 14th Duke of Hamilton.

It is understood his eldest son, the Marquis of Clydesdale, will become the 16th Duke of Hamilton.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that the Duke led a "turbulent and troubled life" where he fought a lifelong battle with alcoholism and spent two periods in a psychiatric hospital.

But he took his work as custodian of Lennoxlove House seriously, where he employed no live-in staff and carried out many of the repairs himself.

He was also a keen racing driver, breaking 47 land speed records and winning more than 60 British national and international land speed and racing titles.

A memorial service will be held in July.

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