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Eton-educated former soldier inherites £100m and the title of Duke of Roxburghe

Charles Innes Ker (right), 38, has become the 11th Duke of Roxburghe following the death of his father Guy (left) from cancer

The high-flying son of one of the UK’s wealthiest aristocrats is to take over the Dukedom of Roxburghe after his father died from a lengthy battle with cancer.

Guy Innes Ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, passed away at the family’s ancestral pile, Floors Castle, near Kelso, in the Scottish Borders.

A graduate of Sandhurst Military Academy and Cambridge University, he inherited the title from his father at the age of just 19.

The 64-year-old is survived by Virginia, the Duchess of Roxburghe, five children and five grandchildren.

The duke’s eldest son, Charles, 38, who has led the title Marquis of Bowmont, will succeed his father as the 11th Duke of Roxburghe.

The Marquis was previously married to Charlotte Aitken – a direct descendant of newspaper giant Lord Beaverbrook, but divorced after less than a year.

He was also once fined for riding the Tyne and Wear Metro without a £1 ticket, but chose to pay the £10 fine rather than end up on ‘loser posters’ put up around the city.

Charles attended Eton College before following in his father’s footsteps by going to Sandhurst after which he served during the Iraq War.

As inheritance, the Marquis will take control of an estimated £100 million fortune, and the family seat of Floors Castle,  

The Castle was first opened to the public in 1977 by the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, the year he married Lady Jane Grosvenor, sister of the Duke of Westminster.

Guy Innes Ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, passed away at the family's ancestral pile, Floors Castle, near Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. A graduate of Sandhurst Military Academy and Cambridge University, he inherited the title from his father at the age of just 19

Guy Innes Ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, passed away at the family’s ancestral pile, Floors Castle, near Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. A graduate of Sandhurst Military Academy and Cambridge University, he inherited the title from his father at the age of just 19

As inheritance, the Marquis will take control of an estimated £100 million fortune, and the family seat of Floors Castle, The Castle was first opened to the public in 1977 by the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, the year he married Lady Jane Grosvenor, sister of the Duke of Westminster

As inheritance, the Marquis will take control of an estimated £100 million fortune, and the family seat of Floors Castle, The Castle was first opened to the public in 1977 by the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, the year he married Lady Jane Grosvenor, sister of the Duke of Westminster

They divorced in 1990 but the duke remarried in 1992, to interior designer Virginia Wynne-Williams.

The duke’s family have paid tribute to him in a statement and told of his passion for his estates.

‘We are all deeply saddened that the Duke has lost his battle with an illness he fought with great courage and determination,’ they said in a statement.

‘He was a wonderful and loving husband to Virge and devoted father to Rosie, Charlie, Ted, Bella and George and it is a desperate loss to us all.

‘His family meant so much to him and he was always there to offer love, guidance and support.

‘He really was a Corinthian figure who was a great sportsman, a passionate fisherman who made a huge contribution to fisheries management on the river Tweed and a successful businessman who modernised and turned Roxburghe Estates into the successful business it is today.

Charles, who held the title Marquis of Bowmont, was previously married to Charlotte Aitken (pictured in 2011) - a direct descendant of newspaper giant Lord Beaverbrook, but they divorced after less than a year together

Charles, who held the title Marquis of Bowmont, was previously married to Charlotte Aitken (pictured in 2011) – a direct descendant of newspaper giant Lord Beaverbrook, but they divorced after less than a year together

‘He took particular pride in seeing the work he and Virge had undertaken to establish Floors Castle and Gardens as one of the premier visitor attractions in Scotland.

‘He derived enormous success and enjoyment from racing and the thoroughbred stud at Floors including breeding the first double Classic winner Attraction in the early 2000s.

‘We know he will be missed by so many in different spheres in particular by those staff and farm tenants on the Roxburghe Estates.

‘We are extremely grateful for the outstanding medical care the Duke received at the Brompton Hospital in London and at home by the Borders palliative care team led by Dr Miller and supported by the Scottish Nursing Guild.’

The Duke was also a noted horse racing fan, breeding dual 1000 Guineas and Newmarket winner Attraction.

His first winner False Witness whetted his appetite for the sport, and he gradually built up a nucleus of mares at Floors with a view to selling their offspring as yearlings. 

Record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston paid tribute to the Duke who played a ‘big role’ in his career. 

‘We knew this day was coming, because we knew how ill he’d become. We’ve been in regular contact, and it’s a shame we didn’t get the chance to see him,’ he said.

The Duke was also a noted horse racing fan, breeding dual 1000 Guineas and Newmarket winner Attraction. His first winner False Witness whetted his appetite for the sport, and he gradually built up a nucleus of mares at Floors with a view to selling their offspring as yearlings

The Duke was also a noted horse racing fan, breeding dual 1000 Guineas and Newmarket winner Attraction. His first winner False Witness whetted his appetite for the sport, and he gradually built up a nucleus of mares at Floors with a view to selling their offspring as yearlings

‘Although we knew it was coming, it’s still very sad. It’s the end of an era for us – he played a huge part of my career.

‘I’ve always said Attraction was the horse I got most pleasure out of training, because there were many stages where we could have called it a day and retired her from racing.

‘I often say the day she ran at Royal Ascot was the most pressure I’ve ever felt, because I expected her to win. That was just pressure I put on myself, though – it never came from the Duke.

‘Almost from the day she won the Hilary Needler, the Duke’s attitude when he was talking to the jockey before the race was ‘go out there and enjoy it as everything from now on is a bonus’.

‘She was a tremendous horse to be associated with, and the Duke being her owner was a big part of that.’

There will be a private family funeral and a memorial service to be announced in due course. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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